FRUSTRTATION was the word for Auchinleck Talbot this weekend as they dropped points amid their planned title challenge.

Despite taking the lead twice through Michael Wardrope, Tommy Sloan's side conceded a pair of goals from long throw ins to draw 2-2 away to Arthurlie.

And with leaders and defending champions Beith easing to a 9-0 win at home to Glenafton Athletic, Talbot now need favours from elsewhere if they are to hold on to any hope of winning the West of Scotland Football League (WoSFL) Premier Division.

Talbot's title tilt had been given a boost after last Wednesday's home win over Gartcairn, on the same night that Beith tumbled to a 3-1 loss at home to St Cadoc's.

But the advantage, for now at least, is back with the Bellsdale Park side.

Speaking to Auchinleck's own social media team after the game at Dunterlie Park, assistant boss Allan McLuckie refused to dwell too much on dropping off the title pace.

He commented: “You look where we were in December time. We were sitting near the bottom of the league. We’ve come a long way.

Cumnock Chronicle: Auchinleck dropped points against Arthurlie despite a double from Michael Wardrope.Credit: Craig McGhee

“Our aspiration was to win the league, but it was always going to be a difficult task with the number of games we’ve got, and Beith are a good side who have been over the course before.

“If we finish in the top three or four and reach two cup semi-finals, from where we were and the number of players we brought in, is it success for Talbot? No, it’s not.

“But we are progressing and we need to take that into next year.”

However, the assistant used the time to vent his frustrations and concerns over a fixture pile-up for the East Ayrshire club.

After Saturday's match Talbot have six league games remaining - which will be played on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday this week and next.

These matches begin today, Monday April 29, with Auchinleck facing Rob Roy at Kilsyth Rangers' home ground at Duncansfield Park (KO 7pm).

McLuckie said: “I’m not sure the guys who make up the fixtures look at player welfare or anything else.

“They are asking guys to play three or four times a week. It’s not acceptable.

"In any other sport it wouldn’t happen but it seems to happen every year in the West of Scotland League.

“it’s something they seriously need to look at, or people are going to pick up more and more injuries.

“We’re not talking about guys who are highly tuned athletes here. We’re talking about guys going to their work five days a week.

"It is what it is, and everybody else needs to deal with it, but does that make it right? No.”