BEITH Juniors boss Chris Strain says his side are "ready for the run in" after picking up a vital win in their bid to retain their league crown.

The Mighty defeated Clydebank 2-1 at Bellsdale Park, bringing to an end the visitor's eight match unbeaten run in the West of Scotland Football League Premier Division.

The Garnock Valley side bounced back from what would have been considered a blip in their own form - having failed to win in either of their previous two league matches.

Ex-Bankie Evan Dunne gave Beith the lead little over five minutes before half-time before Aaron Mason’s strike made it 2-0 with 10 minutes left to play - despite the home side having gone down to 10 men around the hour mark when Danny O’Neill picked up a second yellow.

Craig Truesdale netted for Clydebank on 87 minutes to make for a nervy end to the match, but Beith held out to secure all three points.

The victory takes Beith to within nine points of their opponents - who lead the league at present - though the Mighty have five games in hand on Gordon Moffat's side.

Bellsdale Park boss Strain looked to play down the significance of the win itself - though admitted the three points were much needed.

He told the Herald: “Three points is three points regardless of who it is against but in terms of the league, due to games played, Clydebank could have opened up a significant gap on ourselves.

“There was pressure on us and we did really well against a team bang in form.

“It was a good win for us and pleasing to bounce back from a substandard performance the previous week.

“We did well in front of a big crowd and conditions were really tough but I thought it was the right result based on the way the game played out."

Strain was also pleased with how his side managed to play despite going down to 10 men - adding their second 20 minutes after O'Neill's dismissal.

He added: “Going down to 10 men is something you get used to in the modern game and you prepare for it.

“We made changes so that we could remain an attacking threat and thankfully it paid off.

“It was a physical game and our bench made a huge contribution to the outcome. That’s pleasing as it shows we are all together despite players being disappointed not to start matches."

Now the Beith boss is preparing for what will be a tough title run in, with fixtures likely to come thick and fast with the Garnock Valley outfit having only just played the first half of their league fixtures.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Chris Strain was pleased to pick up three points against an in-form Clydebank.Chris Strain was pleased to pick up three points against an in-form Clydebank. (Image: Stephen Kerr)

Strain said: “The result means there are about 6/7 teams now in the hunt. Once the disparity in the matches played evens out, we’ll know who’s in contention.

“Clydebank are still in a very strong position though however I think the league will go down to the wire with many, many twists and turns to come."

Strain is also pleased to now have all of his players available at this vital time in the season.

He added: “We need to show consistency of performance. We’ve a full squad for the first time in a long time so there will be real competition for places. That drives standards.

"It was great to have Paul Frize back at the weekend. He’s been out for 10 weeks and we have missed his presence on the pitch. Sometimes a player is valued more when he’s not in the team.

“We’re ready for the run in and we’ll need everyone fit to help keep everyone fresh during the run in.”