THORN Athletic manager Johnny McEwan was left to rue missed chances as his team was knocked out of the West of Scotland Cup.

The Johnstone team suffered their first defeat of the season as they hosted Central Scottish AFL championship side Campsie Minerva on Saturday, losing 5-4 on penalties.

The match had finished 2-2 before being decided by spot-kicks.

McEwan told Gazette Sport: "We should never have allowed the match to go to penalties. We were so wasteful in front of goal and it came back to haunt us.

"We created numerous clear-cut chances and didn't look in any danger but, the more opportunities we passed up, the more we gave Campsie encouragement.”

The visitors went into the tie riding on the crest of a wave, having won five consecutive games, only tasting defeat once all season and sitting second in their league.

And they carried that momentum into the penalty shootout after snatching an equaliser against the run of play in the last quarter of the game.

McEwan added: "It was very frustrating to go out of the competition in that manner but we only have ourselves to blame.

"We missed our first penalty, which didn't get us off to a great start, and there was really no way back from that."

Despite the result, there were certainly some positives to take into this weekend’s Caledonian Premier League match against Milngavie.

Thorn Athletic dominated large spells of the tie and showed some real moments of individual quality throughout, including a thunderous long-range effort from captain Ryan Crawford to open the scoring.

But McEwan is fully aware that his team will need to put the unfamiliar feeling of defeat behind them quickly, with a hectic league schedule ahead of them in the coming weeks, starting with this Saturday’s match with Milngavie at the Garnock Community Campus.

He said: "We are playing catch-up in the league and we need to get points on the board before fixtures start falling foul of the weather.

"Milngavie have always been a tough nut for us to crack but hopefully we will have a few players back this weekend and we can take the game to them.

"We are still beset with injury problems but that means opportunities for other guys."