Pain of Ashfield cup exit is spur for Maxi return

Ashfield striker Paul Maxwell is hoping he and his team-mates won't be caught cold if they make their return to playing action on Saturday.

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The Possil-based outfit head down to Beith for what is shaping as a crucial Super Premier Division encounter for both clubs.

The Ayrshire hosts are seeking to rack up a third-consecutive win under new gaffer Frank Lynch that would have them on the shoulder of their visitors who are themselves desperate for three points to get their season back on track.

The rivals have locked horns already this season, at Saracen Park in mid-October, when Maxi & Co were left smarting as a late Kenny McLean spot kick enabled the Mighty to come away with a 1-1 share of the spoils.

A further intriguing backdrop has Ashfield's players determined to serve up a winning display to atone for their last competitive outing – a shock 1-0 Emirates Junior Cup defeat at home to minnows Ardeer Thistle.

Maxi said: "We've talked things over in the dressing room and everyone agrees Ardeer deserved to win.

"But that doesn't take away from our disappointment at not playing anywhere near our best. The truth is we have been well below par in all our recent outings, other than the 5-2 victory over Irvine Meadow.

"The stats don't lie and to win only one of our last six matches is simply not good enough for us as players or this club. Now the mood in the camp is to get as much as possible out of our remaining 2012 games and go into the New Year on a high by hopefully stringing a few wins together.

" Beith on their own patch is a tough starter, especially as Lynchy appears to have given them a new lease of life.

"But it's a pressure game every Ashfield player wants to play in, so bring it on."

The famous old Glasgow club face a daunting end of year run-in comprising of testing league matches against Pollok (h) and Cumnock (a) with a New Coin Cup Holdings showdown with Blantyre Vics (a) sandwiched in between.

Team boss Stevie Rankin admitted: "We need to be up for the challenges. Our aim now is to finish as high up the table as last season and clearly the New Coin Cup has taken on added importance now that we are out of the Scottish, so it's vital we get past Blantyre Vics."

Elsewhere comes news of Benburb seeking the services of a qualified or student physiotherapist. Applicants should contact Tinto Park assistant manager Lee Barr on 07919043182.

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