PORT Glasgow United ace Ross Kearns believes amateur football has been 'unfairly punished' after the club missed out on the chance to play in their first cup final.

United were preparing to face Shawbridge in the Chairmen's Cup final last week before Scottish Government restrictions saw amateur football across the central belt shelved for a fortnight.

Kearns has been left frustrated that other leagues - including the West of Scotland and Lowland leagues - were given exemptions to play on despite clubs like United following the same safety guidelines.

He told the Tele: "It’s been a major disappointment because we're following the same protocols as other leagues, but it seems to be amateur football has been punished.

"The club has been doing everything it can to maintain a safe place for players, managers and the committee to go to football and be safe.

"The West of Scotland teams aren't testing as well, but the amateur game has been hit hardest.

"It affects many people in Inverclyde as there are a lot of amateur teams in the area.

"It would be good to get some answers as to why it's just the amateurs that are being affected.

"We're not saying 'we should be playing'. We're just a bit confused by the inconsistency."

Kearns has scored six goals en-route to the final, as United, who play in the Strathclyde Saturday Morning Amateur Football League, saw off Gleniffer, Real McCoy, Barshaw and St Peter's to set up the showdown with Shawbridge.

With no rearranged date confirmed, Kearns hopes the latest lockdown hasn't put their chances of silverware in jeopardy.

He said: "The first week we go back United and Shawbridge both have a free week so we could play it then, but there are no guarantees we'll be back playing football by then.

"We were meant to start the league season on October 24. Now it's November 7 but everything is a bit sketchy.

"The club has been going for five years, so getting to a first cup final is major achievement for everybody. The whole squad is buzzing for it.

"We beat St Peter's in the semi-final a week before lockdown and I scored two, which was terrific, but the final didn't come to fruition."