THE flawless start to the season that has Beith currently leading the Super Premier Division standings continued on Saturday when they came from behind to win 2-1 against Kilwinning Rangers.

But despite the dramatic nature of Paul Frize’s 88th-minute winner, this Bellsdale Park match was no epic – it was too one-sided to be described thus.

Johnny Millar’s men poured forward from the off and the game would have been won before the half-hour mark but for a string of superb saves by Adam Strain and a couple of last-ditch Tommy Maitland interventions.

The incessant pressure on a beleaguered Buffs backline even brought defenders Mark Cameron and Joe Coleman to square up angrily to each other following a mistake by the latter, however just minutes later all was forgotten as they joined their team-mates to celebrate the visitors’ 1-0 lead against the run of play.

A rare Buffs sortie into the final third saw the ball eventually sit up nicely for former Dundee United striker David Winters 18 yards out and he sent a low shot into the far corner of the net.

The half-time whistle sounding shortly afterwards brought some welcome relief for Kilwinning and the opportunity for gaffer Chris Strain to rejig his line-up however his best laid plans went for a burton within minutes of the restart as referee Ross Birrell sent-off Findlay Frye for a second yellow card offence.

Experienced stopper Cameron insisted afterwards: “The sending off was a bit on the harsh side and did more than anything to kill any hopes of hanging onto our lead.

“To be fair we battled our corner really well and looked comfortable in the manner we defended our box but having that extra man allowed Beith to throw more bodies forward and it says everything that one of their midfielders popped up with both goals.

“Losing out to such a late strike is a sore one to take and more so because we probably deserved a point for our battling display.” 

Team boss Strain’s protestations over the dismissal led to him being removed from the dugout to a place on the terracings from where he would have been encouraged by energetic front pair Bryan Boylan and Ryan Nisbet’s constant pressing helping negate Kilwinning’s depleted state .

But the breakthrough for Beith arrived on 68 minutes when winger Darren Christie tricked his way into the box and cut the ball back for Frize to hammer home. And the midfielder was on hand again as he sent the terracings into a state of near delirium with a low drive that eluded the grasp of Strain.

BEITH boss Millar said: “Kilwinning are a good team with good players and made us fight all the way so I’m happy to have the points in the bag.

“A lot of the game was played in their half and I honestly couldn’t believe we went in 1-0 down at the interval but my message to the players was for more of the same as I felt Adam Strain couldn’t keep pulling off wonder saves.

“The boy Frye’s sending off was pivotal in allowing us to enjoy so much more territorial dominance but it was still a concern that so many crosses were flashing across their goal with no end result until Paul stepped up to the plate with two great hits .

“The players have hit the ground running and I’m delighted with full points from our opening four games but nothing is won in September.”

Beith host freescoring Auchinleck Talbot next who dispatched Clydebank with an emphatic 5-0 drubbing at Beechwood Park.

Kilwinning await the visit of  a Girvan side unbeaten in three Super Premier League starts after a 2-2 draw at Pollok.

Stefan McCluskey fired Lok in front with a seventh-minute score but the dismissal of captain Paul Gallagher enabled the visitors to claw their way back into the game and Michael Reilly’s second-half brace had them on course for a shock upset until Del Hepburn snatched a leveller.

Rob Roy sit second after their weakened line-up, with veteran Gary McMenamin and teenager Danny O’Halloran forming a new-look central defensive partnership, survived an onslaught at Cumnock to take away a precious three points haul through a second-half Lee Gallagher penalty.

Eyebrows will be raised by the third placing of Kilbirnie Ladeside for whom Reece Williamson and Jon Scullion were on target in a 2-0 defeat of Hurlford United but neither will it have gone unnoticed that reigning champions Glenafton yet again dropped  points when needing a David Gray goal to earn a 1-1 draw against Arthurlie whose flying forward Chris Lennon bagged the opener at Dunterlie.

Glenafton will be seeking a boost at home to Kilbirnie next weekend ahead of the Scottish Cup proper against Threave Rovers on 23 September after the South of Scotland League outfit clinched their first  round spot in overcoming Glasgow University 2-1.