Two early goals in the first half were enough to beat the ‘Barcelona of the junior game’ as Shotts provided the biggest upset in Scottish Junior football this year. Some late pressure from Auchinleck nearly saw Shotts crumble, but they held on to win only their second Scottish Junior Cup.
Straight from the kick off it was Shotts who were applying the pressure with their first chance coming on two minutes when Andrew Scott shot just over the bar after some neat play from a corner.
Talbot went up the pitch from the goal kick and nearly scored when Steven White hit a rasping low drive from the edge of the box which went just wide.
However Shotts early pressure got them the first goal on nine minutes with their top goal scorer Stefan McCluskey skinning two opponents in the box before slotting the ball home from five yards into the top left hand corner past a helpless Leishman.
Four minutes after that Shotts got their second from a low corner to the front post which found captain John Boyack who deflected the ball into the net. Talbot were rattled and nearly lost a third goal when Paul Burns hit a lovely ball with the inside of his boot which hit the top right hand corner and out for a goal kick.
However Talbot were not going to be beaten so easily and started their comeback on 18 minutes when Keir Milliken headed just wide of the post, after a great cross found him with plenty of space in the box.
Milliken was causing lots of problems for the Shotts defence and nearly managed to run in on goal on several occasions only to be beaten each time by a diving Jon Murdoch. On 30 minutes a Gordon Pope corner was hurriedly punched out by Murdoch back to Pope who replied with a low shot to his near corner which he managed to cleanly save.
Steven White had a shot from 30 yards out go just wide and over on 39 minutes, and several minutes Keir Milliken found lots of space in the box after some neat play from Kyle Faulds. However Milliken having taken the ball off Faulds was unable to hit a shot with much power making it easy for Murdoch to get down and save it.
With the game in first half injury time, Talbot had their best chance when Bryan Young found himself on the line where he put a great ball across the goals which only needed a Talbot player to tab it in, however the ball rolled out for a goal kick and half time.
Shotts fans must have predicted an onslaught on their goal in the second half, however they defended well and kept chances to a minimum.
In fact the first chance of the second half fell to Shotts on 55 minutes as Leishman was forced to punch the ball away after initially dropping the ball from a corner into a scrum of players.
Bryan Young had an opportunity for Auchinleck on 70 minutes however his shot went high and wide after he miss-kicked the ball from the edge of the box.
With the game only having a few minutes remaining Talbot started to launch every ball into the box which ended up being very effective. Bryan Young took a speculative shot from 25 yards out which Murdoch could only punch down to the feet of Kyle Faulds who scored after placing the shot past the goalkeeper.
Talbot sensed the nerves now in the Shotts defence and went for the equaliser. Bryan Young found himself with time and space in the box but with Murdoch closing him down he shot the ball well over the bar.
Murdoch was yellow carded for time-wasting at a goal kick and only managed to kick the ball right back to the Talbot midfield who put in a great ball for Milliken who tried an audacious over head kick which hit off a Shotts defender and out for a corner.
Talbot’s last corner was put into the near post only for Murdoch to come and calmly claim the ball and the Scottish Junior Cup for Shotts Bon Accord.
After the game Shotts Bon Accord manager Tony McInally was delighted with his team’s performance: “I think the boys have put in a phenomenal effort today. They came flying out the traps to go two goals up against a formidable team and they showed their class, they are a really good side. They had a game plan and we had to nullify it. We deserved this game just to edge it, they had more of the possession and the ball than us but we had more chances to win three nil. I am chuffed to bits with my players, they were phenomenal.”
Auchinleck Talbot manager Tommy Sloan: “We came into a situation where we are chasing a two nil deficit at an early period of the game. The players did quite well for a spell, we had a lot of possession, two or three chances at their end. We manage to get one back. When you get one back it gives you a lifeline. The second half was hard work. The substitutions made a wee difference in the end and we had a bit of life but before that it wasn’t really happening.”
Auchinleck Talbot: Leishman, McGoldrick, Pope, Pettigrew, Collins (McCann), Spence (Slavin), Young, White, Milliken, Faulds, Latta (Park)
Subs not used: McVey, Robb, Gillies, McGarrity
Shotts Bon Accord: Murdoch, Finnigan, Burns, Fleming (Wharton), Ferguson, Boyack (McStay), Scott, Williamson, Mackenzie (Kerr), McCluskey, Sideserf
Subs not used: Sullivan, Miles, Jack, Brown
Referee: Don Robertson