McBookie Super League Premier Division



AFTER a promising start to their league campaign Beith’s recent slump continues with another home loss from a match that they really should have taken something from, despite a less than inspiring display.

Boss Johnny Millar continues to have personnel restrictions with midfield choices particularly limited. The visitors arrived with a good record at Bellsdale and were also boosted by skipper Gary McMenamin’s return from injury.

The hosts made a good start playing down the slope but failed to make the breakthrough with Thomas Collins failing to convert a great opportunity, heading a Richie Burke cross over in front of goal with only the goalie to beat.

The visitors tend to set up to compete wholeheartedly for every ball and play on the counter- attack and they did so again in this game, collecting a couple of early yellow cards in challenges weathering the early pressure.

A deflected shot from Tommy Martin was well saved by Roy keeper McNeil in 25 minutes and from there his side went up the park to be awarded a soft free-kick 22 yards out. allowing midfielder Lee Gallacher to step up and find the net via the underside of the crossbar with a fine measured shot.

Beith set about the recovery task and continued to have more possession of the ball but clear chances were elusive and until some serious pressure before the break the only notable effort on goal was a Darren Christie shot that cleared the bar at the end a fine move.

Beith mounted some serious pressure in the last five minutes of the half but failed to find the net with John Sheridan heading over from a corner followed by a big miss when Thomas Collins hit the post from close in from a Christie cut back when a goal looked certain.

The hosts started the second half well but the Rabs were clearly determined to protect their lead and they somehow survived a goalmouth scramble following a Beith corner before Christie passed up a great opportunity when he dallied when through on the keeper, allowing MacKenzie time to clear off the goal line.

With a real spark missing the feeling was growing that it was going to be one of those days and Millar clearly felt the same so he quickly made changes and took a gamble going three at the back in an attempt to find a goal. The Rabs battled for every ball and continued to rely on counter-attacks to relieve the pressure as they stuck doggedly to their task with McMenamin supplying composure to the hard working back line.

Visiting goalie Steven McNeil looked less than convincing on a few occasions but got down well to turn a Nicky Docherty shot past the post as time wore on. Luck also wasn’t on Beith’s side either when sub Mark McLaughlin remained forward in the last minutes and he manufactured an overhead shot which looked to have beaten the keeper but dipped inches over the bar.

BEITH: Docherty; MacDonald, Sheridan, Martin, Christie, Frize, Collins, Milliken, Burke. Subs: McPherson, R Docherty, Cunningham, McLaughlin, Digney.

ROB ROY: McNeil; Walker, MacKenzie, McMenamin, Morris, Slattery, Gallacher, Fraser, Carroll, Watt, Mackie. Subs: Sawyers, Hughes, Johnstone, McCulloch, Connell.