Beith saw off a 'second half storm' from Largs to chalk up a comfortable 4-1 win over Largs Thistle at Bellsdale Park on Wednesday night.

Ciaran Diver scored an impressive hat-trick, and a late own goal added further shine to the scoreline for Beith, while Largs were unhappy about their defending on the evening.

Beith boss Chris Strain said: "I think we played well. We dominated the first half, and got our noses in front and we rode a storm when  Largs came back into it and scored.

"In the end, we took the game away from them and thoroughly deserved the three points.

"Ciaran Diver is on fire. He has been scoring goals and it was great to see him get a hat-trick as he has been working hard.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Ciaran Diver celebratesCiaran Diver celebrates (Image: Stephen Kerr)

"I think it was a real team performance - it is tough when you are playing Saturday and midweek because players have to work, so it was good to win.

"The big aspect behind the win was hard work. That is the real difference, and we have worked hard over 90 minutes, and deserve to get the points just based on our endeavours.

"It is not based on outstanding skill - big Diver scored the goals after good moves - but I am mainly pleased with the endeavour.

"I wasn't happy with the Scottish Cup performance against Carnoustie [which Beith won 2-1], but we dug out the result. 

"I don't think we played well, but we put in an improved display versus Largs, scoring a variety of goals including one from a set-piece which is pleasing.

League champions Beith, who face a South of Scotland Challenge Cup first round cup trip to Ardeer on Saturday, have started the season in impressive form.

Strain added: "We have won four out of four to begin with, and our aim is to keep the momentum going, and see where it takes us."

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

Largs Thistle coach Andy Scott said: "We can't defend the way we are defending. We are giving away too many easy goals, and we even gave Beith a chance within 30 seconds of kick-off.

"I felt we got into our stride and then we lost a cheap goal, which I think we should be doing better with, and the boys know that.

"It is a free kick and the boy is getting treatment for it. We have had three to four minutes to set up for it, and Beith score with a free header.

"With breaks of the ball, it has not been happening - hitting the bar, and having a few chances - but we need to get back to basics and defend better.

"I thought when we pulled the goal back, we were going to take the game to them, and we had a wee bit of pressure - but that three minute break of play killed the game and we handed them the third goal.

"Joe Wilton made a real top save from the free-kick, and another good save, but we are being cut open too easily, and we need to go back to making the right decisions.

"I have no doubt that this group of players are good enough. We just need to get things moving in the right direction. Sometimes it just takes a wee spark - the subs, Jamie Martin and Liam Lapsley, made a difference, and Darryl Duffy nearly scored.

"There is much more to come from us, but at this moment we are conceding too many and it is not wonder strikes - it is mistakes that can be easily stopped by a wee bit more concentration and talking more.

"Our organisation is normally spot on, and we are playing the majority of games with a fast flowing style; I am sure we will be fully concentrated on getting the three points on Saturday against Arthurlie."

Wednesday night's result maintained Beith's 100 per cent start to the season, with a full house of 12 points from their first four matches, putting them one clear of Hurlford.

Largs, by contrast, lie third from bottom with four points from five games, alongside Auchinleck and Irvine Meadow and three points ahead of newly-promoted Gartcairn.