Rossvale beaten on top flight debut at Cumnock after keeper red card

Gary McMenamin and Rossvale lost out at Cumnock (pic: Alison Scott)
Gary McMenamin and Rossvale lost out at Cumnock (pic: Alison Scott)

Rossvale kicked off their first season as a top-flight cup with a 3-1 defeat at Cumnock on Saturday.

Despite the result it was a memorable occasion for Vale who were making their Premiership bow after just eight years as a junior club.

Cumnock president Kevin Orr presented a silver salver to Rossvale chairman Dom McInally

Cumnock president Kevin Orr presented a silver salver to Rossvale chairman Dom McInally

To honour Vale’s achievement Cumnock president Kevin Orr presented a silver salver to Vale chairman Dom McInally, while former Rossvale player David Leadbetter was named as captain by the Ayrshire side.

When the action got under way Vale went straight into the attack and Andy Johnstone missed a glorious chance after five minutes when after good play by Peter Bradley and Joe Slattery put him through one on one with Cumnock keeper Ally Semple who did well to cut out the danger.

A minute later Gary McMenamin got on the end of a Johnstone cross. but Semple saved once more.

Slattery then missed a great opportunity when he got on the end of an excellent Craig Buchan cross but could only watch as his header sail over from eight yards.

Cumnock were giving just as much as they were receiving though and went ahead on 25 minutes when a Chris Campbell cross found Graeme Ramage bursting through the middle. His job was made easier when Matt Niven slid and fell, leaving Ramage time to pick his spot and beat Jamie Donnelly from just inside the box.

But five minutes later it was all even. Liam McGonigle burst into the box and when his shot was blocked and Slattery made no mistake from the rebound by firing through a number of ‘Nock players for a deserved equaliser.

Rossvale threatened again straight from the kick-off when Johnstone burst into the box brought out another good save from Semple, the rebound falling to Slattery who blasted over to the relief of the ‘Nock defence.

Just before half-time Vale were unfortunate when McGonigle was denied by Semple and then Slattery and Del McNab combined to lay on another chance for McGonigle whose rushed effort went well over.

The second half began with Slattery bringing out an excellent full-length save from Semple before, at the other end, Donnelly brilliantly turned a Campbell effort for a corner.

But in the 50th minute Cumnock player-manager Paul Burns turned Gary McGrath in the middle of the park then found Craig McLeish who curled his effort round Donnelly to again put Cumnock ahead.

And Vale were really up against it when keeper Donnelly was red-carded for handling outside his box, leaving the visitors down to 10 men and with defender Niven in goals for the rest of the game.

Campbell was first to test him, but Niven brought off a fantastic full length save to turn the ball out for a corner.

But two minutes later with another long ball over the top found Jamie Conn who turned his man and buried his effort which the stand-in keeper had no chance of getting to.