CAMBUSLANG Rangers boss Alan Wardlaw believes his side will learn their lesson after missing a glut of chances on Saturday and finishing up with a draw.
The Lang were on fire against Vale of Leven, running rampage against their opponents from Alexandria, tearing them open time and again in defence.
But their lack of a killer touch in front of goal proved to be so costly as a late free kick from the visitors beat keeper Kevin Montgomery to earn them a share of the spoils.
Alan said: “I’m absolutely gutted as we had more than enough chances to win it, but at the same time I’m pleased with the level of performance we put in.
“On Saturday we could have had hat-tricks for Aiden Malone, Stevie Mackie, Aiden Malone and Thomas Kilmartin
“We ran out of luck in the shooting stakes, especially Stevie Mackie. He shouldn’t be too hard on himself as he was getting himself into the right positions.
“Go back just a few weeks and we were complaining that we weren’t creating any real chances for our forwards, and then on Saturday he got himself on the end of three of them.
“He knows himself he should have done better with them, but he’ll learn from it. Sometimes, you just have to put your foot through the ball and hit it. He won’t make the same mistakes again. He’s got to keep his head up.
“This was a good performance, as we were entertaining as well, and there’s no way I would slate the players for that.
“In the first half, we both cancelled each other out for the opening 30 minutes or so, but after that, we were the ones setting the agenda.
“We could have won it quite comfortably, but with the scores sitting at 2-1 there’s always an opportunity for a banana skin later on, and unfortunately for us it came in injury time.
“At full-time we were disappointed, but the chances they made were few and far between. They got their first goal through a Graham Jaap own goal, which was very similar to the goal Celtic lost to Rennes, and then got their equaliser from a very well struck free kick.”
Alan put the result into perspective when he saw Saturday’s other scorelines.
He said: “It was a disappointing draw, but the thing we have to remember is we’ve only dropped two points. It’s not the end of the world.
“If we win our game in hand then we’re going to be back up to third or fourth place and we’ll be right back in the hunt for promotion.
“It’s a very tight league and it’s going to be a very interesting one this year. Perthshire are out in front at the moment, but if we can sustain that level of performance and be more clinical in front of goal we can be up there.
“We have every reason to be positive for the rest of the season after the way we showed we can play.”
The Lang showed their strength in depth on Saturday with the way they set out their side on Saturday.
Alan said: “Unfortunately Graham Doak failed a fitness test before kick off and we didn’t want to take a risk with him, so we shuffled things ever so slightly. It was frustrating for him as the last couple of games have been the best he’s played in a while.
“Once the game was underway we felt Jamie Macleod and Stuart Esplin were getting bullied in the middle of the park a bit, and felt we needed a more physical presence in there, so we brought in Craig Ferguson and Andy McFarlane, and looking at the bench we still had guys like Doaky there, along with Billy Stevenson with Gerry O’Connell.
“That shows how far we’ve come now, when we’re able to put guys like them on the bench.
“We’ve shown that our 3-2-3-2 formation works - there’s no reason to change it. The Vale changed things and went with three forwards, then pushed four up top for the last 10 minutes and we matched them as we went to a 4-4-2.
“I really don’t think they had that many shots on target, then they got a free kick from 20 yards which they finished well.
“They know they’ve stolen a point, but that’s football.
“Some of the guys who were maybe struggling for some form before are now getting it back, and that’s a good thing as it’s starting to make it difficult to pick the team.
“Guys like Stuart Esplin and Jamie Macleod didn’t do anything wrong on Saturday, they were just being overpowered. They haven’t been dropped for bad performances.”
This Saturday sees the Lang go back on the road, to a venue where they’ve already won in the Scottish Cup this season.
Alan said: “We’ve got Benburb away on Saturday. Last time we played them we ground out a 2-0 win in the cup. It was a tough game and we had to work for it.
“I would expect no less from them again on Saturday.
“They’ll be looking for a bit of revenge, but I believe our form has improved quite dramatically since then, and hopefully we can give them a wee surprise or two.”
The match will kick off at 1pm.