BEITH's title dreams were dealt a major blow on Saturday after being held by derby rivals Kilbirnie Ladeside.

And to compound their agony, defender Nicky Docherty is out for six to eight weeks after breaking his arm.

But Ladeside manager Mark Bradley has hit out at the decision to only book Beith player Gary Wilson in a highly eventful derby clash for a challenge on midfielder David Anderson, which resulted in him being taken off injured.

The game ended in a 0-0 draw.

Beith boss Johnny Millar told Sportscene: "Unfortunately Nicky has a broken arm. He fell awkwardly after going up for a header and will be out for six to eight weeks, which is a blow as he is an important player.

"We missed some opportunities and have now drawn seven games. It will be difficult to win the league. If two or three of the draws had been wins we would be in a better position.

"But we will keep battling away and try to win as many games as we can until the end of the season and see where that takes us."

Striker Kenny McLean is carrying a knock and is set to miss Saturday's league game at home to Glenafton Athletic.

Meanwhile Bradley was surprised referee Lloyd Wilson did not take stronger action following the challenge on Anderson.

He said: "The ball was on the ground and it was a high tackle. David Anderson injured his hip and had to be taken off. It was a shocking tackle and should have been a red card - I think the referee should have been stronger.

"That was a turning point as David was a key player and was making things happen, it was a real blow when he was taken off. It was good to take a point but would have been better to win the game."

Ladeside have a home friendly against Whitletts Vics on Saturday as they wait to find out when their final league match is away to title challengers Kirkintilloch Rob Roy.

The manager added: "We will have to go up there and win. That would take us on to 25 points and it would be up to the teams below to catch us."

New Kilwinning Rangers signing Michael Morris, meanwhile has high hopes of helping the club survive in the top flight.

Former Clydebank and Fauldhouse centre half Morris (27) played a key role in Saturday's 3-2 win at Pollok and said: "Kilwinning are a massive club and I know the standard in the Premier Division after playing there with Clydebank. The target is to stay in the league."