Cumnock 1

Kirkintilloch Rob Roy 1

Cumnock win 5-3 on penalties

A DOMINANT Cumnock side needed penalties to overcome Kirkintilloch Rob Roy at Townhead Park to set up a mouthwatering semi-final against Auchinleck Talbot.

First half goals from Scott Anson and Kevin Watt say the sides in level before Nock edged a dramatic shoot-out 5-3.

If you were to ask a neutral which side were fighting for the title, they wouldn't have said Rob Roy as the home side put on an excellent performance.

And they almost had the perfect start when referee Calum Scott pointed to the spot inside 30 seconds after Anson was brought down. However, Paul Burns couldn't capitalise as he sent the ball wide.

Nock were almost gifted a goal on six minutes when Scott Walker managed to head a cross back towards his own goal but was fortunate to see it go over the bar.

The home side took a deserved lead after 19 minutes when Steven Crawford's long throw into the box wasn't dealt with and Anson managed to prod the ball beyond Michael McKinven from 6 yards.

Nock almost doubled their lead four minutes later when Anson's flick was headed goalwards by a defender but McKinven got down well to save.

The sides went in level at half time after Scott pointed to the spot again when William Sawyers was brought down. Up stepped Kevin Watt and he duly converted for Rob Roy.

A spat erupted between Nock boss John McKeown and Rabs gaffer Stewart Maxwell just as the half time whistle came. McKeown was unhappy with the way Maxwell was constantly getting on at the referee and his players, with a few choice words exchanged.

Cumnock moved up a gear as they looked for a winner in the second half. After Josh Watt won a corner on 56 minutes, the ball broke to Ray Montgomerie on the edge of the box but his volley was blocked.

Montgomerie was involved in a break away three minutes later when Burns played him through but he couldn't get his shot away. However, the ball broke to Anson on the edge of the box and his blocked shot was eventually cleared for a corner.

Rabs best chance of the game came after 64 minutes when a Sawyers cross vallied narrowly wide by Andrew Johnstone.

Keiran Wood set up substitute Keir Samson with 20 minutes left but his shot was tipped wide.

Cumnock's last chance to win the match in normal time came in the 91st minute. Adam Hunter's shot was deflected over for a corner which he took himself.

His first attempt at a cross was headed straight back to him but his second found Samson free in the middle of the box but McKinven easily held on to the header.

And so it was penalties. After successful spot-kicks for Burns and Anson for Cumnock and Chris Duff for Rob Roy, the shoot-out took a controversial turn.

Lee Gallacher thumped his effort off the crossbar and onto the goalline. Both sets of supporters and players appealed for the decision to go their way but the linesman said the ball had not crossed the line.

Del Esplin and Hunter converted for Cumnock with Kevin Green and Reece Pearson scoring for Rabs to give Andy Muir the decisive spot-kick.

And he confidently sent McKinven the wrong way to send Cumnock into the semi-finals.