Musselburgh Athletic 1
Auchinleck Talbot 3
MUSSELBURGH manager Davie McGlynn has told his players to “stop being immature wee boys” after being disappointed with their discipline as they lost to Auchinleck in a repeat of last season’s Junior Cup Final.
The Ayrshire aces came from a goal behind to book a last-16 spot and had praise heaped on them by McGlynn for a work ethic he described as “second to none”. The Burgh boss had no complaints about his own’s side effort and commitment in front of an impressive crowd of 1200 but he wasn’t happy to see Steven Noble sent off and reckons a couple other home players could also have been red-carded late on.
“I’m disappointed with their discipline as they can’t go in the huff over silly bookings,” said McGlynn. “We could have had three players sent off. They want to be immature wee boys and we’ve told them to grow up as it’s a man’s game. You can’t afford to be sorry for yourself in this game.”
Musselburgh’s hopes of avenging a 2-1 defeat at Rugby Park in last season’s final got off to a great start as Kris Renton opened the scoring with a 20th-minute header. But the cup holders, who had only lost 1-0 to Hearts in the SFA’s version at Tynecastle a fortnight earlier, turned the tie on its head with two goals in the space of a minute.
Calvin Shand’s high-footed challenge just inside the box allowed Brian Slaven to equalise from the penalty spot, though only after the rebound fell kindly to him following a wonderful save from Kieron Renton. And, as Musselburgh switched off momentarily, they paid the price as Ally Park shot home from close range, though he, too, got two bites at the cherry after his initial effort had been blocked by Matti King.
The home side rarely threatened thereafter and were left fighting a hopeless task when Noble was given a straight red card for a reckless lunging tackle on James Latta midway through the second half.
“The sending-off was a shocker,” added McGlynn. “He’s upset because he let his team-mates down and it also stopped me from changing things after that as it became damage limitation.
“You are playing the top team in Junior football and you can’t go with three at the back and three up front against them.”
Just as disappointing for McGlynn was seeing some of his players fall out amongst each other after Auchinleck had killed the game when Colin Spence, one of many contenders for man of the match in the visiting ranks, made it 3-1 shortly after the dismissal.
“The ball was apparently out on the far side but it’s not been given and they’ve scored from it,” he said. “But it was disappointing to see our players fall out over that.”
Few in the home ranks could begrudge Auchinleck their place in the next round as Tommy Sloan’s side showed exactly what they are regarded as the top dogs in the Junior game at the moment.
They may not exactly play silky football but their workrate all over the park is exceptional, as was noted by McGlynn.
“I thought they were there for the taking,” he said. “We managed to get in front and if we’d been able to hold on to half-time we’d have given ourselves a right chance. It was a soft first goal to lose and then the boys switched off after that and within 30 seconds we find ourselves 2-1 down instead of being right in the game.
“I’d say we are better team in terms of quality, but their workrate and enthusiasm for the game is second to none. You don’t get a minute’s peace. If you’ve got ball you know you are going to be closed down all over the park.
“They play pressure football. It’s constant and that makes them a great side.”
Musselburgh Athletic: Kieron Renton (Adams 77), Burns, Noble, Shand, Gordon, M King, Murray (Russell 80), Currie, Kris Renton, C King, Tansey. Subs: Hamilton, McCaul.
Aucinleck Talbot: Leishman, McGoldrick, Pope, Pettigrew, Robb, Spence, Park (Faulds 45), White, Slaven, McCann, Latta. Subs: Paterson, McVey, Collins, McGarrity.
Referee: Paul Reid.