Full steam ahead for Woods now Peasy are back on track

A lot of questions were asked of the staff and players at Petershill last week, and nobody can deny they all passed their test with flying colours.

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Paul Woods has put the Talbot defeat behind him
Paul Woods has put the Talbot defeat behind him

The victory may have come in the form of a narrow 1-0 win over bogey team Clydebank, but it went a long way towards getting the previous week's 7-0 Emirates Cup mauling by Auchinleck Talbot out of their system.

Now with pride restored, Peasy await the visit of Beith tomorrow for a Super Premier Division clash that is shaping up as another pivotal moment in their season.

Midfield ace Paul Woods said: "The day Petershill's players stop believing in themselves is the day we'll throw in the towel on our title challenge.

"We took all the criticism on our chins but not one of us thought we had suddenly become a bad team on the back of our Auchinleck defeat.

"You could sense the desire among everyone to bounce straight back by stringing a few wins together.

"Beating the Bankies was the best possible start and now the aim is to make further progress by getting the better of Beith.

"To get our noses in front of Auchinleck – even by just a point and with them having two games in hand – would provide a massive shot in the arm for everyone.

"We must get back the consistency we were showing beforehand and look to build up a points lead that might not be easily overhauled.

"We were in that situation last year and lost out to Irvine Meadow, but a whole spate of drawn games in our run-in is what cost us dearly.

"So the target is to string a few victories together starting with Beith on Saturday."

Peasy co-gaffers Scott Smith and Willie Patterson have given themselves a selection poser after ringing the changes with the introduction of Stewart Maxwell, Ryan Craig and Sean McKenna.

Smith revealed: "Never at any point did Willie or I doubt the character in the squad and we were convinced they would show the Auchinleck result was nothing more than a fluke.

"Bringing in the new guys was all about instilling a bit of freshness into the team, and to be fair it worked a treat as all the new guys played their part in what was a thoroughly- deserved victory."

Veteran campaigner Maxi looks a safe bet to retain the No.3 jersey as regular left-back Craig Palmer is still a couple of weeks away from making a return after surgery on a dislocated shoulder.

While versatile defender Kenny Hadden could be set for nothing more than a token appearance as he is due to emigrate to the US next week to take up a coaching role.

All is not well in the visiting Ayrshire camp, with midfielder Brendan Crozier a definite non-starter with a broken toe while both Kenny McLean and Michael Docherty are rated extremely doubtful.

Mighty gaffer Frank Lynch said: "Both players have not trained this past week so I would reckon the odds are largely stacked against them taking part so it's a blow, I'm not going to pretend otherwise.

"And the possibility exists of us being even harder hit as Adam Strain's wife is expecting a baby any day now."

Lynchy is in no doubt his Beith players are facing their own test of character in taking on the title-challenging Peasy.

He said: "Every single game for us is massive.

"And it's probably true to say there are bigger cup finals ahead against teams in a similar plight to ours, but the simple fact is there are points on offer at New Petershill Park and we have to be looking to pick up some or all of them tomorrow afternoon.

"It's a big ask given Willie and Scott's team were flying prior to the Auchinleck setback and we need to have a good shape about us if we want to take anything from the game.

"We made ourselves too easy to play against at Pollok last week.

"So it is vital we learn from our mistakes by getting back to basics and doing the things we know that we are good at."

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