Christian Nade saw red only three minutes after coming on as a substitute in Muirkirk's dismal 3-0 defeat to Lesmahagow yesterday.

Second-half goals from Blair Hill, Alan McFadden and James Coffey earned the visitors victory in a West of Scotland League Conference A match which actually produced three red cards.

Former Hearts striker Nade received his marching orders after an altercation with 'Gow defender Neil Schoneville who, himself, was later sent-off. 'Kirk's James Gray walked in injury time.

It was a brutal afternoon for Muirkirk which prompted some post-match soul-searching from gaffer Kevin Muirhead as his side – who are third in the table – suffered defeat at Burnside Park for the first time since 2019.

In a very honest assessment, he told Ayrshire Live: "It was very disappointing. It's not the performance we ever see at Burnside Park; this place is a fortress. We work hard and turn it into a war when teams come here.

"This was the opposite of that. We rolled over, allowed Lesmahagow to bully us and gave absolutely nothing back. You can still hear them celebrating.

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"We had opportunities in both the first half and second half but we were shot-shy – looking for the perfect opportunity to put the ball in the back of the net.

"How often do you see a cracking goal at this level of football? It's about being physical and who is prepared to put their head and body in where it hurts and get that ball over the line.

"There wasn't a willingness to do that which is not a mark of any team that I have ever coached. A team should always be physical, always be aggressive.

"Defeat always hurts and I will carry this with me until we win a game again. I hope the players hurt too.

Action from Muirkirk's clash with Lesmahagow
Action from Muirkirk's clash with Lesmahagow

"That performance there was easily the worst performance I've ever had as a Muirkirk manager and this is not my emotions speaking.

"This goes back to the day Shotts beat us 13-0 when I brought in players I'd played fives with as we needed to play a cup-tie. We were actually better that day than here. This was unacceptable."

Muirhead admitted he was contemplating his own future as he acknowledged the efforts of the club's committee to turn things round off the park in a bid to be more competitive on it.

He continued: "Myself and the management team stayed out on the park after the game to have a chat about what our role is in this, how can we effect any change and if we can effect any change.

"We're starting to have those discussions. We know we have to be better.

"This isn't the Muirkirk of old where teams would come here and get a comfortable win.

"This is a team which has been invested in by the committee at the club. There are players here on decent money and they aren't earning it.

"You can say this is a hobby and just a game of football. But to our committee members, this is full-time. They are retired and in here seven days a week.

"They are absolutely emptying their tank for this club, bringing in as much finance as they can to back us; getting sponsors and running competitions to back us on the park."

Nade's red card, when 'Kirk were already a goal down, pretty much extinguished their hopes of salvaging something from the game and Muirhead had no complaints.

"Christian is a very experienced player and he is here to bring that experience to the team," the manager said. "He has let himself down and he knows that. He has let the team down as well.

"He was put on as we wanted to change the emphasis of the game but big Neil has used his experience as well; he has went down with no contact and the referee has to make a decision."

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