A DISPUTED second-half penalty prevented Rabs from leaving a windswept Bellsdale Park with a deserved point.
Rob Roy............. 1
West of Scotland Premier League
With the howling wind and driving rain making conditions difficult for both sides early chances were few and far between and it was 20 minutes before a real goal opportunity arose with Gormley heading a Coakley cross wide. Then minutes later the striker was adjudged to be offside when in a scoring position.
Playing with the elements at their backs, Rabs looked the more likely to score with Coakley having a powerful shot blocked before Beith keeper Greenwood saved a low Lindsay drive.
At the other end Robertson did well to block a McLean shot. On the half-hour mark Gormley was unlucky not to make contact with a driven McLachlan cross.
Five minutes before the interval Rabs skipper Alan Lindsay was forced to retire injured to be replaced by recent on-loan signing Steven Bennett. McLachlan ensured that the sides went in at the interval level by making a goalmouth clearance as Beith threatened.
Gormley spurned a glorious chance to put the visitors ahead a minute into the second half when – in front of goal – he hammered the ball wide.
In the 56th minute, Rabs suffered a further injury blow when central defender Donnelly limped off with a hamstring injury with Cairney taking over.
Playing with wind advantage Beith were now dangerous going forward, with both Smith and Cairney clearing Hardie’s crosses for corner kicks. The Ayrshire side took the lead in the 72nd minute when McGrath broke down the right wing before sending a low pass across goal to Fraser who knocked the ball home.
Beith were then awarded a soft penalty when McLean went down in the box. There seemed no contact on the striker by Smith and no appeals for a spot-kick, but referee Burns gave the penalty.
McLean converted the kick easily to put his side two ahead.
Rabs pulled a goal back in the 82nd minute when Doyle latched onto a Coakley head flick to fire the ball past Greenwood.
Beith were reduced to 10 men a minute later when defender Wilson – who had been previously booked –pulled McKay down and was sent off. In the final minutes both keepers were in action with Greenwood making a good diving save from Smith and Lang testing Robertson from distance.
Rob Roy: Robertson, McLachlan, McBride, Smith, A Lindsay (Bennett 39), Donnelly (Cairney 56), Doyle, MacKay, Gormley (Mackie 72), Coakley, Easton. Sub not used: Fulton.