Ardagh Group West of Scotland Cup First Round



(Talbot won 5-4 on penalties)

By Frank Cassidy

A STALEMATE over 90 minutes was settled by a penalty shoot out at Abbey Park.

Talbot looked to have created an early opportunity when Calvin Kemp set up Jamie Glasgow but he was flagged offside.

His fellow number 11, Buffs' Ryan Nisbet, was also caught offside as he gathered a long ball from Michael Wardrope.

Dwayne Hyslop then suffered a nasty head cut and was replaced by David Waite - all within the opening 10 minutes.

Chances continued to fall at either end with a Gordon Pope cross just inches in front of Kemp before Wardrope and Carlo Monti combined well.

Monti's final ball never matched the lead-up play, though, and the move fizzled out.

Sub Waite was causing problems with his pace on the right flank and he delivered a ball into the danger area which Sean McIllroy couldn't get his head to.

Despite a swirling wind, some decent football was being played without creating too much goalmouth action.

That said, Pope was unlucky when he narrowly headed wide from an inswinging Waite corner on the half-hour mark.

Pope then tried to beat Adam Strain with a long-range shot but the keeper saved well.

Both goalies were called into action in the early stages of the second half with Strain coming out to block a Kemp shot.

Andy Leishman then denied Buffs after a superb Marc McKenzie cross was headed goalwards by Wardrope.

Graham Wilson made an immediate impact when he replaced Kemp, firing in a free-kick which Strain did well to hold.

His counterpart, Leishman, also maintained the stalemate when he read a Brian Boylan attempt well to save at the near post.

As the match entered the final 15 minutes, Talbot became the stronger of the two teams with substitute Keir Samson posing problems.

Strain punched clear as the ex-Cumnock man powered in a header before Craig McCracken also came close with a hooked shot.

Kilwinning were by no means out of it, though, and a Nisbet, Wardrope and McKenzie interchange almost paid dividends.

Talbot did have the ball in the net with five minutes remaining but it was disallowed for a foul on the keeper.

Samson then rattled the post with a header from a Waite cross and a penalty-kick decider looked likely.

That proved to be the case, but it started badly for Buffs when Leishman saved the first kick from Nisbet.

Glasgow, Waite and the Wilson brothers all scored as did Monti, David Syme and Wardrope for Buffs.

There was drama as their last kick, from McKenzie, hit the bar before going in so it was all down to the last kick.

Pope was the calmest man in the park as he confidently blasted the ball past Strain and Talbot were through.

KILWINNING RANGERS: Strain; McCloskey, McLevy, Pettigrew, Syme, Lewis, Wardrope, Monti, Boylan (Curragh 90), McKenzie, Nisbet.

Subs not used: Taylor, Morrison, Horn, Fleming.

AUCHINLECK TALBOT: Leishman; Lyle, Pope, McPherson, McCracken, Armstrong, S Wilson, Hyslop (Waite 10), Mcillroy (Samson 67), Kemp (G Wilson 62), Glasgow. Subs not used: White, McDowall