Helensburgh FC survived the loss of keeper Liam Hanson to injury with more than half the game left to record a gritty 3-2 win at home to South Lochaber Thistle – their 11th straight win in the Greater Glasgow Premier AFL.

Burgh started better against their fellow promotion chasers, and their early pressure paid off when captain Danny Johns headed home a Karl Johansson cross.

The visitors were rattled and soon found themselves two down when David Allan broke through, only to be taken out by the Kinlochleven side’s keeper; the referee saw fit to show only a yellow card, but Johansson fired home the resulting free kick to give Burgh their second.

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But the hosts’ momentum was interrupted when keeper Liam Hanson was forced off the field after injuring himself when coming for a cross – and with no substitute keeper available, Derek Park had to go between the sticks, leaving Burgh up against it with more than half the game to play.

Unsurprisingly Thistle tried to put pressure on the rookie keeper, and though the home defence held firm for a spell, on the stroke of half time the visitors pulled one back direct from a free kick.

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Instructed to protect their keeper and defend like Spartans in the second half, Burgh followed the plan to the letter – and in fact increased their lead when Allan beat the offside trap and slipped the ball home.

Thistle weren’t finished, and with 10 minutes left they reduced the arrears further when a cross eluded the despairing Park – but Helensburgh saw out a frantic few minutes to give themselves a huge boost for the last few games of the season.

* Helensburgh continued their winning league run with another 3-2 home victory – this time against Newshot – on May 11. Click here for the match report.