HELENSBURGH continued their winning start to the new year with a 4-1 victory over Westerlands on Saturday in their first home fixture of 2019.

Looking to build on the previous week's 8-3 win away to Carradale, Helensburgh started strongly, taking the game to their opponents from the off with an adventurous 4-3-3 formation.

And their attacking approach paid dividends within the first five minutes as Wilkie played an inviting ball in behind the right back for Petro to chase.

The Westerlands keeper read the danger and raced outside his area to meet the Burgh striker his challenge, causing the ball to loop into the air – and as it dropped Tadlock met it with a sweetly timed right foot volley from 30 yards which sailed over the stranded keeper and retreating defenders into the net.

READ MORE: Helensburgh start 2019 with 8-3 win away to Carradale

Burgh didn’t rest on their laurels, though, and continued to assert themselves, with the midfield trio of Thomas, Park and Black harrying their counterparts into errors, moving the ball quickly and pushing up to support the front three.

It was no surprise when Burgh doubled their lead 16 minutes in; Tadlock headed against the post when he maybe should have scored, however Johns was on hand to follow up and bundle the ball home from close range.

At this point the home team were in total control and looked like they might put the game out of reach before half time. Tadlock and Sinclair both had half chances to make it 3-0 but the visitors hung in doggedly and, to their credit, started to control possession.

Just after the half hour mark their resilience was rewarded when one of their left midfielders cut in from the wing and hit a speculative right foot shot from just outside the penalty box which appeared to take a late dip before sneaking in just under O’Brien’s crossbar.

This had a visible, positive impact on the Westerlands team and the rest of the first half was evenly contested though neither side created any chances of real substance.

READ MORE: Late fightback sees Helensburgh return to winning ways

The second half started with Westerlands pressing for an equaliser, but the Burgh defence held firm; Johns was winning everything in the air, and Baillie was the epitome of composure intercepting danger when it arose.

Burgh freshened things up shortly before the hour mark with Allan and Bailey introduced to the fray, and the substitutions, allied to a change to a 4-4-2 formation, saw the home side regain control and they forced a series of corners without reward.

The pace of Allan and Sinclair on the flanks was causing the visitors problems, but at this point Burgh were being restricted to long-range efforts on goal.

With 15 mins left assistant manager Davie Boxall brought on Rowe and Findlay – and his decision paid off almost immediately as Burgh pressed forward down the left and Allan put in a low cross to the back post where Findlay side footed the ball home from close range.

Whilst Burgh celebrated Westerlands were reduced to ten men as one of their men picked up a second yellow for dissent.

After this Burgh took control and deservedly added a fourth with eight minutes to go; Park won the ball in central midfield and played in Allan who calmly advanced before chipping the ball past the onrushing keeper.

Burgh saw out the last few minutes with ease ensuring three points that see them rise to seventh in the table.

Boxall said afterwards: “It was a satisfying win and a job well done by the lads. We started and finished strongly. Good, hard work and dig got us through a sticky spell in the middle.

"We have now started to pick up the form that we had last season and with some big league games coming up in the next few weeks we’ll need to it to continue."