Auchinleck rang the changes at half time though, with various positions being changed. Howe came inside to centre midfield, Jordan Barr switching to right back and rather bizarrely, Mendhurst came outfield to play centre half, with Kody Robertson going inbetween the sticks. Kerr Sloan also entered the field on the right flank.
And Auchinleck came out roaring. Howe started to show a lot more of his good touches and sharp passing, and he found striker Kaylum Ferguson who left the keeper with no chance from 18 yards. 1-1, game on.
They say you are most vulnerable when you have just scored, but this proved to be the opposite for Auchinleck. They quickly became inspired, and perhaps Loudoun – hampered with injuries – were a little demoralised. However, they could do nothing to defend Daniel Mitchell’s superb first goal. He controlled Howe’s switch pass, and with no passes on, he just decided to have a go: good decision, his blast found the bottom right corner and he had just fired his side in front.
Loudoun did almost equalise straight away though. Davidson was through on goal, with his screaming team mate Ben Wilson along side him. They could not make the most of this wonderful chance though, Davidson attempted to round the opposition goalkeeper but Robertson smothered and the chance was gone.
That started a swift counter attack. Robbie Welsh beat his opposing number with a deft piece of skill and sent his strike crashing off the post.
That seemed to be it for Loudoun, as Auchinleck had taken total grip of the game, with a lot of possession being retained in Loudoun’s half.
Welsh was through one on one with Kirkland but the keeper rushed off his line again and he slid the ball to safety. The striker then began beating the offside trap a lot more, and had he perhaps not been so isolate dup top, they could have created more proper chances. Mitchell also had a chance when he saw an opening from thirty yards, but his moving strike was well held by Kirkland.
The win was sealed moments from time when Mitchell received the ball out right, and sent the bobbling ball straight off a defender. The luck was not with Loudoun today though, and the ball found its way into the goal. Loudoun were incensed at referee Jack Cotton after they wanted play stopped for an injured player. Jack is a guy I know well, and I feel he called it right by allowing Auchinleck to play on if they saw fit too – as did Loudoun teacher Mr Lennox.
Plenty of promise for both of these S1 sides. The horrible conditions helped absolutely no one, and the injuries to the home side desecrated confidence. Taking nothing away from Auchinleck though – they fully deserved their win today.