By Ross Lafferty

Arthurlie 2-1 Beith

Scorers: Simeon(37) & Healy(38)

CRAIG Palmer had the dream start to his Arthurlie managerial career as the Barrhead side saw off WoSFL Premier League rivals Beith in impressive style.

With the shock announcement of Conference A winning manager Andy McFadyen’s departure pre-match, his former assistant Palmer could hardly have hoped for a better start to his time in charge at Dunterlie Park as they ran out 2-1 winners after an entertaining 90 minutes.

Yet, it was Beith who were doing most of the pressing in the early stages and it was they who created the game’s first opening when their number 10 trialist saw his poweful volley blocked on the line by Conor Bradley.

Arthurlie took their time to settle into the game but once they got going they weren’t slow in finding chances.

Aaron Healy had already been on the end of some rough treatment in the opening quarter hour, and it was easy to see why when he left four visiting defenders in his trail before setting up Gary Carroll whose shot was blocked on the line.

Two minutes later Carroll again came close, this time with a powerful effort from 18 yards that was turned over by Michael McKinven in the Beith goal.

The number 10 was seeing plenty of the ball for Beith, being involved in most of their best moves, and on the half hour he picked up the ball with his back to goal 25 yards out before turning sharply and sending a shot just over the bar.

It was the home side, however, who were to grab the game’s opening goal, Carroll playing a clever ball in behind the defence for Dale Simeon to run on to and volley high into the net with his left foot on 37 minutes.

Little over a minute had passed before it was 2-0, Healy going on another mazy run from the left, beating three defenders, and curling the ball into the bottom right corner.

After a promising start to the second half for Beith, Arthurlie came close to adding a third when Andy McLaughlin was put one-on-one with McKinven but saw his shot cannon straight off the keeper.

Three minutes later McKinven’s goal was threatened again, this time it was his own player, Lewis Barclay, going close when his clearance from a Tam McGaughey corner only just went wide.

After a quadruple substitution on 61 minutes, ‘Lie were pressing once again, sub Ben Templeton just failing to make contact with Simeon’s ball across goal.

Another of those players introduced at that point, Liam Motherwell, was involved in the next opportunity, his cutback from the left failing to find any takers before Beith cleared to safety.

With two minutes remaining, Chris Strain’s side cut the deficit back to a single goal, midfield talisman Paul Frize making it 2-1 with an unstoppable strike from 25 yards.

The goal seemed to bring the visitors back to life, but despite some late pressure, it was too little too late and Palmer’s side held on for the win.

Arthurlie team: Black, Dunsmore, Bradley (McLachlan 75), Pearce (Shields 61), Nolan, McLaughlin (Warnock 61), Healy (O’Hare 75) Leyden (Motherwell 61), Carroll (c) (Templeton 62), Simeon, McGaughey (Ross 75)

Sub not used: Scott (GK)