Brown’s brilliance earns Rob Roy point

Jordan Brown's penalty save denies Beith. (Pic by Stephen Kerr)
Jordan Brown's penalty save denies Beith. (Pic by Stephen Kerr)

A brilliant goalkeeping performance from Jordan Brown and a last kick of the ball equaliser by skipper David Barr salvaged a point for an under par Rob Roy side at Beith on Saturday.

Looking to bounce back from their defeat by Glenafton the previous week, Rabs passed up a golden opportunity to take a fourth minute lead when Willie Sawyers sent Kevin Watt through on goal unchallenged but he could only fire against ’keeper Stephen Grindlay.

But Beith began to make inroads at the other end and Darren Christie’s shot was taken comfortably by Brown.

Andy Reid’s shot from close range was then deflected into the arms of Brown before the Rabs keeper managed to block a Kenny McLean shot with his outstretched legs.

The home side continued to dominate but their finishing was abysmal. Ritchie Burke’s shot in the 40th minute was deflected over and McLean hooked a Burke cross over the top when in front of goal as Rabs survived until the interval.

Playing with the wind in the second half Rabs began to be seen more as an attacking force and, from a Sawyers lay-off, Watt tested Grindlay.

Beith were awarded a soft penalty in the 51st minute when the ball bounced off the uneven surface and hit Scott Upton on the arm, but Brown dived to his left to parry away Reid’s spot-kick.

In a bright spell of Rabs play Gary McMenamin’s 25-yard free-kick was punched clear by Grindlay before the visitors made the breakthrough in the 58th minute.

Gavin Mackie sent Sawyers through on goal to slot the ball past the onrushing Grindlay for his 50th goal in Rob Roy colours.

Brown’s heroics continued as he saved a powerful low Reid volley and brilliantly tipped a Christie drive over.

However the home side equalised in 72 minutes when, from a Paul Frize pass, Reid’s deflected shot found the net.

Rabs’ defence survived a goalmouth scramble before Beith took the lead with six minutes left to play when substitute Thomas Collin’s shot was turned into his own net by Barr.

With Rob Roy now chasing an equaliser, Beith were on the back foot and Jordan McGuire just failed to direct a diving header goalwards.

But deep into stoppage time a Rob Roy corner was sent into a crowded penalty box, the home defence failed to clear and the loose ball fell to Barr who slotted it low into the corner of the net to salvage a point.