Beith Juniors FC: Match Reports: Arthurlie 4 Beith Juniors 1

Tuesday, November 13
Arthurlie 4 Beith Juniors 1
Macklin, McKeown, Crawford, Merriman, Merrilees, Muir, Dallas, McGregor, Dymock, Marks, McAleer
Subs Shepherd, Stewart, McKay, Deas, Walker
Strain, Wild, Docherty, Wilson, Sheridan, Lang, Irvine, Hardie, Mackie, McLean, McGeown
Subs Greenwood, Cairns, Howarth, Finnigan
Beith's were sent further into the relegation mire with another poor performance despite starting well for the second week in a row. Arthurlie were well on top but in truth didn't have to work too hard for their victory.
Missing from the Beith starting lineup were Marc McShane and Andy Reid and the industry and guile of Andy Reid were especially missed going forward.
The away side started well and should have taken an early lead when McGowan shot over from almost on the goaline after latching on to a shot from Calum Hardie when it looked easier to score. Lang and Hardie were also given chances from free kicks but wasted both with Chris Mackie seeming especially angry at not being allowed to take the second free kick.
On the 15 minute mark Beith took the lead when a cross come shot from Nick Docherty on the touchline took a wicked deflection off Arthurlie centre half Merriman's head taking it past the unlucky Macklin in the Arthurlie goal.
Beith were continuing to put pressure on the Arthurlie defence and had shot from Lang just wide and then Hardie did the same after some nice passing play from Docherty and the increasingly frustrated McLean.
Just as Beith were starting to show some form Arthurlie struck a goal against the run of play after they were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box. The Beith defence totally switched off and when the ball was passed to Merilees who was standing on his own he powerfully struck the ball home.
For the rest of the first half the home side were on top and midfielder Muir had a couple of shots from outside the box which went just wide and then the second was well saved by keeper Strain.
It looked as though the teams would go in level only for Arthurlie to go ahead right on half time. Again the Beith defence switched off and when the ball was played to ex-Kilbirnie forward Marks just inside the box he thumped it home to make it 2-1.
The game was clinched just into the second half when Beith had an excellent chance to make it 2-2 when Mackie hit the post from a Docherty cross only for a long clearance from the Lie goalkeeper to land at the feet of the excellent McAleer who ran into the box and slotted the ball home expertly.
Although Beith had a couple of chances after this it was easy to see that the wind had been knocked out of them and they didn't have any belief that they could get back into the match.
The away side then appeared to lose their discipline when they picked up five yellow cards in the space of 15 minutes including Lang, Hardie and Mackie who were all booked at the same incident after a bad tackle by Lang and the other two made their opinions all too clear to the referee.
Arthurlie introduced their three subs who gave them fresh impetus and saw them further on top and were unlucky not to add more goals to what was an increasingly bad day for Beith.
As the match entered the last 5 minutes Arthurlie added a fourth goal when substitute Tiny Stewart shot home from just inside the box after good work by the Arthurlie midfield.
Beith's bad day was completed in the last minute when Gary Wilson was sent off for a second yellow card after a foul on Marks who appeared to make the most of the challenge and goalkeeper Strain became the seventh Beith player to receive a yellow card after running about 30 yards to argue with the ref about the sending off.
It is looking increasingly likely that Beith will be involved in a relegation dogfight and it is clear that the players will need to fight harder to get the points required to stay up. Both sides move onto the Scottish Cup next week and Beith's opponents Sauchie also suffered a bad defeat losing 3-0 to Linlithgow. Beith fans will be hoping that they can lift their performance for this game

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