DEMANDING Troon FC boss Jim Kirkwood said tough love helped his players produce one of their most important results of the season.

Troon went into Saturday's home Super League First Division clash with Darvel still hurting after the shock Scottish Junior Cup defeat against Yoker.

Kirkwood urged them to give him a response and they certainly delivered, edging to a 2-1 victory to further boost their promotion hopes.

The boss said: "We were quite hard on the guys in training - they were really disappointed with their performance in the Scottish Cup. We asked them for a response and it was important to bounce back."

He added: "The guys really responded and I was delighted. We didn't play too well in the first half but we were totally dominant in the second and could have won even more easily had we taken our other chances.

"It was a good win and we look forward to the game at home to Renfrew on Saturday. We played them twice in the Scottish Cup and drew the first game and won the replay so we will be looking to take three points."

The Seasiders manager, in his second spell at Portland Park added: "If we can win on Saturday and take three points at Irvine Meadow the following week we would reach 27 points before Christmas and that would be title-winning form."