JAMIE McKim was delighted to see his Johnstone Burgh side put a torrid couple of months behind them at the weekend as they got back to winning ways with a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Forth Wanderers.

Last registering a win back in January, Burgh have struggled to cope with numerous postponements and call-offs, falling to 10th in the table after two heavy defeats.

After a poor first-half in which they fell behind, it looked like more of the same for Burgh as the visitors broke the deadlock 43 minutes in.

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But McKim admitted that the game plan in the first 45 was all wrong, tweaking his formation with two substitutes as they fought back after the break with goals from Sam Esplin, Mitchell MacDonald and second-half sub John Ball securing the morale-boosting win.

“I’m delighted to get that winning feeling back,” McKim told Gazette Sport. “The boys put in a good shift and fully deserved it. 

“We were absolutely terrible in the first-half to be honest but I was delighted with how we responded and played after the break. 

“There isn’t a lot to play for in the remaining five matches in terms of the league but it makes such a big difference to the atmosphere around Keanie and in training. The boys have all got a bit more of a spring in their step now which they all deserve that as they’ve worked to come back from some poor results and frustrating weekends.”

The Gazette: Burgh boss Jamie McKim Burgh boss Jamie McKim

McKim singled out sub Ball for praise with the former St Anthony’s man playing a pivotal role in Burgh’s comeback.

He said: “To be honest, our game plan in the first-half didn’t quite work, we had to tweak quite a few things at half-time. A lot of managers at this level shout louder when things aren’t going their way rather than change it up.

“But we made a few changes with Cammy Hayes and John both coming off the bench. They have basically guaranteed themselves a place in my starting XI this weekend. 

“They were outstanding. That’s the kind of performances I want to see - performances like that got a long way. I couldn’t stand in my dressing room this weekend and name a team without those two in it.

“John won a penalty three minutes in, scored five minutes later and played a big part in our third goal as well. He was outstanding. He had a massive impact. 

“John signed from St Anthony’s and was first class when he first arrived. He didn’t miss a training session and his attitude was superb. Over the last couple of weeks he faltered a bit which is why he found himself on the bench. Being dropped has given him the wee kick to make sure he continues what he was doing and keeping himself in the team. 

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“He’s got unbelievable potential and works incredibly hard but we just need to make sure he trains that hard, too.”

Burgh now welcome a high-flying Vale of Leven to Keanie Park this Saturday with McKim adding: “They beat us 3-0 earlier in the season. They scored from three set pieces last time so we know what’s coming and we know how we’re going to try combat that.”

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