JOHNSTONE BURGH gaffer Jamie McKim couldn’t hide his delight after his side battled to a 1-0 win over Thorniewood at Keanie Park on Saturday in what he described as their “toughest test” of the season so far.

Fresh from their emphatic 4-1 Scottish Junior Cup win over Dufftown last week, Burgh returned to league action in search of their 11th successive victory in all competitions.

And while Ricky McArthur’s first-half strike following some superb build-up play from Gordon Meredith – who put in a man-of-the-match performance – was enough to extend Burgh’s winning run, they didn’t have it all their own way with the visitors dominating for large spells after McKim's side were reduced to 10 men in the second-half.

READ MORE: Burgh into Scottish Junior Cup fourth round after Dufftown rout

As well as another vital three points to keep the Burgh bandwagon rolling on, McKim was also pleased with how his side were able to cope with the Wood’s experience and physicality in the tough conditions.

“I honestly couldn’t be happier with that one at the weekend,” he told Gazette Sport. “That was easily the toughest match we’ve played this season and definitely the biggest challenge we’ve come up against in our winning run so far.

“Thorniewood are a really strong side and, to be honest, were probably the better team for large periods of the game on Saturday.

“We showed a completely different side to our game to dig in and get that ninth league win in a row.

“We were really up for the fight from the first whistle, which was good to see.

The Gazette: The Burgh boss praised his players for overcoming biggest test of the season so far (Photo: Kenneth McWilliam)The Burgh boss praised his players for overcoming biggest test of the season so far (Photo: Kenneth McWilliam)

“As I’ve said all season, if a team wants to play us, we can play, and if they want to make it a battle and make a dirty game, then we can fight.

“And we had to really fight on Saturday, especially going down to 10 men in the second-half.

“It was difficult and they had their chances. They enjoyed a good bit of possession and my goalkeeper was excellent but, while they were the better team for a good chunk of the game, we were still well-deserving of the win.

“Taking ourselves out of the equation, Thorniewood were my tip to finish right up there in the league this season. They are a top team with a lot of experience but we were obviously more than a match for them on Saturday which really delights me.”

Burgh now turn their attention to the West of Scotland Cup this weekend with a trip to West League One side Wishaw, with McKim insisting his side will not be taking the competition lightly.

He added: “The first thing for us on Saturday is to go and test ourselves against a team in the division above and progress into the next round.

READ MORE: McKim promised Burgh won't let up as flawless start continues

“We want to play as many games as we can over the course of this season and be as successful as we can in every competition.

“The league is priority but winning breeds confidence so we’ll be treating Wishaw like every other game so far in that we’re going there to win and extend this run.

“Confidence is obviously high throughout the team right now with 11 straight competitive wins in all competitions in a row and we want to keep that going on Saturday.”

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