Jamie McKim admits he is unable to make any excuses for his side after they were well beaten by St Anthony’s at the weekend. 

Burgh were looking to get back to winning ways after a poor run of form that had seen them lose their last two matches, but they were swept aside by a hard-working Ants side.

McKim had challenged them to bounce back in style against the Govan side and was confident their quality would shine through. 

But Johnstone’s unfamiliar back four were under the cosh right from the off with Grant Kelly bagging his first of the afternoon after just five minutes. 

The Keanie Park side have been unable to field the same back line in two consecutive matches all season and their lack of matches together was evident as they struggled early on against a buoyant Ants attack with Kelly in particular running riot as he bagged his second of the day 17 minutes in. 

Burgh were handed a lifeline just before the half-hour mark when they were awarded a penalty against the run of play with Ryan Officer stepping up on his return from injury to slot home and reduce the deficit to just one. 

But there was no comeback on the cards as Kelly completed his impressive hat-trick 10 minutes from the end to secure the points and hand Burgh their third defeat on the bounce. 

And the gaffer was quick to acknowledge that his side lacked the fight and desire required on Saturday, insisting that they must improve in order to kick on. 

“That was a really, really tough one to take,” McKim admitted. “I’m really disappointed with that. We let ourselves down on Saturday. It’s as simple as that. There’s just no hiding from it, we were outfought. 

“I’ll stand by what I’ve always said, though, in that my players have more quality on the ball than anyone else in this league but what Ants showed was a lot more heart and desire and, for me, that’s just not acceptable.

“As a manager I’m extremely motivated to do well at Burgh and I need my players to show they are the same from now on. I can’t step on the park for them but I’m confident they will show it soon.”

Things don’t get any easier for the struggling side with League Two leaders Lanark United making the trip to Keanie Park this weekend. 

The Yowes sit 10 points ahead of Burgh having lost just once this season, but while McKim admits that it will be a tough 90 minutes, he also recognises it is the perfect opportunity for his side to bounce back. 

He added: “The games don’t get any easier. Saturday against Lanark is as tough as you can get in our league but I’m looking for a big reaction from the boys. 

“It’s a massive chance to bounce back. If we turn up and show we’re hungry and put up a good fight we will win. 

“It’s still my belief that we have great quality within the squad and can beat anyone in this league. We’re opening ourselves up to a lot of criticism right now with the results as we’ve not been good enough but the talent is there, we just need to turn it into points now.”