Irvine Vics boss admits blended emotions after a workforce of youngsters misplaced a seven-goal thriller

Irvine Vics boss Brian McLuckie admitted losing was hard to take after his team of teenagers lost to Port Glasgow in the 7-goal thriller.

A ding-dong fight in Vics Park on Saturday saw the seesaw all afternoon before a David McNeil header gave the visitors a 4-3 victory in 81 minutes.

Vics, who started with 10 players under the age of 20, had more than enough chances to win the Conference B duel.

But it was Port who made her count on a glue pot surface – a factor McLuckie thinks worked against his young side.

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He said: “I felt worse when I lost 4-3 after losing 5-0 to St. Cadoc’s last week.

“I honestly thought we deserved to make a point. We had a lot of chances, but at times we let ourselves down defensively.

“However, I will focus on the positives. Three weeks ago we lost 5-1 in the second leg. So it is clear that we are making progress.

“Ninety percent of the guys we had out there today had never played a competitive game on real grass until recently, regardless of such a difficult pitch.

Both teams had an entertaining match on a glue pot field

“The goal for us this season is to keep moving forward and we’re always learning.”

With a hectic start, there were great opportunities at both ends.

Vics goalkeeper Chris Taylor saved his feet early to deny Port striker John Gallagher in a duel.

A goal line clearance came to the rescue of the visitors, Sam McKee was unlucky not to find the net with a shot on the turn in the six-yard box.

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Vics finally made the breakthrough in 28 minutes. Kinlay Bilham’s swinging free kick bounced off the grass into the farthest corner of the net.

But the festivities had barely subsided and port was flat, Gallagher’s shot from eight yards struck Taylor.

It was end-to-end stuff, but visitors were ahead of the game with seven minutes before break when the unmarked Jamie Campbell tucked away a cross from the left.

Vic celebrates finding the web

McNeil should have added another before the break as he pounced on Daniel Martins’ short back pass, but he failed to hit the target from 10 yards.

The second half was equally eventful with Vics reaching the level in 52 minutes. Rodrick Watupa’s superb chipped pass showed McKee on the right and his low drive cross was tapped home by trialist Ikenna Anunobi.

But once again the hosts undone their good work by conceding a goal right after kick-off. Joseph Donnachie gave all the space in the world to shoot a grandiose shot into the upper corner from 25 meters.

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Vics dug deep again, however, and parity was restored eight minutes later when 17-year-old Chris Callander found the bottom corner with an excellent hit from 30 yards.

Anunobi and McKee were both on the verge of adding to the Vics record before Port Sucker beat them with nine minutes to go.

McNeil won the game when he shot a cross from the right home at the back post.

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