Cumnock managed a goalless draw over title chasing Irvine Meadow and should taken all three points which would have handed deadly rivals Talbot the title after their tussle at Townhead Park on Wednesday night.

Medda started off the better of the two teams. However, it was Cumnock who had the first chance of the game. Steven Crawford played a nice exchange with Chris McKnight before cleverly sidestepping his defender. He then tried to cut the ball back to John Bradford at the edge of the box but the Irvine defence managed to clear.

Cumnock were beginning to play their way back into the game and could have taken the lead in the 25th minute.

McKnight drilled in a free kick from the right hand side towards the back post and Stephen O’Donnell rose highest to head the ball back across the face of goal. His header looked to be going in but Graeme Shepherd managed to get back and make the save.

Six minutes later Cumnock had the ball in the net. McKnight whipped in another free kick and this time Robertson knocked the ball down to an unmarked Bradford who flicked the ball over Shepherd and into the net. However, the linesman had flagged for offside and the goal was disallowed.

Medda’s only chance of the first half came in the 44th minute when Paul Maxwell beat the Cumnock offside trap and had a free run towards the Cumnock goal, but he lacked composure and blasted the ball over the bar from close range.

Cumnock were in the ascendancy as the game grew but still had nothing to show for it heading into half time.

It took Irvine 52 minutes to get their first attempt on target when Gary McCann hit a low shot from 25 yards out which went through a crowd of players and looked to be going in the bottom left hand corner of the goal but Nock ‘keeper Ally Semple reacted quickly and got down low to his left to make the save.

The biggest talking point of the match came in the 56th minute. Irvine’s Darren Miller fouled Stephen O’Donnell and head-butted O’Donnell on the chest in the process. O’Donnell then raised his hands towards Miller which left the referee with no option but to produce the red card. The referee then blundered in mistaking Medda’s Mark Thomson for culprit Miller as he brandished the yellow card for Miller’s part in the scuffle.

With a numerical advantage Medda began to control the game in the closing stages and they came close to breaking the deadlock after 74 minutes. Shaun Fraser did well to fend off several challenges before playing Robert Halliday into the left hand corner. He whipped the ball into the middle of the box and Paul Maxwell headed the ball just wide of the left hand post.

Keiren Wood came to Nock’s rescue with just eight minute remaining as he made a vital block to prevent Irvine from edging in front.

Meadow crossed to the back post and Maxwell again headed the ball down to Miller who struck a first time shot which ricocheted off of Wood and scrambled to safety.

Cumnock very nearly snatched a last gasp winner in the final minute when Gary McMenamin drove with the ball down the right hand wing before cutting it back into the box just out of the reach of two Cumnock players who would surely have netted if they made connection.

Cumnock were much improved from there last two outings as they came close to toppling the high flying Medda side.

Next up for Cumnock is a short trip to New Cumnock as they take on Glenafton tomorrow afternoon.

Cumnock - Semple, Johnston, Crawford, Wood, O’Donnell, McKnight, Montgomerie, Williamson, Robertson, Bradford, Maguire Subs; Hanvey, McMenamin, Mullen, Elder, Shaw Irvine Meadow - Shepherd, Darroch, Sideserf, Stanton, Buchanan, Thomson, McCann, Miller, Maxwell, Hall, Halliday Subs; Fraser, Briston, Caddis, McLaren, Hall