Evening Times

It’s Reid all about it as Beith star is at double

- By JIM O’DONNELL

IN-FORM striker Andy Reid was Beith’s matchwinne­r as they kept up their winning ways with a hard-fought 2-1 defeat of Rob Roy.

He bagged both his side’s goals to maintain their unbeaten record i n this season’s league campaign and, even more crucially, move the Ayrshireme­n three points clear of Pollok atop the Super Premier standings ... with a game in hand to boot.

It was anything but a topnotch performanc­e from Johnny Miller’s men, but the spoils went their way thanks in no small part to having arguably the best players afield in skipper Brian ‘Sniffer’ McKeown, veteran defender Derek McCulloch and Reid.

The deadly hitman would surely be first to admit he profited greatly from the extra space afforded to him by the half-time introducti­on of lively Beith substitute Kenny McLean.

The former Morton man’s pace and movement caused the Rabs rearguard to look decidedly uncomforta­ble and they were all over the place when the visitors got their noses in front five minutes into the second half.

An inswinging John Spence corner kick was cleverly headed down by McCulloch and Reid reacted first in a crowded area to poke the ball home from close range.

The tall frontman’s second strike came shortly afterwards when he and McLean combined to leave him in possession wide on the left flank from where he cut inside before despatchin­g a well-struck drive from fully 25 yards that found the net with home goalkeeper Kevin Bell looking at fault.

Changes of their own, most notably replacing Brian Mackay with Dean Muir to allow the flying Grant Anders on to revert to his favoured left-wing beat, led to Rob Roy finishing strongly and pulling a goal back through an 18-yard Gary Carberry effort with five minutes left to play.

But it was to prove no more than a consolatio­n score as Beith ran out victors for the fifth week on the spin. BACKROOM team coach Ian Ashcroft said: “On current form I would reckon Sniffer is the best midfield player around bar none and he must be a racing certainty to get picked for Junior Scotland this season.

“He was a real inspiratio­n and drove the team on when one or two guys were looking out of sorts.

“It wasn’t one of our better performanc­es so to get all three points from one of the most difficult away games on the fixture list is a huge bonus.

“It’s a delight to be top of the table, but everyone will be gunning for us and we’ll need to up the ante in order to stay there.”

His team’s failings at either end of the park were the focus of Rabs co-boss John Richardson in his post-match summation.

He said: “Grabbing the first goal always looked likely to prove a telling factor and we paid the price for some slack marking in allowing Reid to score.

“His second was even more of a nightmare from a defensive aspect, though all credit to him for getting a well-struck shot on target.

“Probably the most galling thing of all is that earlier on both Stephen McGowan and Craig Feroz had passed up clear-cut scoring opportunit­ies because I believe the game was ours for the taking if we’d gone 1-0 up.

“But then mistakes in either penalty b ox have been the story of our season so far.

“We play good football and match up well against any team but all too often let ourselves down in the crunch 18-yard areas by missing chances or failing to cut out crosses.

“And seeing as most games are won or lost in penalty boxes then we really need to develop a ruthless streak or else it’s going to be a long season.”

Rob Roy’s defeat leaves them hovering just above the Super Premier basement area which drew ever nearer to them following weekend victories for Bellshill and Lanark United. PROBABLY the biggest surprise was Danny Drew’s men taking the spoils by a 3-1 scoreline away to third-top Largs Thistle to rack up their first league win of the season.

And it was a resounding triumph with David Fry, Gary Fleming and a Paul Mullen og puting Hill 3-0 ahead prior to Largs midfielder Gordon Lappin’s free-kick consolatio­n.

Petershill’s slump in form continued at home to Lanark, for whom David McGuire and Grant Cuthill bagged secondhalf goals, while goalkeeper Allan Creer ensured a 2-0 win through saving a late spot-kick from Kieron McAleenan.

Elsewhere, Ayrshire clubs notched up a hat-trick of successes on the road in the Emirates Junior Cup.

Cup holders Auchinleck Talbot eased through with a 4-1 away win over Girvan with Craig Pettigrew, James Latta(2) and Stuart Davidson on target.

At Dundonald Bluebell, Annbank United won 5-2, while Irvine Meadow ran up a 5-0 scoreline in Aberdeen against Hillhead thanks to goals from Richie Barr ( 2 ) , Davie Hamilton, John Paul Boyle and Emilio Jaconelli.

 ?? Picture: Nick Ponty ?? Andy Reid (right) grabbed two goals as Beith beat Rob Roy to go top of the Super Premier
Picture: Nick Ponty Andy Reid (right) grabbed two goals as Beith beat Rob Roy to go top of the Super Premier

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