HELENSBURGH produced a superb team performance to defeat league leaders FC Baillieston 5-3 away from home on Saturday.

In one of the few amateur matches to beat the cold snap, Helensburgh maintained their unbeaten start to the new year with two goals from David Allan and one each from David Sinclair, Brooks Tadlock and Keith Thomas ensuring full points would come back home to the Burgh.

But it was the home side who started stronger, creating some really good opportunities in the first ten minutes, though fortunately for the visitors none was able to find the target.

It took Helensburgh some time to get into the game, but when they did they shocked the hosts 15 minutes in when Thomas threaded the ball through the inside of the full back, and Sinclair at full pace outstripped the defender to slip the ball past the keeper for the opening goal.

Burgh's joy, though, didn't last long, and the home side equalised within a couple of minutes after a poor clearance fell at the feet of a Baillieston player, who smashed the ball into the net.

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The game opened up as both sides probed the opposing defences, looking for the upper hand, and Helensburgh again grabbed the initiative, with Thomas, the provider of the first goal, turning scorer for the second, slamming a loose ball into the corner of the net from 18 yards out.

Once again, however, the hosts fought back, and Baillieston were level for a second time within five minutes.

An end-to-end first half saw chances created by both teams – but it was Helensburgh who moved ahead for a third time, this time with Tadlock finding the net from 20 yards.

And as the first half moved into stoppage time, Burgh moved further ahead when Allan bundled the ball over the line – but Baillieston weren't done yet, and they grabbed their own third goal moments later to keep themselves in touch at half-time.

With instructions to close down the space allowed to the Baillieston team ringing in their ears, Helensburgh went into the second half knowing they had to keep up the good work rate of the first 45 minutes – and the Burgh players rose to the challenge, bossing most of the second period and keeping the hosts away from any clear cut chances.

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In fact, Helensburgh had a number of chances to increase their lead, with first Tadlock knocking an easy opportunity over the bar and then the referee chalking off what would have been Allan's second, before pulling back play for a free kick to the visitors for a last-man tackle on Tadlock – though the Baillieston defender was only shown a yellow card, much to the surprise of those watching.

Helensburgh, however, didn't allow the pace to drop as a result of those let-downs, and the crucial eighth goal of the afternoon came the way of the visitors, Allan scoring his second with a curling shot over the outstretched arms of the Baillieston keeper.

That two-goal advantage took the pressure off the Burgh team, who safely saw out the rest of the game to ensure they remain unbeaten since the turn of the year.

Manager Sam Gemmell said afterwards: "Baillieston had only lost one game previous to this, so this was a good result for us and helps move us up the table.

"The lads were terrific and the confidence and smiles are back again.

"Importantly for me the squad is almost back to full strength, which makes it difficult with regard team selection but keeps everyone on their toes."

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Squad: Paul Cavanna, Danny Johns, Stephen Bailly, Stuart Bailey, Marc McNeil, Steven Martin, Keith Thomas, Derek Park, Dougie Black, Brooks Tadlock, Karl Johannson, Scott Findlay, David Allan, David Sinclair, Russell Makeham.

Training continues at Hermitage Academy every Wednesday at 8pm – all are welcome, if you think you can make a difference to the squad or even if you just fancy getting fitter.

Helensburgh's league campaign continues on February 9 with an away fixture against Strathclyde University, who will be out for revenge after Burgh won the last game between the sides 2-1 in December.