Rob Roy boss Stewart Maxwell insisted this week that he couldn’t be prouder of his players’ performance in the West of Scotland Cup final.
Their efforts just weren’t enough to bring the cup back to the club for the first time since 1963 as Beith triumphed 4-2 in a penalty shoot out after the sides finished the 90 minutes locked at 1-1.
But Maxwell, who confessed beforehand his biggest fear was they would freeze and not do themselves justice, had only praise for his players after their heartbreaking defeat.
He said: “I thought they were terrific, I couldn’t have asked any more of them. They went out there and give it their all.
“I was disappointed in the result but I wasn’t disappointed in the performance.
“I asked them to go out and give me a battling performance and that’s what they did. It wasn’t easy conditions, it was quite muggy.
“Defensively we were magnificent, the back four and goalkeeper, when they were asked.
“Beith are very back to front, they try to hit you by going aerial and we coped with that brilliantly, We had three teenagers in the team and they handled the occasion really well.
“The midfield worked really hard and we had a wee but of guile and probably the only slight criticism I had was that football-wise I didn’t think we played as well as we can.
“But you’ve got to remember the occasion and take that into consideration.
“But I’m proud of them, I’m just disappointed for them with the result for the effort they put in.”
Maxwell was also full of praise for the backing of the Rob Roy support who headed down the coast to Irvine’s Meadow Park.
He said: “The support was magnificent.
“ We were in the home dugout and all the way down and in the stand as well it was a sea of red and black and the supporters turned up in their numbers.
“It’s just a wee bit frustrating because, as I’ve spoken about during the season, the numbers are there. It’s just getting them to support us.
“I know people go on about us not being based in Kirky, but the boys thrive on playing in front of big crowds.”