McBookie Premiership



CUMNOCK boss Tony McInally had almost a full squad to pick from for the first time since taking over at Townhead Park. Unfortunately skipper Alan Murdoch was a late casualty through injury.

McInally welcomed back Andy Dowie to the heart of a defence looking to make it three clean sheets on the spin. New loan signing from Stranraer, David Smith, had to settle for a place on the Nock bench.

On a very heavy Valefield Park, Cumnock started the brighter of the two mid-table sides.

Their first attempt on goal saw Ryan Caddis work himself some room but fired just wide of Joe Wilton’s right hand post. Wilton then turned a Kyle Faulds effort round the post.

Home player David Waite went close with a drive from range going inches wide.

Kilbirnie talisman Jamie Longworth then saw a looping effort clip the bar although Kieran Hughes looked to have the attempt covered. The game was more a midfield battle rather than end to end.

Just before half-time Nock’s Craig McLeish saw a decent header saved by Wilton and Kilbirnie’s Kieran Wood saw a header turned round the post by Hughes.

Into the second half and it was “as you were” from the first half.

Neither team was creating any clear goal scoring chances and most of the play was contained in the middle third.

Andy Dowie and Ruaridh McIntyre came close with headers from corners.

After a series of bookings and as the game drew to a close it looked like a single goal would nick all three points.

Kilbirnie had a couple of efforts on goal with Chris Craig stinging the palms of Hughes.

With minutes remaining after some great build-up play by Cumnock’s Ryan Caddis saw a header just miss the target.

Cumnock then had a penalty claim turned down when Paul Burns was body checked in the box.

With the last kick of the ball Nock sub Alistair Miller failed to connect properly with a Chris Campbell cross with an empty goal gaping.

Cumnock travel to face McInally’s former side Pollok on Saturday and will be looking to build on this performance but this time take chances.

CUMNOCK JUNIORS: Hughes; Baird, Crawford, Dowie, McIntyre, McLeish, Bell, Burns, Faulds, Conn, Caddis Subs: Miller, Campbell, Murdoch, Smith, Semple (gk).