Beith Juniors FC: Match Reports: Irvine Meadow 2 Beith Juniors 3 - Match Report from Robbie Sanderson

Saturday, November 24
Irvine Meadow 2 Beith Juniors 3 - Match Report from Robbie Sanderson

                                     Irvine Meadow 2 Beith Juniors 3

Irvine: Wardope, McKeever, N McGowan, C McGowan, Campbell, Kinniburgh, Hamilton,
Turner, Parker, Strain, Halliday. Subs: Gibson, Reeder, Brighton, McLennan,
Hewitt  (gk)
Beith: Strain, McShane, Wilson, Wild, Sheridan, Docherty, Lang, Hardie, McLean,
Reid, McGowan. Subs: Mackie, Finnegan, Howarth, Craig, Crozier, Greenwood (gk)

Both North Ayrshire sides came into this clash desperately seeking 3 points to
spark their less than inspiring start to the league campaign that has them
looking at the bottom of the table rather than the top.

The sides traded corners in the opening period before Meadow carved out the
first goal scoring opportunity when Chris Strain burst through and forced Adam
Strain to pull off a good save to push the ball behind. Beith looked the
brightest of the two sides however and they forged the lead after 19 minutes.
Beith built an attack down the left and from a fine Gary Wilson pass Kenny
McLean forced Wardrope to save but the little striker pounced on the loose ball
to cut back for Andy Reid to ram the ball home.

The home side tried to respond quickly and from a cleared corner Gareth Turner
fired in a decent effort that Strain was forced to touch over. Kenny McLean's
pace was causing Meadow problems and he burst through on the right onto a Lang
pass and surged into the box showing great strength and composure before
shooting past Wardrope. The goal scorer was injured in a challenge in the move
and Beith were forced to replace him with Chris Mackie on the half hour mark.

The change seemed to knock the visitors out of their stride and the defending
champions got themselves back in the match when centre back Mark Campbell rose
above the Beith defence to head a Halliday corner powerfully past Adam Strain.
Meadow kept up the pressure but the Beith defence proved resolute and efforts
from Strain and Chris McGowan failed to trouble the Beith keeper allowing the
visitors to get in for the break with their noses in front.

The visitors tightened up in midfield after the restart and they missed a great
opportunity to extend their lead when, fortunately for Meadow, the ball seemed
to get stuck under Andy Reid's feet in front of goal when he got on the end of a
fine Mackie cross.
Chances were being made by both sides but Meadow found Beith keeper Adam Strain
in fine form, producing a fine save to deny Chris Strain while Beith cursed
their luck when a Mackie shot on the turn came back off the post. Another goal
looked on the cards and it was the visitors that grabbed it when David McGowan
stabbed home a loose ball after Meadow failed to clear a whipped in Gary Wild
free kick into the box.

Meadow rejigged their side to try and claw their way back into the game but it
was the visitors who created the better opportunities with Chris Mackie's
strength up front giving the home defence little respite. However the big
striker missed a glorious chance to seal the points for his side when he missed
the target, shooting wide from outside the box when he could have went in closer
after Any Reid had robbed the ball from Mark Campbell.

Meadow were finding little with time running out and in a rare opening Strain
again did his job stopping a Kieran Parker shot comfortably. Beith's Calum
Hardie was delivering some fine crosses and Andy Reid thought he had scored only
to see his header bounce off the post with Wardrope beaten. Meadow didn't throw
in the towel however and pulled a goal back right on time when Willie Kinniburgh
headed home at the back post from a quickly taken corner.

The visitors deserved their victory and will hope to continue to climb the table
with a freshness about their play under new boss Frank Lynch. Meadow and Chris
Strain on the other hand look to have some problems to solve and the proverbial
mountain to climb to retain their title.

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