Buffs Batter Beith With 3-1 Victory At Abbey Park

Kilwinning Rangers 3 Beith Juniors 1

Report by Robbie Sanderson

Buffs bounced back from last week’s defeat at Rob Roy with a good performance and first half goals, two from debutant striker Kenny Hogg, to dump a lacklustre Beith side who seemed to be suffering aftereffects from their defeat at the hands of Morton in the ‘big’ Scottish Cup.

The hosts were clearly fired up by the memory of the Scottish Cup holder’s last visit and couldn’t have got off to a better start when hesitancy in the Beith defence allowed eager Kenny Hogg to step in and shoot home after the ball had been put into the box. Both sides were looking to attack via their right flanks and Beith’s Darren Christie deliver three good balls in quick succession – the first two were wasted by Kenny McLean but he stuck away the third, arriving in the box at the back post to shoot confidently past Strain.

Beith then had to replace injured Calum Watt with Richie Burke and didn’t remain level for long with Buffs winning more possession and moving the ball forward quickly they soon had the Beith defence on the back foot again.

A slick Buffs move found Brian Boylan well forward and he took on several Beith defenders, twisting and turning and with no challenge made as entered the box he time to simply toe poked the ball into the far corner past rooted keeper Grindlay.

Buffs continued to hold the upper hand and with Beith struggling Kenny Hogg bagged his second in the 24th minute when he reacted quickest to get onto another delivery into the box to head into the bottom corner at the near post from 7 yards.

The stunned visitors gradually came more into the match but they made few clear openings with Buffs well marshalled at the back by Tommy Maitland.  In fact Beith keeper Grindlay kept his side in with some sort of chance making good stops to deny Frye and then Boylan as Buffs continued to prove dangerous on the break.

There was a controversial incident before the break when Buffs keeper Adam Strain came outside his box to catch a through ball as Beith pressed. Uncertainty reigned as referee Haswell reached for a card and the goalie was visibly relieved to see only a yellow produced.

Beith had to offer more after the interval and they did seem to up the ante, winning more possession and finding their man better but forwards Christie and McLean failed to hit the target or trouble the keeper with chances and Chris Strain thwarted his old side with good stops from headers from McGlinchey and Burke.

Personnel changes did little to change Beith’s fortunes with Buffs content to spoil and protect the lead they had earned in the first half. Time slipped away without much to note other than Buffs defender Maitland being fortunate to only collect a yellow card for a cynical rugby tackle on Beith sub McGowan as he burst forward.

In the first half Buffs looked more like the exciting side they had last season and will hope to find more consistency for the crucial second half of the season. After scoring 9 in their last visit to Abbey Park Beith served up their poorest performance of their season and boss John Millar will have to help his side recover their form if they are to  live up to expectations and mount serious challenges for honours again this year.

Kilwinning: Strain, Coleman, McCloskey, Clark, Maitland, Frye, Agnew, McGuinness, Hogg, Hanvey, Boylan. Subs: Fleeting, Fulton, Cashmore, Kemp.

Beith: Grindlay, McGlinchey, McLaughlin, MacDonald, Sheridan, Wilson, Christie, Frize, McPherson, McLean, Watt. Subs: McGowan, Collins, Martin, McArthur, Burke.


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