HOW much credence should be afforded to Beith dishing out a 3-0 beating to Auchinleck Talbot in last weekend’s William Hill Scottish Cup clash depends upon how highly one regards the opinion of long in the tooth Beith skipper John Sheridan.

The defensive cornerstone, fast coming up on his 38th birthday, savoured the emphatic victory more than most as befitting someone who has endured plenty of Beechwood Park disappointments throughout his long playing career and he is adamantly refusing to regard Tommy Sloan’s men as a spent force.

Reflecting on his side’s outstanding win, Shez said: “It was as comfortable as it can be down there because make no mistake Auchinleck had a lot of the ball and tried to put pressure on us but everyone in our team worked their socks off to stop them creating any clear cut openings.

“That’s not to say we were hemmed deep in defence – anything but – as our forward going players took the game to them at every opportunity and nobody looking on could deny we fully deserved to come out on top.

“It says everything when Talbot supporters and club officials made a point of seeking our players out to shake our hands in the Social Club afterwards and wish us all the best in the next round while admitting the better team won on the day.

“That gesture is an indication that Auchinleck folk look upon Saturday’s defeat as a temporary blip and I certainly wouldn’t rule them out from being up there challenging for the game’s major prizes next May.”

Inspirational stopper Shez also believes he and his Mighty team-mates have it in them to similarly figure in the silverware reckoning.

He insisted: “Everyone has experienced a massive boost in confidence on the back of our Scottish Junior Cup success last season and we now go into every game expecting to win if we can play to our strengths.

“Yes – we suffered a major setback after the Cup Final with two key players Andy Reid and Zander Ryan retiring, however the gaffer Johnny Millar has gone out and bought well during the close season and we are arguably a better all-round team for it.

“The additions of Connor McGlinchey, Mark McLaughlin, Archie McPherson and Calum McBain have definitely made us far less predictable while yet another factor behind our improved performances has been Paul Frize who has played out of his skin and been nothing short of immense since the season got underway.

“It’s no disrespect to any of the other guys to say he has probably caught the eye more than most.

“That said, he’s no different to the rest of us in having to produce the goods because the quality of our playing squad is probably as good as I’ve ever known since coming to Bellsdale.”

The rearguard addition of fellow veteran Mark McLaughlin is another signing which has been to the Mighty skipper’s liking.

He added: “Mark being a natural left-sided defender makes us far more adaptable defensively and capable of switching to the three-man defensive formation deployed down at Auchinleck.

“He’s well suited to the Juniors in being a fiercely competitive type but you can easily see he’s spent time in the Senior ranks from the fact he’s constantly talking and encouraging those around him at the back…even more than Kevin McDonald.”

Beith’s reward for overcoming Auchinleck is a Scottish Cup First Round tie at home to lowly Highland League outfit Strathspey Thistle.

Shez admitted: “They are something of an unknown quantity but you can take it as read that we will be affording them the same respect as we did Auchinleck.

“ I was part of the Beith squad that played in the 2010 Scottish Cup and went out to a replay defeat by Airdrie and I’d love to go on another run.”

Meanwhile, there’s nothing definite to report on the race to land transfer-listed Pollok ace Carlo Monti, however Cumnock, Kilwinning Rangers, Auchinleck Talbot and East Region cracks Linlithgow Rose are among clubs thought to have made signing approaches.


(Kick-offs 2pm) Super Premier Division: Hurlford Utd v Kilbirnie Ladeside, Largs Thistle v Kilwinning Rangers, Rob Roy v Pollok, Arthurlie v Cumnock, Glenafton v Auchinleck Talbot. Super First Division: Irvine Vics v Clydebank, Yoker Athletic v Girvan, Shotts Bon Accord v Shettleston, Petershill v Renfrew, Kilsyth Rangers v Irvine Meadow, Rutherglen Glencairn v Cumbernauld Utd, Blantyre Vics v Maryhill. Central First Division: Thorniewood Utd v Vale of Clyde, Greenock v Forth Wanderers, Larkhall Thistle v Benburb, Lesmahagow v Johnstone Burgh, St Roch's v Cambuslang Rangers, Bellshill Athletic v Wishaw, Neilston, v Rossvale. Central Second Division: Royal Albert v Gartcairn, St Anthony's v East Kilbride Thistle, Dunipace v Carluke Rovers, Lanark Utd v Vale of Leven, Ashfield v Glasgow Perthshire, Port Glasgow v Newmains Utd. Ayrshire District League: Maybole v Whitletts Vics, Annbank Utd v Saltcoats Vics, Dalry Thistle v Ardrossan Winton Rovers.