Helensburgh fell to a 3-2 defeat at home to East Kilbride Rolls Royce on Saturday in their opening group game in the President’s Cup.

hosted EKRR to the burgh on Sat as they opened the 18-19 season with the Presidents Cup group game. The teams faced each other last season in the West if Scotland Cup where the East Kilbride team came out winners in a very tight game so the local lads knew they would be up for a hard game.

The visitors started strongly and took the lead from a penalty after just five minutes following a rash tackle by Martin, despite a valiant attempt from keeper O’Brien.

a penalty five minutes into the game after rash tackle by Martin. Despite a valiant effort from O’Brien they took the lead. Buoyed by this early goal the EK team pushed forward and with the Helensburgh lads not getting to grips with the style of play it was no surprise when the visitors increased their lead.

In fact the local lads were fortunate not go into half time three down as it was down to keeper O’Brien to make an excellent save from another penalty kick after Makeham was adjudged to have brought the striker down.

With the initial system not working the coaching staff reverted to playing with a midfield four which stiffened up the team and they came more into the game. However they shot themselves in the foot when a slack pass was made from defence and the EK player intercepted, his resultant turn wrong footed the defence and he slammed the ball into the net.

Despite this setback the local team kept plugging away and were rewarded when Scott Petro found himself in space in the box and slotted the ball home.

They continued to push forward but were thwarted by solid defending until the final seconds, when Petro did get a second goal back, but it proved too little too late.

Assistant coach Russell Makeham said: “The original set up didn’t work and we got punished for it. It was changed round at half time and it was a far better performance in the second half.

“However it wasn’t enough and we will now need to see how the lads react in the upcoming group games before the start of the important league games.”

Squad: O’Brien, Makeham, Martin, Connolly, Steve Bailey, J. Bailey, Black, Stuart Bailey, Tadlock, Wilkie, Sinclair, Findlay, J. Martin, Petro, Rowe.

* Helensburgh bounced back from last Saturday's loss with a 2-1 win over another East Kilbride team, Calderglen, on Wednesday night.