EXPERIENCED defender Darren Miller returned from a two-game ban and helped inspire Irvine Meadow pull off a major shock against former club Kilwinning Rangers.

Now Miller and boss Brian McGinty are hoping for a revival in their league form.

The visitors defeated the Abbey Park hosts 3-2 in a thrilling West of Scotland Cup tie, with Miller playing a starring role in what was essentially a rearguard action against attack-minded Buffs.

Miller, playing his first game under McGinty said: "I was pretty happy to get into the team and had to show the manager what I could do. I felt if we could stay in the game long enough we could maybe get something. The style we played suited me as I play better in the air than on the deck. Stuart Hannah was excellent at the back and Con Boyle did well and came up with the winning goal.

"Kilwinning have scary pace and their striker Bryan Boylan is a real handful, you can see how he got a Scotland cap.

"The manager has made us believe in ourselves, has simplified things and has been a breath of fresh air. It was a pretty pleasing win and it's always nice to get one over your old club."

Miller is now turning his attention to Saturday's home league clash against a Kello Rovers side managed by former Meadow assistant manager John Quinn and said: "The league is bread and butter and were unlucky not to win our last league game at Cambuslang. But we are at home on Saturday and will be confident of beating Kello."

McGinty was impressed with the showing and said: "We had to be make ourselves hard to beat as Kilwinning have a lot of quality players. It was important we kept our shape to stay in the game as long as we could. If we were in it with 20 minutes to go I knew we could hurt them.

"The players have been brilliant so far. This is a result which gives the fans and players something to shout about.

"Our defending at 3-2 was brilliant. We took a risk and made a few changes but this gave everyone a chance to show what they can do. Darren Miller and Craig Buchanan did well at the back."

But he added: "We will take confidence from this but must start winning games in the league."

Buffs boss Chris Strain said: "They came with a good game plan but we made a good start then lost a poor goal and got ourselves in front but criminally we lost a goal two minutes later and the momentum swung. Possibly I chopped and changed things too much but credit to Meadow, they deserved their win.

"My disappointment is I don't feel we played with enough intensity and for a derby game that is criminal."

Buffs on Saturday face Cumnock and Strain said: "We are on a good run in the league and will be looking to bounce back with a positive result."