HELENSBURGH manager Sam Gemmell has heaped praise on his players for coping with a tough end-of-season schedule after his troops played themselves right into the promotion hunt with a remarkable 12th league win in a row.

Following a 3-2 win at home to South Lochaber Thistle last Wednesday night, Burgh triumphed by the same score against Newshot on Saturday – their second win by the odd goal in five against the Renfrew side in the space of eight days.

Reflecting on his players' workload after watching them play a sixth game in just two-and-a-half weeks, the Helensburgh boss said: “Over the past few weeks we have played a lot of football in a short space of time and in each game we seem to lose someone else through injury.

“But the replacements have stepped up and them along with the regulars have produced some monumental performances.

“Professionals moan about playing too much football, but these guys are doing this on the back of finishing work for the day and then running their lungs out for 90 minutes – and having to pay for the privilege of it at the same time.”

READ MORE: Battling Burgh beat South Lochaber Thistle for 11th straight league win

With goalkeeper Liam Hanson out injured due to a ruptured Achilles, Ronnie Eskdale was in goal for the clash with Newshot, while young James Cameron stepped in up front.

Helensburgh came closest in the opening stages, but Newshot took the lead when a a long throw caught out Eskdale, the keeper only managing to help push the ball into the net.

But the big keeper didn’t let that get him down, and he produced two good saves to prevent Newshot increasing their lead.

Helensburgh levelled after 20 minutes, Gerraint Meader heading home a terrific Johansson corner – and with their tails up it wasn’t long before the hosts took the lead, Allan’s running shot deceiving the keeper to find the corner of the net.

READ MORE: Inspired Helensburgh fight back from 2-0 down to win away to Newshot

The second half was largely dominated by the two midfields as both defences stood firm – but a huge slice of luck enabled Newshot to level at 2-2, when another huge throw deceived everyone and appeared to bounce straight into the net, the referee clearly seeing a touch on the way which no-one on the Helensburgh side spotted.

Stung by the loss of that goal, the home team tried to press forward – and their positive approach was rewarded in spectacular style when Ryan Jones picked up possession 30 yards from goal and unleashed a thunderbolt of a strike that flew into the top right corner of the net.

Jones nearly did it again five minutes later, only for the Newshot keeper to pull off a fine save; Allan followed up to put the rebound into the net, but the referee disallowed the goal for offside.

READ MORE: Allan hat-trick helps Helensburgh beat Boswell 4-3

Cameron then had a chance to seal the win, but with only the keeper to beat, his nerve failed him at the crucial moment and the Newshot custodian was able to make another good stop.

With time ticking down Helensburgh had a late scare when a Newshot effort struck the foot of the post – but the ball bounced to safety, and with it the visitors’ last chance of denying Burgh all three points.

* Helensburgh extended their winning run to an incredible 13 matches with a late 2-1 win at home to GSC Jordanhill on Wednesday night – keep an eye on this site for the match report.