Bute’s first team came closer to breaking their duck in the Marine Harvest National Division than at any point this season on Saturday - but they were still left empty-handed after losing out by the odd goal in five to their Glasgow visitors.
The island side got off to a disappointing start when Innes McMillan’s angled drive from long range squirmed past Bute keeper Kevin Queen at his near post, the hosts’ skipper beaten by an unlucky bounce as the ball bore down on goal.
And with Bute still looking sluggish in midfield, the visitors doubled their advantage with 20 minutes on the clock, Craig Anderson scoring in similar fashion to McMillan, with a long-range effort which again required a wicked bounce to beat Queen.
Fortunately for Bute’s supporters, any fears that the floodgates might open were allayed within three minutes of that second goal when James Craig’s effort from distance was stopped by Mid Argyll keeper Jonathon Oates, only for Chris McGowan to knock the rebound into the net.
Despite that goal, though, Bute were second-best for much of the first half, and coach David McVey had some choice words for his charges in the half-time huddle.
And though Bute started the second half in a more positive fashion, eight minutes after the restart a horrible mix-up in defence allowed Andy Mathie to re-establish the visitors’ two-goal lead.
Midway through the second half McVey moved the returning David Whitelaw into the forward line from full back, with Graham Fisher dropping back in his place - and the tactical switch had the desired effect almost immediately, with Whitelaw’s tireless running putting the GMA defenders straight on to the back foot.
With quarter of an hour to play, Whitelaw set up a grandstand finish when he slammed home a penalty awarded after Mid Argyll’s Nick Lavin was forced into a kick inside the D - but despite their best efforts, including three attempts on goal by Whitelaw which either flew narrowly wide or were well stopped by the ever-alert Oates, Bute were unable to fashion the equaliser thei rlate rally might have just about deserved.