Clydebank boss Kieran McAnespie praised his ‘much-improved’ side despite watching them crash out of the Sectional League Cup to Premiership rivals Pollok on Monday night.

Nicky Little gave McAnespie’s men the lead from 12 yards in the first-half before Chris Dallas equalised for the home side - again from a spot-kick - to send the cup tie to penalties.

Del Hepburn won the first penalty after he was clattered inside the area by Jordan Longmuir with Little assuming responsibility to fire the ball home to claim his 75th goal in Clydebank colours.

Bankies created the most clear cut chances in the second-half with Lok keeper Longmuir pulling off an incredible save to deny Jordan Shelvey after a fantastic sweeping move.

With 10 minutes remaining, the hosts were awarded a penalty of their own when the ball hit the hand of Shelvey with Dallas remaining composed to fire it high beyond Marc Waters.

Despite Waters saving Chris Duff’s spot-kick to get the shootout off to a positive start, subsequent misses from Cammy McClair and Kyle Munro saw Pollok book their place in the quarter-finals of the competition.

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And while the gaffer was of course looking to progress, he admits that he’ll settle for an improved performance from his side.

McAnespie said: “Monday was more about the 90 minutes and their attitude considering how they applied themselves against Rossvale. I couldn’t make that game, but all the reports I got were putting it down to things like being outworked, and that just isn’t good enough. The minimum demand of this group of players is their maximum effort, so it was a really good response. 

“We played really well, especially in the first-half, but against the bigger teams we need to take the chances we create. The attitude and desire from absolutely every man was spot on, and by all accounts it’s night and day from the weekend. They now know the level required to compete with the top teams in the division.

“What we really need to do is find a middle ground. We’ve got an issue where we can be exceptional for three or four weeks on the bounce and then we drop our standards, but not just to an average level - it ends up being to a horrific level.

“For a club of this stature and what we’re wanting to achieve, we need to be more consistent.”

Bankies now face Troon this weekend with the gaffer adding: “All the games are tough and we’re going to be competing against a good Troon side. 

“They have a pretty strong and experienced squad. Irrespective of what happened last season, the new management down there will have them well drilled. They lost on Monday, but that means nothing.

“As long as we kick on in the right manner we’ll start seeing points on the board and start moving up the table.”

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