Cumnock 1, Largs Thistle 1

WILL SEWELL capped a man-of-the-match performance with the all-important equaliser to help Largs secure a point at Cumnock on Saturday.

A third away trip in a row for Stuart Davidson's men saw them up against the reigning Scottish Junior Cup holders, who went into the match sitting fifth in the Premier Division table.

Largs did well to win both league clashes between the teams in 2022-23, but Cumnock, now managed by former Pollok boss Murdo MacKinnon, are a very different side this time round.

Both teams went into Saturday's game, the first meeting of the sides this season, off the back of sore defeats seven days earlier, with Largs having let slip a two goal advantage to lose 3-2 at St Cadoc's, while Cumnock tumbled to a 4-0 derby loss at the hands of bitter rivals Auchinleck Talbot.

The first chance for either side fell to Largs winger Jamie Martin, who had scored in each of Thistle's previous three matches, but this time Cumnock keeper Jamie Barclay made a stop with his feet.

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Jamie Martin came close to scoring for Largs, pictured on his debut at Cumnock last seasonJamie Martin came close to scoring for Largs, pictured on his debut at Cumnock last season (Image: Newsquest)

Three minutes later ex Yoker midfielder David McGrath pushed forward into the box but couldn't finish as Largs continued to show early positive signs.

However, Cumnock broke away and scored the opener on 12 minutes, when a nice lob into the box released Allan MacKenzie, who controlled the ball well before dinking it past Joe Wilton in the Largs goal.

A busy Barclay in the home goal had to look lively to deny a close range Ramsay effort before stopping a long distance effort from Sewell as Largs kept pushing forward.

But Cumnock weren't going to sit back on their one-goal lead and Wilton used his feet to block the advancing Jamieson on 38 minutes.


There was no doubt, though, that Barclay was the busier of the two keepers in the first half, and the Cumnock stopper was there again to block a robust header from Sewell.

Cumnock reached the interval with their noses still in front, but Largs began the second half on the front foot, and on 59 minutes Sewell got himself on the end of another cross after the visitors won possession from an attempted Cumnock clearance, and this time the striker made no mistake, heading home his 18th of the season.

Largs came close to taking the lead moments later, but Ramsay struck the crossbar before Sewell fired the rebound over the top.

Boss Davidson freshened thinks up for the closing stages, with Blair Devine and Darryl Duffy replacing Martin and Ramsay, and the changes nearly had the desired effect, with McCreath seeing his header parried over the bar by Barclay five minutes from time as Largs pushed forward in search of the winner.

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Ryan McCreath had a late chance for Largs ThistleRyan McCreath had a late chance for Largs Thistle (Image: Newsquest)

Two minutes later, though, Nock had a glorious opportunity to snatch what would have been a slightly fortunate win, only for Wilton to watch as a header was directed wide from a great attacking position.

The share of the points was enough to propel Largs up to 10th place in the table, with Gartcairn next up at Barrfields this Saturday in what will be only Thistle's second home game of the new year.

The two teams drew 1-1 in Airdrie on the opening day of the season, with Thistle following that up with a dramatic 3-2 win away from home when the sides met in the third round of the Junior Cup in November.

LARGS: Wilton, McLeod, McMaster, McCreath, Hughes, Faulds, Martin, Davidson, Sewell, McGrath, Ramsay. Subs: Adam, Devine, Duffy, Lapsley, Cumming, Tennent, Johnston (GK).

Cumnock: Barclay, Watt, Willet, Cook, Ellis, Wilson, McLauchlin, Frye, MacKenzie, Jamieson, Stevenston. Subs: McLaughlin, Veitch, Conn, McLennan, Ferry, Buchanan, Strain (GK).