YOKER Athletic’s unbeaten start to life in Conference C came to a shuddering halt with a 3-1 defeat to Thorniewood on Saturday – ending a forgettable week for the Holm Park club.

Three days prior to the trip to Lanarkshire the club revealed they had been ordered to forfeit their match against Drumchapel United on November 7, which they had asked to be rearranged after one of the Whe Ho’s players tested positive for Covid-19.

Following that positive test, Yoker officials opted to cancel that week’s training sessions to await the outcome of other players’ own tests – making for far-from-ideal preparations for the trip to Lanarkshire.

A Yoker spokesperson told the Post this week: “The health and wellbeing of our players, management and staff is always paramount.

“After a number of Zoom meetings and phone calls over that weekend the decision was made to call off this week’s training until these players’ test results came back and we had all the information we could to ensure it was safe for them to resume training and playing.”

Unsurprisingly Yoker looked rusty in the early stages on Saturday – and Thorniewood took full advantage, roaring into a 2-0 lead in the first 20 minutes.

Greig Barr’s header reduced the deficit on the half-hour, before Jon Scullion’s strike was deflected past the home keeper by Ross McDonald – only for the referee to rule McDonald was offside.

To rub salt into the wound, the home side broke upfield from the free kick and re-established their two goal lead just before the interval – and despite heavy second half pressure from Yoker, and several outstanding saves by the Thorniewood keeper, that was the way it stayed until full time at Robertson Park.

Yoker’s squad returned to training on Monday night ahead of a long trip south to face Newton Stewart this Saturday, November 21, in the second round of the Soccer Shop Challenge Cup.

Yoker’s spokesman added: “Everyone at the club is privileged that we are able to continue to play and participate in the sport we love.

“We are aware we wouldn’t have been able to do this without amazing support from our sponsors and fans who have bought tickets online through donatea ticket.com and kept money coming in to the club in other ways.

“Your support and love for the club is outstanding and everyone at the club from the committee down are so grateful for that support.”