ARTHURLIE’S eyebrow-raising 6-1 defeat of St Roch's on Saturday should have evoked a moment of shared delight in the home dugout.

The fact it didn’t cannot be attributed to any lack of raw emotion on show but was more to do with assistant manager Tam McLaughlin being left in in sole charge of team affairs while seasoned gaffer Dunky Sinclair and backroom team coach Jamie Sandilands were away on holiday.

Sinky returned late on Saturday night and wasted no time in seeking out a full briefing on the Barrhead outfit’s battling display which saw his players recover from Kieran Daw’s early penalty that put the visitors 1-0 ahead to hit St Roch's for six through a Jamie Docherty treble and strikes from Del McNab, Dominic O’Halloran and Jamie Gray.

And the Lie boss later admitted: "Tam deserves all the credit going for holding the fort on his own other than Liam Mushert helping him out on training nights.

“It was a phenomenal result against a very good St Roch's side that are being tipped as title contenders and our overall performance should by all accounts act as a great lift and confidence boost.

“Nobody at this club is saying we are the finished article – anything but – however we've given ourselves a platform to build on and that has to be a major plus on the back of building a new team practically from scratch.”

Sinky heaped praise on up and coming full-back Connor Bradley for an accomplished debut on his step up from under-21 football and he also praised the hat-trick contribution of veteran front man Docherty.

He said: "I like the fact we are getting goals from all over the team but it’s always pleasing for your strikers to be getting their names on the scoresheet as with Jamie’s treble and not forgetting Dom’s goal after coming on as a substitute.

“They are on fire right now and are reaping the benefit of us playing with two wide men and asking Jamie to concentrate on getting on the end of balls coming into the penalty box because that’ s undoubtedly where his strengths lie.

"Hopefully he is on song again on Wednesday night when we face another stiff test away to Benburb in a game where we are forced into at least one change because big Mushet is unavailable.”

Doc, 32, is not unexpectedly looking forward to going up against the Bens after netting a brace when the two teams met in their Sectional League Cup opener just 10 days ago.

He said: “Our playing squad is still getting used to playing with each other but there was a noticeable improvement against St Roch's and hopefully we can do even better at New Tinto Park.

“The manager never tires of stressing the need to take one game at a time and that has always been my approach as a striker because I know from experience that scoring those goals against Benburb last time out will not help me get my name on the scoresheet come Wednesday night.

“If anything I could end up marked even more tightly by the Bens defenders but I’ll put up with that as long as someone puts the ball in the net and Arthurlie take the points.

“Our dressing room was buzzing after Saturday’s game and it’s important we keep the feel-good factor going over these early weeks of the season.”

Docherty looks certain to again form a two-pronged attacking partnership alongside former Rutherglen Glencairn midfielder McNab with ex-Senior forward Andy Barrowman expected to be sidelined for the next three weeks with a hamstring strain.

Championship results at the weekend went very much as expected other than strong-going Darvel being held to a 1-1 draw at home to an ever-improving Rossvale who had Jamie Hunter to thank for putting them 1-0 to the good at Recreation Park until a late leveller netted by Sean Fitzharris earned the home side a share of the spoils.

Cumbernauld United underlined their title credential with a resounding 3-0 success away to previously unbeaten Whitletts Vics through goals from Stefan Law, Martyn Shiels and Paul Callander while Jordan Leyden with a double and Jay McKay were on target in Rutherglen Glencairn’s 3-1 defeat of Benburb.

The early title fancies are all on the road tomorrow night with Darvel visiting the Garngad to face a wounded St Roch's while Glencairn heading down to an Ayrshire date with Whitletts and Cumbernauld making the relatively short hop to take on struggling Larkhall Thistle.