Match Preview: Beith Juniors


Beith versus MORTON

Saturday 3 December 2016

Bellsdale Park, Beith

Kick-off 1.30pm

Match Preview

Morton and Beith meet at Bellsdale Park today as the clubs stage their William Hill Scottish Cup third round tie at the second attempt after the original meeting was postponed last weekend due to a frozen pitch.

The clash, the first time the clubs will have ever faced off in a competitive contest, sees Ton travel to Ayrshire to face the reigning Scottish Juniors Cup holders on home turf.

Beith currently sit eighth in the West of Scotland Super Premier Division, but they have played just five fixtures, which is by far the lowest in their league and around half of most of the teams around them, due to their participation in this competition.

Thus far, they have negotiated ties against Auchinleck Talbot, after a replay, Strathspey Thistle, and BSC Glasgow to reach this stage of the competition, while Jim Duffy’s men take their first step into the tournament, with a fourth-round tie at home to Falkirk awaiting the victor.

Manager’s Thoughts

Jim Duffy told “The original match was always in doubt and we just prepared as if it was going to be on. You can never tell, particularly in this country, but we still had to do the job properly and make sure we were ready for the game.

“That’s what we did do and we trained on Saturday with the game off and got back in and prepared for the rearranged fixture today. We will only know if the week off has affected us once we get back playing.

“Ideally, you want to play week to week, particularly when you’re playing well, to try and keep that momentum going. But it’s fine, that can happen and for this time of year it was unusually cold.

“We have a junior team today and it’s a very awkward tie and that’s what the cup brings at this stage: unpredictability. You never know where you’re going to end up or who you’re going to play.

“That’s the excitement of the cup and I’m sure Beith will be looking forward to it. They are obviously the holders of the Scottish Junior Cup and anybody that knows junior football knows it’s a long way removed from many years ago.

“People thought on it as competitive in an ultra-competitive style, but they definitely play football now while retaining that competitive instinct. I do see a number of junior games when our season finishes, because generally they still have cup competitions.

“And we have played a few junior clubs in pre-season down at Largs, Kilbirnie Ladeside and Greenock Juniors and we know how competitive these games can be.

“The Ayrshire juniors has that vociferous support. It’s well documented, so Beith is a very tricky tie, there’s no question about that, and will be ready for the challenge to make sure we’re not on the end of a cup shock.”

Team News

Striker Thomas Orr remains sidelined by a medial ligament strain suffered in a Scottish Youth Cup tie against Banks O’ Dee, while Conor Pepper continues his journey to full fitness after prolonged period out. Otherwise, there is a clean bill of health

Current Connections

Former Cappielow captain Mark McLaughlin is winding down his career by playing one final season at Beith. The 41-year-old spent seasons 2012/13 and 2013/14 making 44 appearances and scoring five goals for the club he supported growing up.

Long-serving Bellsdale Park striker Kenny McLean, 32, was on the books here at Cappielow for three seasons between 2004 and 2007 but made just three starts and eight substitute appearances.

Recent Meetings


Last Time Out

The clubs have never met in a competitive encounter.


Referee: John McKendrick

Assistant one: Gary Hilland

Assistant two: Paul O’Neill

Supporters Notes

Entry is pay at the gate and admission prices are:

Adult – £12
Concession – £6

Supporters should note that there will be a minute’s silence held prior to the match in memory of the victims of the terrible tragedy that befell Brazilian club Chapecoense in Colombia on Monday.

Beith will be holding a bucket collection outside the ground in order to raise funds for, and awareness of, Survivors for Bereavement By Suicide (SOBS) in memory of Adam Alcroft.


Image: David Bell