HELENSBURGH FC bounced back from the loss of an early goal to chalk up a convincing 8-3 win away to Carradale in their first match of the new year on Saturday.

The long trip to Campbeltown proved well worth the effort for the Helensburgh squad as doubles from Keith Thomas, Scott Petro and Brooks Tadlock, allied to strikes by David Allan and Scott Findlay, saw Burgh match their biggest winning margin of the season in the Greater Glasgow Premier AFL – though they were helped by a first-half injury to the Kintyre club's first choice goalkeeper.

The visitors kicked off into a stiff wind at the Kinloch Park 3G surface, but found it difficult to get into their preferred passing game in the early stages because of the tricky conditions.

The young Carradale side were quick to close down their visitors, and it was thanks to this approach that the home side opened the scoring when a pass out of defence was intercepted, and the resulting through ball saw Carradale's striker slip the ball past Helensburgh's trialist goalkeeper.

Stung by the loss of the opening goal, Helensburgh upped the pressure and got their reward just five minutes later when Thomas levelled at 1-1 thanks to a low drive into the corner of the net.

Carradale then suffered another blow when their goalkeeper had to be taken off injured after an innocuous-looking clash with a Helensburgh striker.

And though the hosts' stand-in keeper produced a couple of fine saves shortly after taking his place between the sticks, he was unable to stop everything, and Helensburgh's attacking approach was rewarded when Petro put the visitors in front before Thomas's second made it 3-1 to the Burgh at half-time.

With the wind at their backs in the second half, Helensburgh didn't take long to move further ahead, Tadlock notching his first of the afternoon when he slid the ball past the keeper after latching on to a nice through ball by Park.

And Tadlock soon added his second, and the visitors' fifth, this time lobbing the ball over the keeper and into the net.

All credit to the home team, who never gave up, and who pulled one back before Allan finished off a slick passing move to make it 6-2 to Helensburgh.

Petro added his second and Helensburgh's seventh before Findlay rounded off the scoring for the visitors, though there was still time for Carradale to get a third back before the end – a goal they fully deserved for the fighting qualities they showed after the injury to their goalkeeper.

Helensburgh squad: Trialist, David Wilkie, Russell Makeham. Daniel Johns, Marc McNeil, D. Park, Keith Thomas, D. Black, Scott Petro, Brooks Tadlock, Steven Martin, J. Rowe, Scott Findlay, David Allan.