CUMNOCK boss Peter Leonard said that Saltcoats’ victory over Arthurlie made his side more alert to the possibility of a shock defeat.

A depleted squad had taken the Barrhead side to a penalty shoot-out in the West of Scotland Cup before knocking them out of the West of Scotland Cup.

However, by half-time on Saturday, it was apparent that the home side would not be repeating their heroics of seven days previously.

Leonard said: “We were missing a few players and it was important that the boys remained switched on.

“Burns, McKenna and Semple were away, Hunter and Woods were injured while Samson had been in bed all week with flu.

“We were really down to the bare bones and we managed to get away with using just one substitute.

“Young Jamie Martin was injured earlier in the week and I had to take him off early after he got a knock after 30 minutes.

The gaffer told the players pre-match that their attitude would have to be right and they had to show full respect to the opposition.

Although conditions were far from ideal and his players could not get their passing game going, he thought they controlled the game well.

“The team scored five goals and were never in any danger so I was pleased with that.

“With such an injury list and key players missing it was never going to be easy but Jamie Hilton and Andy Muir both had a great game.

“We learn a lot from games like this but it has given us a chance to get players back for what is a bigger game next Saturday, away to Rob Roy.

“Also it was a cup-tie and we are through to a local derby against the Glens — the games are going to be coming thick and fast,” he added.

Raymond Montgomerie was back in his home town to play against his dad’s club for the first time.

He said: “My dad has been the chairman here for the last 10 or 12 years but is full time with Kilmarnock FC, so he struggles to get to a lot of the games.

“He wasn’t here today as he was at Killie’s match away to Partick Thistle.

“I am originally from Saltcoats so it feels funny coming here and playing, as well as being the first time against his team.

“With lots of people that I know coming to watch the match, we just had to get a result.”

Monty played his part in the victory, which was never really in doubt, although he felt the winning margin could have been greater.

“We did a professional job and scored five goals although we could have had even more in the first 15 minutes.

“And although the game fizzled out towards the end, I don’t think we were ever under any threat.

“Their back two played well as did the keeper, who had a couple of good saves. They were well organised and obviously took a bit of confidence from the win over Arthurlie, he added.