Dundonald Bluebell close to Scottish Cup glory as Auchinleck Talbot rescue replay

Mikey Ness celebrates after his spectacular strike put Dundonald ahead with 15 minutes left. Pic: George Wallace
Mikey Ness celebrates after his spectacular strike put Dundonald ahead with 15 minutes left. Pic: George Wallace

Dundonald Bluebell 2 Auchinleck Talbot 2

Dundonald's first ever match in the official Scottish Cup proved a memorable one as a large crowd watched an enthralling 2-2 draw with comparable giants Auchinleck Talbot.

Specialist equipment, as well as a number of volunteers, were drafted in to help remove water from the pitch following Friday's torrential downpours and the concerted efforts paid dividends as, against the odds, Moorside Park was declared playable.

The match was billed as the biggest in Dundonald's history, however, the build-up was marred by the sad news that Bluebell vice-chairman Willie Webster had passed away the previous night.

A minute's silence was held in his honour, which both sets of supporters observed.

Neither team were looking to give much away in the opening stages but as the half progressed chances started to appear.

Bluebell youngster John Smith equalised for the home side. Pic: George Wallace

Bluebell youngster John Smith equalised for the home side. Pic: George Wallace

The visitors took the lead in the 22nd minute when a moment of hesitation in the home defence allowed Keir Samson to slide the ball into the net.

Dundonald didn't let this set back affect them and continued to press Auchinleck in search of an equaliser.

McKenzie had a great chance to level the score when he brought the ball under control with a great touch but with the goal at his mercy he put his shot wide.

The last chance of the half fell to Talbot when Lennox had to tip an acrobatic effort from Samson over the bar.​

Bluebell started the second half well and had the visitors on the back foot.

Gay had an early chance after he was put in by Smith but the Auchinleck defence managed to clear.

Dundonald got themselves back on level terms in the 73rd minute when a great ball from Gay cut open the Talbot defence and young substitute John Smith stayed calm and slotted the ball into the net.

Bluebell were in dreamland just moments later when a stunning goal from Mikey Ness put the hosts into the lead when he picked the ball up on the edge of the box, nutmegged the defender then fired the ball into the top corner of the net.

The Cardenden side were now 15 minutes from a famous Scottish Cup result, but unfortunately the lead didn't last long.

Straight from kick-off, Auchinleck pushed forward and - despite Dundonald claims that the ball had run out of play - the ball was played into the box where a shot from Glasgow struck Mackie's hand, and the ref pointed to the spot.

Lennox saved the penalty from Pope, but as he went to stop the rebound he caught the striker and the ref awarded another spot kick.

The visitors made no mistake this time as Wilson took over penalty duties and drew his side level.

​Both sides had chances to win in the closing stages but the match ended in a draw, with a replay at Beechwood Park next Saturday.

This was a fine performance from Dundonald against a team who are rated one of the best in the country, and they can count themselves unlucky not to be in the next round.

They can head to Ayrshire next week without fear knowing that on their day they can match Auchinleck and hopefully come back with a result.