Photographs by Paul Flynn.
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, McPherson, McCracken, Stephen Wilson, Armstrong, White. Hyslop, Graham Wilson, Glasgow: Subs – Samson, Shankland, McIlroy , Hewitt, Waite, Kemp Ayr – Doohan, Higgens, Rose, Harvie, Geggan, Docherty, Murdoch, Crawford, McDaid, Moore, Moffat. Subs. Smith, McGuffie, Bell. Ferguson, Hilton, McCowan, Hare-Reid. The razzamatazz of televised Scottish Cup football hit Beechwood Park with a bang as Talbot entertained high flying Ayr United in a David and Goliath encounter of epic proportions. This was to be the ultimate Auchinleck fairytale for the Talbot faithful but in reality the Bot deserved the win, which set them up with another trip to Tynecastle to face Hearts.
The match started with what was expected with Ayr dominating possession, but Talbot had started with a five man midfield which seemed to nullify any Ayr attacks. As the game wore on the Bot started to come into the match and were unlucky when Graham Wilson’s turn and strike was rightly called offside much to the dismay of the 1,700 Talbot supporters crammed into a capacity Beechwood Park. The first half seemed to drift away as both clubs made some decent scoring chance the best falling to Moffat who flashed a shot wide of Leishman’s post. Ayr were hit with a blow on 36 minutes when Andy Geggan was taken off injured and replaced by Liam Smith. The second half had a wee bit more bite in it and this was proved by yellow cards to Gareth Armstrong and Andy Murdoch. Talbot made three substitutions in six minutes replacing Graham Wilson, Steven Wilson and Jamie Glasgow with Sean Mcilroy, Mark Shankland and Kier Samson. This was a brave move by the coaching staff introducing three strikers but it paid dividends when Samson was upended outside the box which gave Mark Shankland to pinpoint the unmarked Craig McCracken who headed the ball past Doohan. The remaining game seemed to take an eternity for the Talbot and their fans but when the final whistle went the team that day had recorded the biggest victory in their entire history.