Returning to action with a dominant 8-0 win over Lugar Boswell Thistle following a four-week league layoff, it’s fair to say Jamie McKim enjoyed his first taste of Friday night football.

With the aftermath of Storm Dennis predicted to wreak havoc across the West Region fixture list, the Johnstone Burgh gaffer was all for the switch to New Western Park before a ball was kicked.

And if he was behind the move before kick-off, his side shaking off any rustiness with a stunning victory under the lights saw him fully convert to a Friday night football advocate by full-time.

Four goals from Ricky McArthur, with further efforts from Jamie Hardie, Sam Esplin and Jamie Sidebotham and a first Burgh goal for youngster Ross McFarlane, sent the Johnstone side on their way.

“I’m absolutely delighted with the manner of that win,” said McKim. “It was a horrific night but we put in a brilliant performance and came away with an excellent scoreline, so I couldn’t ask for much more.

“Friday night football is a wee bit different in terms of preparation, with everyone working during the day, but we really enjoyed it.

“The only downside for the club was the weather, in terms of getting people through the gate, but in a football sense, there was nothing but positives from that experience.

“All the boys loved playing under the lights.

The Gazette: Fired-up Burgh returned to action in some style on Friday nightFired-up Burgh returned to action in some style on Friday night

“I don’t think the club brought in as much money as they thought they would but I think that is purely down to the poor weather, so we would be well up for arranging more Friday night matches in the future.

“It’s a unique prospect playing under the lights and, in decent conditions, I’d expect more fans to turn out as we wouldn’t be playing at the same time as loads of other matches on a Saturday afternoon.

“I think Friday night is definitely something we’ll be looking at going forward. It was my first experience of it as manager and some of the lads’ first experience too and we all enjoyed it.

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“With good weather, I think we’d bring in a big crowd on Fridays, so I’m hoping we can sort more out.”

As for the match itself, McKim admits his players showed signs of rust early on but was full of praise for how they persevered, adding: “To be honest, we didn’t look great in the first half. We were a bit tense and you could tell they hadn’t played in a while.

“The two goals we did score in the first half were absolute quality but then we went on to step it up in terms of our play and went on to score another six goals in a superb display.

“Despite the conditions, we scored some of the best goals I’ve seen this season in the second half, so it turned out to be a really positive decision to move it to the Friday.”

True to form this season, Burgh now look unlikely to get the chance to build on the Lugar win this weekend, with their match against Forth up in the air.

McKim added: “We’ve got Forth Wanderers this weekend away from home but we’re not overly confident it’ll get the go-ahead.

“I think their pitch was under six inches of snow at the start of the week.

“It’s frustrating as we’re just not able to build that momentum but the boys are all remaining mentally strong and professional.

“Our fingers are crossed for Saturday and we’ll be keeping an eye on the forecast but we’re not kidding ourselves.”

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