Frank Lynch delighted to be back at Beith for Emirates Cup crunch

Frank Lynch has returned to management – and he is hoping to lead Beith to victory in their Emirates Scottish Cup third-round tie against Sauchie tomorrow.

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Kenny McLean (right) was at Beith during Frank Lynch's previous spell
Kenny McLean (right) was at Beith during Frank Lynch's previous spell

It will be a big ask for the 48-year-old to bring an immediate turnaround in The Mighty's fortunes, but he has promised to give it his best shot following a first meeting with his new players.

Lynch began this week as one of Clydebank's backroom team, but could not resist the lure of going back to Bellsdale, where he previously enjoyed a successful management stint.

He said: "Everything is in place at Beith, with many of the same people behind the scenes and any newcomers also working their socks off for the football club.

"Only the striking pair of Kenny McLean and Andy Reid remain from my squad, but there is no shortage of good Juniors, such as Gary Wilson.

"We had a good chat on Wednesday followed by a stiff training session, and I have to say the mood in the camp is pretty upbeat with everyone looking forward to the visit of Sauchie tomorrow."

The seasoned campaigner, whose backroom team comprises Derek Rhodden and Raymond McColl, admits he could have done with an easier introduction than going up against the highly-rated East Region side.

He added: "I don't know much about our opponents, but some contacts through East have marked my card on Sauchie, while Stevie Easton has handed over the dossier compiled when he had them watched last weekend.

"By all accounts, they are tough opponents, so we'll prepare accordingly, even to the extent of bringing the guys in early tomorrow to work on set-piece drills.

"Having just one session under our belts smacks of being thrown in at the deep end, but I'm so fired up at the prospect of managing this Beith team that I wouldn't have it any other way."

Beith president John Boal praised outgoing boss Easton, saying: "It was with great regret we decided on a parting of the ways because both Easty and Harry Erwin are good and genuine people. But the game of football is driven by results, and our record of only one win from nine league games was simply not good enough."

Beith are not alone among West Region clubs facing difficult contests against opponents from much further afield.

Shettleston, for instance, are not fancied to get the better of Tayport at Greenfield Park, even though the Taysiders have fallen on leaner times since their halcyon Junior Cup days in the 1990s, while Central First Division bottom markers East Kilbride Thistle are tipped for an Emirates exit against Kinnoull.

Guy's Meadow hosts a tie that could go either way, although Cumbernauld boss John Queen hopes home advantage can tilt the balance in his side's favour against Forfar West End, but hard not to believe comparatively easier rides await Cumnock and Johnstone Burgh in awaiting the visits of Islavale and Buchanhaven Hearts respectively.

Meanwhile, two of the Emirates second-round fallers concluded a surprise transfer deal after want-away Largs Thistle defender Paul Coyle signed for former club Port Glasgow, whose midfielder Barry Stanton moved in the opposite direction.

Theesel manager Pat McIlvogue said: "I'm sad to see Paul go, as you might expect, considering he has excelled in an unaccustomed central midfield role this season to the extent that he is currently our top scorer.

"A lot of interest was shown in him, but Paul's mind was set on going back to his roots at the Port, where he previously enjoyed a nine-year spell.

"For us, a cash plus player deal ticks a lot of boxes and, more so, when we are landing someone of Barry's undoubted promise as he fits perfectly into the mould of young up-and-coming players we have designs on developing at Barrfields."

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