Home truths from Lanark United gaffer Paul Burns inspired second half fightback

Lanark United manager Paul Burns
Lanark United manager Paul Burns

Lanark United manager Paul Burns and his assistant Craig Stark told their players a few home truths at half-time to inspire a second half fightback at Vale of Leven on Saturday.

The Yowes trailed 2-0 at the interval but battled back to get a point in a 2-2 draw.

Burns said: “It was the usual Jekyll and Hyde performance, poor in the first 45 and a lot better in the second 45.

“Between Starky and I, we just told the players the truth, that the first half wasn’t good enough.

“It is a belief thing. Starky and I believe they are good enough but there is no point in that if the players don’t believe in themselves as we are not the ones out there playing football.

“In the second half we were a lot better so it worked to a certain extent.

“If we had a cutting edge we probably would have won the game.”

Vale were first to threaten after 16 minutes last Saturday when Greg Ross fired in a powerful shot which was pushed away by keeper Allan Colquhoun.

United’s Shaun Gallagher then collected on the left and worked his way along the bye-line before his cut back was grabbed by home keeper Robert Tiropoulous.

The home side took the lead on 30 minutes when Allan MacPherson scored following a free-kick into the box.

Two minutes later Vale doubled their score when David McNaught scored with a close range header.

United reduced the deficit on 40 minutes when Ronan Kearney made a great run and cross from the left for Gallagher to head home at the back post.

Home keeper Tiropoulous then produced a wonder save to turn a full blooded shot from Danny McHugh over the bar on 42 minutes.

Two minutes into the second period Vale striker Macpherson was shown a second yellow card and sent off for a bad foul on Ronan Kearney.

United showed plenty of spirit as the second half progressed and came close on a few occasions before McHugh levelled the scores by blasting a powerful shot into the net following a good build-up move on 76 minutes.

Kearney then had two good efforts blocked by the home keeper as United applied strong pressure before the final whistle.

Saturday’s draw leaves United eighth in the McBookie.com Central Division 2 table with 10 points from eight matches.

But they are only six points off the promotion places.

Lanark have no game this Saturday due to the Scottish Juniors International Tournament involving Scotland, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man being held in Glasgow.