AUCHINLECK Talbot boss Tommy Sloan says tiredness cost his team after their dream of successfully defending the West of Scotland Cup was dashed at the weekend.

Sloan's side lost on penalties to Pollok in the semi-final stage of the competition on Saturday, April 6.

And the Talbot manager said his team paid the price for playing a third game in eight days, hot on the heels of their Premier Division loss at Glenafton and a draw against champions Beith.

Saturday's semi-final ended 2-2 after 90 minutes before the Talbot saw two penalties saved in a 4-2 shootout loss.

It was a rollercoaster match at Beechwood Park which saw Pollok take the lead through Stephen Docherty.

The home side trailed at half time, but Kyle McAvoy quickly levelled in the second half before he put his side ahead before the hour mark.

Pollok were later reduced to ten men when Scott Forrester received two yellow cards in the space of a few minutes.

But despite being a man down, Stewart Maxwell's side levelled through Luke Main with a quarter of an hour to go.

Despite the best efforts of both teams, neither side could conjure up a winner in the closing stages, sending the tie to penalties.

Scott Schoneville and Ross Smith both had their shoot-out penalties blocked by Lok keeper Jordan Longmuir as the Glasgow side secured their place in the final at the end of this month, when they'll play either Darvel or Shotts Bon Accord.

Despite the result, Talbot boss Sloan was pleased with his side's performance in the second half of the match.

Speaking to the club's social media team, he said: “The first half was a bit flat from our perspective. We had a bit of pressure at times but there wasn’t much zip about us.

“In the second half we were much better for the first half an hour. We were really bright and managed to create numerous chances and go in front.

“We just couldn’t get that third goal to give us that wee gap and secure us into the next round.”

And the Beechwood Park boss feels their midweek fixture against Glenafton, while Pollok were out of action, may have hindered his side on Saturday.

He continued: “There is no doubt the midweek fixture has hurt us today. Us playing midweek, and Pollok having midweek off, was the biggest thing to affect the game.

“They were as much in the game as we were in the last 15 minutes; there was definitely a lot of tiredness there.

“It was a big effort from a lot of players, I was pleased with a good bit of the second half there.

“On another day we would have finished the game off, but it wasn’t our day today - and when it goes to penalties it’s anybody’s match.”

Neither Sloan nor his players have time to dwell on Saturday's result as they turn their attention to their attempt to bring the Scottish Junior Cup back to Beechwood for the 15th time.

Talbot play host to East Ayrshire rivals Darvel in the first leg of the semi-final on Friday, April 12, with the second leg taking place at Recreation Park seven days later.

Sloan told Talbot's media team: “We need to regroup. When you get beat you react to it. That’s what good players do, and that’s what I’m expecting from our lot.

“We’ve lost two games there which we could have won very easily.

“We just need to be more clinical, but that’s the way it’s going just now.

"A few weeks back we were scoring plenty and we just need to get back on to that.”

Friday's semi-final kicks off at Beechwood Park at 7.30pm.