Auchinleck 1 Rob Roy 0: Rabs rage at Talbot winner

Rob Roy boss Stewart Maxwell was sent off for his protests
Rob Roy boss Stewart Maxwell was sent off for his protests

Rob Roy lost out to a controversial goal in their clash with Super League Premier Division title rivals Auchinleck Talbot on Saturday.

The Kirkintilloch side’s players and manager were left furious as the Ayrshire’s winner was allowed to stand despite the referee’s assistant raising his flag for offside.

It was a bitter disappointment for the visitors who were unfortunate not to return with at least a share of the spoils after a battling performance.

Rob Roy went into the match looking to bounce back from the disappointment of their Scottish Junior Cup exit at Bonnyrigg the previous week.

But it was Talbot to whom the first chance of the match fell with Dwayne Hyslop sending an angular drive past Jordan Brown’s right-hand post.

Rabs replied with Reece Pearson firing over the bar from 18 yards.

As the match developed into a midfield battle, Rabs were competing well and matching their Ayrshire opponents

Ross Harvey had a chance for Talbot but failed to connect with a Graham Wilson flick-on; then, at the other end, Willie Sawyers had his effort blocked.

Stewart Maxwell’s side tried to take the game to Talbot and in a good passage of play Chris Duff fired his shot over the bar before Kevin Green was off target with a free header from a Lee Gallacher corner kick.

But Rabs’ good work counter for nothing when, a minute before the break, Talbot took the lead in controversial circumstances resulting in mayhem on the pitch.

The assistant referee raised his flag for a clear offside decision, then lowered it as play progressed and with the Rabs defence standing still waiting for the offside decision Graham Wilson ran through to slot the ball past Brown from an angle.

The goal resulted in angry protests from the Rabs players and management, but they were to no avail.

The home side should have extended their advantage two minutes into the second half when Keir Milliken was sent through on goal but the alert Brown managed to make a crucial block.

As Rabs pressed for the equaliser Green and Gary McMenamin had shots cleared off the line, Gallacher had a goalbound shot blocked then Luke Whelan was well wide with a volley as Talbot began to defend in depth.

With tempers frayed and yellow cards being flashed, matters came to a head in the 80th minute when Hyslop kicked out at substitute Gavin Mackie as they both lay on the ground, resulting in the Talbot player being shown a straight red card.

As Rob Roy chased the equaliser they perhaps deserved, in a frantic goalmouth scramble Gallacher, Kevin Watt, Green and Danny Mackenzie all had shots blocked.

With five minutes remaining frustration got the better of Rabs boss Maxwell who was sent from the technical area for an outburst directed at referee Graham.

And despite Rabs best efforts to equalise, ten men Talbot held out to take all three points and draw level with Rabs - both sides a point behind Glenafton - in the title race.