BY MARK GODFREY
They were so close to glory.
Being unavailable to travel to the south western coast of Scotland, I had to watch the goings-on at Stranraer’s Stair Park via the Saturday afternoon saviour, Sky Sports Soccer Saturday, and had Auchinleck’s congratulatory tweet already typed out at 4.45pm….
We are currently following the Junior’s top side Auchinleck Talbot on their Scottish Cup odyssey and we were almost celebrating a monumental win over the Scottish League 1 club.
The Bot burst out of the traps and were 1 up within the first six minutes; Bryan Young’s superb right-footed finish putting the underdogs into an early lead. Better was to come on the half hour mark when Keir Milliken raced through the heart of the Stranraer defence to poke the ball past the onrushing keeper, Mitchell, to put the Ayrshire side into dreamland.
The home side pulled one back before half time when Jamie Longworth nipped in front of Talbot’s goalie Leishman to head Stranraer back into contention.
More drama was soon to follow. On the hour, Stranraer’s McGregor conceded a penalty and received a straight red card for a tackle that appeared to have taken place just outside the box. Unfortunately for Auchinleck, David Gormley blasted his spot kick high over the bar in true Chris Waddle fashion.
3-1 and with a man advantage would almost certainly have killed any possibility of a comeback and the inevitable occurred in heartbreaking manner; Longworth the saviour again for Stranraer as he tapped home a rebound off the Talbot post in injury time.
The replay is at Auchinleck’s Beechwood Park on Saturday 9th November, kick-off at 1.30pm. (unfortunately, although I will be in Scotland that day I will miss the game, I’m attending the future father-in-law’s surprise retirement party. Shhhh don’t tell him, he doesn’t know). But we will bring you news of the game and whether we will be sticking with Auchinleck for Round 4 or moving our allegiances to Stranraer.
The winners have been drawn away to Clyde (click here for our story on them earlier this year), tie to be played on Saturday 30th November at their Broadwood Stadium; the date of my stag do in Glasgow…sadly Cumbernauld is just too far away to be practical, so it is likely, however, that myself and the fellow stags will attend the Partick vs. Aberdeen tie instead!
Best of luck to all the boys at Auchinleck for the replay!