Auchinleck Talbot clawed themselves back into their top of the table clash with Darvel not once but twice in their Easter Monday clash played in front of well over 2000 spectators.
Tommy Sloan’ side were left hunting for goals rather than eggs at Recreation Park, but Keir Samson and Dwayne Hyslop came up with the goods in a match that left every fan or neutral in attendance purring for more in a game well worth the £7 entrance fee.
‘Vale led twice thanks to Allan Mackenzie and an Ian McShane wonderstrike, but it wasn’t enough for Michael Kennedy’s side to make up ground on the West of Scotland Premiership leaders.
Talbot remain three points clear of Darvel with a superior goal difference, so with six games to go for each side it’s sure to be a fascinating end to the season.
Darren Miller had an early chance after just six minutes, but Talbot No 1 Andy Leishman saved well to keep it out – that was the theme of the night.
In the 12th minute he got down well to stop a Lewis Morrison shot this time as he knocked it out for a corner.
Mackenzie then opened the scoring as he rounded Leishman to slam the ball home into an empty net.
But just two minutes later the league leaders snapped back and Samson fired home to equalize.
Veteran Graham Wilson could have fired ‘Bot into the lead just after the half hour mark with a glancing header, but unfortunately for the striker it grazed off the post.
Five minutes before half time the hosts were back in front thanks to a well-worked goal which ended with a rocket strike from McShane.
Leishman then pulled off an unthinkable save in the 65th minute as he got down low to deny Mackenzie his brace from close range.
Six minutes later Sloan’s men were back level again thanks to Hyslop’s strike which left substitute goalkeeper Lyle Avci helpless.
‘Okay boss Kennedy was left frustrated his side failed to see out the win: “From a neutral’s perspective it was a great game to watch, it was end-to-end, loads of opportunities.
“We had a great chance at 2-1, but Andy [Leishman] pulls off an unbelievable save, I think if we score that we go on to win the game.
“The overriding feeling is disappointment, a draw suits Auchinleck more than us, but we just need to move on now.”
The Ayrshire Live app is available to download now.
Get all the local news in your area – plus features, football news and the latest on the coronavirus crisis – at your fingertips 24/7.
The free download features the latest breaking news and exclusive stories while you can customize your page with the sections that matter to you.
The Ayrshire Live app is available to download now on iOS and Android.
He added: “There was well over 2000 people at the game, it was a great advert for this level, I have said before that this league is one of the best leagues in the country, the value you get for £7 is great. “
Talbot gaffer Sloan added: “It was pretty end-to-end, it was a decent game to watch, but from our point of view we had plenty of opportunities, I was pleased enough with the performance.
“Hopefully we look back on this as an important point, it was always going to be a competitive game and it turned out that way, I couldn’t ask for anymore from the players.”
Don’t miss the latest Ayrshire headlines – sign up to our free daily newsletter here