JOHNSTONE Burgh boss Jamie McKim refused to criticise his players after they lost to league leaders Shotts Bon Accord on Saturday, despite having a two-goal advantage early on.

A double from youngster Jay Keenan put the Keanie Park outfit in a comfortable position after less than 15 minutes.

However, the hosts hit back through Chris Meikle and Danny Burns before the interval and found the winner just after the hour mark, courtesy of an own goal.

The 3-2 defeat took place in wet and windy conditions, with McKim hoping his young troops can learn from the experience.

He told Gazette Sport: “I’m disappointed but I’ve also got to be happy in some way because of the performance of my players.

“We didn’t give anything away. We battled and battled and it just became difficult.

“The conditions changed dramatically when we were 2-0 up and we had the wind and rain in our faces. Conditions were terrible and I think that played a big part because we had started on fire.

“They managed the game very well with the experience they have but you’d expect that with the budget they’ve got. If you look at the two clubs, our oldest player is 23 and they’ve got a team of guys older than 27.

“I think our players will take a lesson from how Shotts managed the game. I still think we were as good as them, if not better. There’s not much between the sides.”

Burgh now head into a run of three consecutive cup ties, starting with the visit of Greenock in the South Challenge Cup this Saturday.

A trip to the City of Discovery is then on the cards for McKim’s team as they face Dundee East Craigie in the Scottish Junior Cup, ahead of a short journey to take on Renfrew in the West of Scotland Football League Cup the following week.

McKim revealed he might freshen things up over the next three weeks to give some game time to members of his squad who have largely been on the sidelines recently but he will resist wholesale changes to his starting 11.

“I’m looking for a bit of consistency but, at the same time, the cup competitions bring an opportunity to give others a chance,” he said. “For us, it’s all about building momentum.”

Kick-off between Burgh and Greenock at Keanie Park on Saturday is at 2pm.