Alan McSkimming spoke of his great pride after his players took Auchinleck Talbot right to the wire on Saturday.
The giants of Junior football put Carnoustie Panmure out of the Scottish Cup with a 3-2 victory but the Gowfers didn’t give the West juggernauts an easy time of things.
Two sloppy goals gave Talbot the lead at half-time but a fantastic fightback from the hosts put Carnoustie on top of the tie, and after pulling back to 2-1 they strongly fancied their chances of getting a replay if not the win outright.
But the visitors were able to exploit the defensive space left by the rampaging Gowfers and made it 3-1, putting the game beyond their opponents despite a late second for the hosts.
McSkimming said he felt the fixture was a missed chance in the end, but couldn’t slam his players for how well they stood up against their visitors.
He said: “I think it’s a missed opportunity if I’m honest. We gave away two sloppy goals in the first half which was very disappointing.
“We got to half-time playing well and we were confident playing as we were that we could go and get something from the game.
“Then we went to 2-1 and we were well on top, and we felt confident of getting at least a replay. But when you’re pushing so hard for a goal you sometimes leave yourselves open, and that’s what happened.
“But I’m very proud of the players, it shows how far we’ve come as a team that we’re disappointed not to beat Auchinleck Talbot.”
It’s back on cup duty this weekend for Carnoustie as they head north to take on Hermes in the GA Engineering Cup.
The North Region giants are familiar foes and Alan is hopeful of a victory.
He added that if the players perform as they did last weekend, they’ll have no issues.
He said: “We’ve got an opportunity to make the quarter-finals of the GA Cup and we want to go on and win that cup.
“The boys need to make sure we continue on with where we have been.
“We played Hermes two pre-seasons back when they were champions. They were difficult to play against.
“They’ve strengthened since then and got to the last 16 of the Scottish Cup this season.
“If we can go up there and perform anywhere near as well as we did last week, and cut out the individual mistakes, we’ll be fine.”