Beith 0 Roy Roy 1: Gallacher goal earns Rabs fine win

Rob Roy battled hard for their win at Beith (pic by Neil Anderson)
Rob Roy battled hard for their win at Beith (pic by Neil Anderson)
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A magnificent team effort saw Rob Roy leave Bellsdale Park with all three points and their first clean sheet in the league since September.

In rainy conditions, it was the home team which started well and soon Darren Christie put the Rob Roy defence under pressure with his strong runs.

After a scrappy spell Beith went close in the seventh minute when Thomas Collins headed over the bar.

However both teams were soon cancelling each other out and few goalmouth chances were created in the first 15 minutes.

It took until the 23rd minute before Steven McNeil was called in to action when he reacted well to a deflected shot.

This spurred the visitors into action and a minute later Lee Gallacher was brought down just outside the box after another of his mazy runs. Gallacher took the free-kick himself and placed a fantastic curling shot high to Stephen Grindlay’s top left hand corner to give the Roy the lead.

The visitors took great confidence from the goal and soon mounted a series of attacks, with the home defence doing well to block a Shaun Fraser effort.

McNeil was called in to action again in the 32nd minute when he showed a safe pair of hands dealing with a Richard Burke cross.

Five minutes later Beith had a great chance to equalise when Christie beat Danny Mackenzie down the left but Collins put his cutback wide.

Kevin Watt was causing the Beith defenders problems with his tenacious runs and generally being a nuisance as he gave the home side no time to settle on the ball. In the 40th minute this resulted in Gavin Mackie curling a shot wide after great work by Watt.

As half time approached Beith put the visitors under pressure and both McNeil and Gary McMenamin did well to clear their lines and keep the home side out.

In the 45th minute, following a Fraser clearance, Watt and Gary Carroll combined with Mackenzie and Gallacher, which resulted in Grindlay making a great block to deny the Roy a further goal.

However the visitors had a scare shortly into the second half when McNeil’s punched clearance went wayward but fortunately Scott Walker was on hand to clear the danger.

Watt and Carroll continued to cause Beith problems with their combination play and Grindlay did well to keep out a shot from Carroll in the 49th minute.

Nevertheless it was Beith who came close a minute later when following a Michael Morris mistake, Christie took advantage and his run resulted in him rounding McNeil but Mackenzie was on hand to make a magnificent goal line clearance.

This gave the Roy even more confidence and efforts from Gallacher and Watt kept the home defence on their toes as the visitors looked to increase their lead. At the back McMenamin was strong in his tackling and was able to limit any danger from both Christie and Paul Frize.

Grindlay was called in to action again from a near post effort from Carroll and then a minute later the same player had a great run down the left but his cross just went beyond Watt.

Beith responded and Walker was again strong when clearing from a free-kick after Morris was penalised for pulling back Collins. Then substitute Mark McLaughlin went close with a header but Beith could not find a way past McNeil.

The game was flowing end to end and after Grindlay kept out a Gallacher effort McNeil did likewise from another Collins shot.

Rob Roy’s substitutes Andy Johnstone and Connor Hughes caused the home side problems with their pace and the pair combined to set up Fraser but his shot was gathered by Grindlay at the second attempt.

Despite the pressure from Beith, the Rob Roy defence kept firm and was well marshalled by skipper McMenamin until the final minute of the match, when a McLaughlin overhead kick looped, agonisingly for the home supporters, over the bar.

Overall it was a great team performance from Rob Roy, who kept their shape, defended well and continually caused Beith problems going forward, much to the delight of the large travelling support.

Sponsor Willie Sawyers Snr presented the Supporters’ Man of the Match trophy, kindly donated by Roddy the Dog Walker, at the end of the game to Gary McMenamin.

Rob Roy: McNeil, Walker, Mackenzie, McMenamin, Morris (McCulloch), Slattery, Gallacher, Fraser, Carroll, Watt (Johnstone), Mackie (Hughes).