By Stewart McConnell

Pictures: Ross MacKenzie

BUOYANT Buffs blasted back from a two-goal deficit to snatch a point against the champions.

The result snapped a two-game losing streak for Chris Strain’s team and whets the appetite for the Macron Scottish Junior Cup tie between the sides here at Abbey Park on September 29.

Beith came close in four minutes when home goalie Adam Strain made great blocks from Paul Frize and Joe Bradley. However from the resultant corner-kick John Sheridan headed the ball on to Peter Haggerty to hook it home from eight yards.

A shot into the box by Conner McGlinchey was blocked by a Buffs defender in 12 minutes.

The Mighty carved out another opportunity in 22 minutes when Keir Milliken sent an audacious 30-yard chip just over the bar.

Mark Curragh saw his effort from outside the box blocked by a Beith defender in 24 minutes and from the resultant -corner kick was headed over the bar by Liam McGuinness. A 10-yard shot from Ben Lewis was easily saved by Stephen Grindlay two minutes later.

However in 29 minutes Beith doubled their lead when McGlinchey sent a shot from the edge of the box beyond Adam Strain, who should have done better.

The home side pulled a goal back in 35 minutes when Carlo Monti shot home from inside the box.

Buffs’ on-loan Kilmarnock teenager Ewan McLevy had a shot blocked from the edge of the box in 43 minutes.

Tommy Maitland made a vital clearance for Buffs eight minutes later.

Visiting goalie Stephen Grindlay beat Garry Fleming to the ball on the edge of the box in 53 minutes.

Buffs came so close two minutes later when a scissors kick from 12 yards by Mark Curragh was well handled by Grindlay.

The hosts were awarded a penalty on the hour when Lewis was sent tumbling by Jamie Wilson, with Paul Frize given a second yellow card for mouthing. However Tommy Maitland’s spot-kick was saved by Grindlay.

Lewis saw his effort from the edge of the box blocked by a Beith defender in 75 minutes as Buffs battled for a second.

Johnny Miller’s men had a good opportunity in 76 minutes when a 14-yard lob from Milliken was well handled by Strain.

However in 77 minutes a wonder goal made it 2-2 as wideman Monti sent home an unstoppable effort from the edge of the box.

Double hero Monti sent a free-kick narrowly wide from 20 yards three minutes late as it ended deadlocked.

KILWINNING RANGERS: Strain; McLevy, McCloskey, Maitland, Whyte, Fleming, Monti, McGuinness, M Curragh, Lewis, Wardrope. Subs: Nisbet, Pettigrew, E Curragh, Morrison.

BEITH: Grindlay; Docherty, Noble, McDonald, Sheridan, Wilson, Haggerty, Frize, Milliken, McGlinchey, Bradley. Subs: Docherty, Middleton, McLean, McLaughlin, Christie.

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