Kirkintilloch Rob Roy went down 2-1 to Scottish Junior Cup finalists Beith in a Super League Premier match at Guy’s Meadow on Saturday.
Rabs went into the match knowing top grade football had been ensured for next season and got off to a dream start by taking a first minute lead.
Gavin Mackie’s shot hit the upright but his follow up cross into the Beith goalmouth was nodded in to the net by Stephen Maguire.
Rabs were playing with confidence with Maguire coming close to adding a second by firing just past the post.
But Beith were quick on the break and in their first raid Zander Ryan’s shot was deflected for a corner which was taken with ease by keeper Jon Murdoch.
In the 14th minute Reece Pearson was pulled down as he raced towards the Beith penalty box, Mackie’s free kick curled wide.
With Gary McMenamin the driving force in Rabs midfield the home side pushed forward and could have scored again but were denied by Beith ’keeper Stephen Grindlay who rose to brilliantly tip over the bar a goal-bound volley from Lee Gallacher.
On the half hour mark David Barr came to Rabs’ rescue with a last ditch block to prevent Paul Frize from netting.
Beith were then awarded a free-kick a yard outside the penalty box but ex-Rabs player Kevin McDonald sent the ball wide of the post.
In the 37th minute Gallacher squandered a chance to put Rabs two ahead when, through on goal, he fired directly at Grindlay.
Rob Roy were looking comfortable for a half-time lead but were hit by a sucker punch when David McGowan’s cross was pushed clear by Murdoch but defender Nicky Docherty was first to react to the loose ball, scrambling it over the line for the equaliser.
Beith were more positive after the break and began to dominate proceedings.
Andy Reid’s deflected shot crashed against Murdoch’s bar with the follow up ruled offside. Kenny McLean then tested Murdoch with an angular drive.
In the 55th minute poor Rabs defending led to the unmarked Paul Frize taking time to pick his spot to send the visitors in front.
Rabs tried to hit back and were awarded a free-kick 25 yards from goal but McMenamin’s effort hit the defensive wall and rebounded to safety.
With Beith content to hold on to what they had, the game dropped in tempo although Ross Barbour was forced to clear a McGowan drive off his goalline.
In the dying minute Reece had an opportunity to salvage a point for his side but headed a Danny MacKenzie cross over the bar.
With three points gained, Beith retained their Super Premier League status for next season with Shettleston now faced with the dreaded relegation playoffs.
Rob Roy celebrated their safety from relegation by cruising into the third round of Central League Cup with a 3-0 win over Renfrew at Guy’s Meadow on Wednesday night.
But despite taking an early lead they took a long time to further breakdown Renfrew’s resistance.
Central First Division Champions Renfrew were applauded onto Guy’s Meadow by the Rob Roy team before the match.
Rob Roy then got themselves off to a flying start by taking a sixth minute lead when Gavin Mackie’s corner kick was volleyed back into the mix by Ross Barbour for his brother Graeme to send a diving header past ‘keeper Mark Baird.
Rabs kept up the pressure with Chris Duff unlucky to see his snap shot crash against the upright.
The first real opportunity from Renfrew came in the 15th minute when from Euan Ramsay’s short free-kick Colin Forbes fired wide. Forbes then sent his effort from distance over the bar.
On the half hour mark Rabs once again struck the woodwork, this time it was Jordan McGuire who came close.
Three minutes before the break Danny MacKenzie sent over an inviting cross for a Lee Gallacher low header but Baird did well to dive and push the ball around the post.
In the second half Ross Barbour had an early chance to increase Rabs’ lead when he seized on a defensive error but hit the ball against Baird.
The Renfrew keeper, who was having a fine match, did well to block a Barbour shot with Forbes clearing David Barr’s follow up off the line.
However Rabs increased their advantage in the 65th minute when Gallacher dragged the ball past two defenders before steering a low shot into the net.
Substitute Willie Sawyers brought out another good save from Baird before Rabs made it 3-0 in the final minute.
Mackie was tripped just outside the penalty box when on the point of shooting and took the free-kick himself and sent his well struck shot low into the visitors net.
Rob Roy play Bellshill Athletic at Guys Meadow in the third round on Wednesday.