McBookie Premiership



THERE was little between these sides throughout this contest with a share of the points always looked on the cards.

Beith opened well playing up the slope and won two early free kicks allowing Connor McGlinchey efforts at goal that weren’t far away. Buffs then had a great chance when Beith went to sleep at a corner only for Garry Fleming to fluff his shot in the box.

Play swung from end to end with playmakers Carlo Monti and Joe Bradley heavily involved as the sides probed for openings and the latter had a decent pop from outside the box that went a yard over the bar. However Buffs were a bit sharper getting the ball forward and they got the chance to go in front in 39 minutes. The referee ruled a handball in the box where, if a hand was used, John Sheridan had no chance to get out of the way of the ball. Justice looked to be done however when Fleming shot tamely at Stephen Grindlay from the spot.

The hosts went close just before the break when a Sean McIlroy cross was headed narrowly over by in-rushing Darren Christie.

An early Keir Milliken free-kick was blocked by the defensive wall and Paul Frize fired the lose ball straight at Buffs goalie David Markey. Beith kept the pace up and Jamie Wilson smashed a 25 yard piledriver off the crossbar. Buffs were clearly rattled and another chance fell to the hosts when McIlroy got the better of a tussle with Tommy Maitland and got through but couldn’t finish, allowing Markey time to block.

Buffs weathered the storm and the match settled again into end to end bouts of play. Substitutions were also made by both sides but the defences were giving little away. Both keepers were also doing their jobs with Grindlay stopping a Monti shot and Markey turning a Christie shot past the post.

The closing stages were tense and Beith will feel upset not to have taken the points. First a scramble in the box saw a McIlroy shot hit the post and in the next move a clear handball in the Buffs box was seen by all except the referee. At the other end two corners caused danger in the Beith box before the game was ended just after Joe Bradley burst clean through on Markey but the midfielder chose to try a shot instead of rounding the keeper and the big goalie blocked with his legs.

BEITH: Grindlay, McGlinchey, Milliken, Green, Sheridan, Wilson, Christie, Frize, McIlroy, McKenzie, Bradley. Subs: Haggarty, McMahon, Noble, Ramsay, McQueen.

KILWINNING RANGERS: Markey; Hewitt, McGowan, Syme, Maitland, Fleming, Monti, Harvey, Wilson, Lewis, McCloskey. Subs: Whyte, Frye, Agnew, McWaters, McColm.