Jamie McKim was full of praise for his Johnstone Burgh side after they saw off top East Region Super League outfit Dundee Downfield on Saturday in just their second pre-season friendly.

The visitors, who finished 10th in a tough Super League last season, looked dangerous from the off at Keanie Park with McKim’s side doing well to match that tempo before Ricky McArthur grabbed the only goal of the game just before the break for the win.

The Downfield victory makes it two games unbeaten and two clean sheets on the bounce for the new Burgh side after their hard-fought 0-0 draw against Troon last week.

READ MORE: McKim praised Burgh side's fitness after pre-season opener

Burgh also fought back from 2-0 down against West Region Premiership side Irvine Meadow last night at Keanie with Nathan Marriot and a trialist salvaging a draw. 

And McKim was quick to credit his new-look side while also admiring the competitive spirit and drive within his squad.

“We didn’t know anything about Downfield to be completely honest but they started the game really well,” McKim told Gazette Sport. “They came out with purpose and were playing to a very high-tempo so I knew we were going to be in for a really tough day. 

The Gazette: Burgh maintained their impressive pre-season form with Irvine Meadow draw last night (Photo: Kenneth McWilliam)Burgh maintained their impressive pre-season form with Irvine Meadow draw last night (Photo: Kenneth McWilliam)

“We’re absolutely delighted to win - especially with it being such a hard match. I think it’s pointless taking any easy games at this stage. I know sometimes you need to throw in a wee confidence booster for the boys but we know the majority of the games need to be difficult. We want these tests at this stage so overall I’m happy.

“There is good signs there but it is only a pre-season friendly. We’re not getting carried away but we did play well against Troon and again on Saturday against Downfield so we are looking good right now.

“I’m delighted with how we’re looking at this stage. The big thing for me is we have used two goalkeepers and seven or eight defenders over the two matches and neither set have conceded or looked like conceding.

“There is a real depth and competitive nature there right now. There is roughly 25 players at training at the moment. They all know that in two weeks time I will only be able to play 11 of them and then three substitutions, so around half of them will be disappointed and some may not be here come the start of the season.

“But what I do know is that every single one of them want to be here and are working hard to make sure they are still in my plans when the season begins. It’s a brilliant environment to be in.” 

Following their 2-2 friendly draw against Irvine Meadow at Keanie Park last night, Burgh now look forward to their annual team bonding away trip this Saturday. 

READ MORE: Burgh up and running with Troon draw

McKim’s side will travel to Fife to take on Lochore Welfare at Central Park with the gaffer challenging his men to earn the right to enjoy the trip.

He added: “We’re all looking forward to Lochore on Saturday now. From the outside, people always look at the away trip as an excuse for a day out. 

“But, first and foremost, it’s another step in our pre-season and will help us build towards our first competitive game. It is about team bonding too, though, so it’s business first and then we can relax and enjoy ourselves - you can only do that properly with a good result and positive performance.”

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