Talbot paid the penalty for drawing a blank as their reign as Scottish Junior cup holders ended at Townhead Park after a penalty shoot-out loss to Cumnock.
On an afternoon of few clear cut chances Talbot had the first effort on target in the 9th minute. Shankland tried a curler from just inside the area that Barclay saved under his bar.
In the 20th minute Shankland flicked the ball out wide right to find Park in space and he drilled it into the penalty area where Boylan met it but fired well wide of target.
A minute later Talbot came close to taking the lead. Park hoisted an up & under cross that the home defence failed to deal with. It broke to Graham Wilson inside the area and he flashed a shot across goal that flew off a defender’s head and went just over his own crossbar.
Cumnock’s first threat came in the 23rd minute. Leishman came out to punch a cross clear and the ball came out to Wilson whose shot was blocked. Cumnock were first to the rebound and the ball was played down the left of the penalty area towards Moore who took a fresh air swipe before it went behind for the goal kick.
Veitch became the first player in the book when he was cautioned in the 26th minute for clipping Aiden Wilson’s heels as he broke out of defence.
In the 36th minute Talbot had a defensive scare when Leishman came for Carnwath’s hanging cross. He spilled it and the subsequent shot was deflected behind for a corner kick.
Two minutes later Moore managed to get onto a long ball over the top and turned McPherson but dragged his shot wide of the left hand post.
Five minutes before the interval Talbot were caught out when Veitch dispossessed Park deep in the Nock half and hit it long down the left wing. Moore controlled it and raced into the penalty area where he looked certain to score but Leishman produced a top save to deny him, diving low to his right to turn it away.
In added time Carnwath became the 2nd Nock player cautioned when he was yellow carded for a foul on Graham Wilson and soon after the ref’s whistle put an end to the 1st half.
Talbot made a change during the interval with Taylor coming on in place of Boylan.
Two minutes after the restart Taylor surged down the right and won a corner off Willet. Wardrope knocked a good ball in but the Cumnock defence were able to clear.
In the 51st minute Armstrong played it down the right to Graham Wilson and he switched it to the far side of the area to pick out Shankland. He held off the challenge of McAusland but lost his footing as he hit it and Barclay was able to smother the ball.
A minute later Talbot came within a whisker of taking the lead. Graham Wilson latched onto a ball over the top and fired it first time across goal where Barclay got a hand to it to turn it onto the crossbar.
Talbot were having a good spell and had a great chance to take the lead in the 56th minute. Wardrope did well out on the left and swept a good ball across the area that Park ran onto unmarked but he side-footed it wide of the left post.
In the 63rd minute Cumnock made a triple substitution with Carnwath, Tart & Veitch making way for Dolan, McLaughlin and Ferry.
Two minutes later Talbot passed up a chance when Taylor squared the ball to Shankland inside the box. He had a chance to hit it but tried a pass instead and the defence were able to clear.
Talbot’s next opportunity came in the 73rd minute. Wardrope whipped over a good cross from the right toward Taylor. It broke into the path of Shankland 16 yards out and his half-volley was tipped over the bar by Barclay.
Cumnock now made another change with Conn replacing Boyd up top.
Graham Wilson picked up what looked to be a very soft yellow card in the 78th minute.
With 8 minutes remaining Talbot made their 2nd and final change with Mason coming on for Shankland.
In the 84th minute Wilson received a caution when he took one for the team when he stopped Taylor as he looked to race down the right.
In the closing stages Talbot picked up two late bookings – Stafford for a foul on Conn and then Armstrong for an aerial challenge.
As the clock ticked down Cumnock were in the ascendancy and threatened the Bot goal late on when Ferry’s long shy from the right went straight across the 6-yard area and just eluded Moore beyond the back post.
Into injury time Cumnock had the final chance when they broke down the right and Conn angled it back into the centre where Stafford was well positioned to clear.
It was now down to penalties and Cumnock were first to take with Moore sending Leishman the wrong way to put the home side 1 up. Graham Wilson drilled Talbot’s first penalty low inside the right post to level it before McLennan put his penalty in the same spot to restore Cumnock’s lead. Mason then levelled it for Talbot sending Barclay the wrong way. Next up for Cumnock it was McAusland and Leishman managed to save his penalty to his left. Armstrong was next up for Talbot and Barclay guessed correctly – diving to his right to keep it out.
Jamie Wilson put Cumnock 3-2 ahead before Taylor thumped Talbot level with a decisive strike inside the right post. Frye stepped up to take Cumnock’s 5th penalty and gave Leishman no chance as he hit it low inside the left post. Wardrope was last up for Talbot and needed to score but he blazed his effort way over the bar and Cumnock went through 4-3 on penalties.
A disappointing afternoon for the large travelling support but the Bot have no time to dwell on it as they’re back in league action on Wednesday night when they take on Clydebank under the floodlights at Beechwood.
Cumnock Juniors – Barclay, Carnwath, Tart, McAusland, McLennan, Veitch, Frye, Wilson, Moore, Boyd, Willet
Subs – Dolan, McLaughlin, Ross, Conn, Sharpe, Ferry, Strain
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, McCracken, Armstrong, Wardrope, Park, Graham Wilson, Shankland, Boylan
Subs – Mason, Taylor, Ballantyne, Crawford, Lennox, Samson, White
|December 3, 2022||13:45||Clydebuilt SCOTTISH JUNIOR CUP||2022/23|
|Team||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|
|10||Mark Shankland 14||Forward||0||0||0||0|
|11||Bryan Boylan 12||Forward||0||0||0||0|
|12||Ross Taylor 11||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|14||Aaron Mason 10||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|