PERHAPS it is appropriate that Andy Leishman, the Auchinleck Talbot goalkeeper, installs water mains for a living. Because, for the second time in seven years, it is he who will be required to stem the tide if these grandees of the Ayrshire junior scene are to keep their heads above water against Hearts at Tynecastle today.

Leishman saved a penalty and played so well during that 1-0 defeat in Gorgie in 2012 that Hearts wanted to take the matter further. Invited by coach Gary Locke to join the Tynecastle side for a trial, he received a second invite a few weeks later after it emerged his heroics had left him with whiplash and an injured wrist. Fast forward a few weeks and he was finally able to try out for his big chance, a mere matter of weeks before the Tynecastle side rounded things off in this competition by routing Hibs.

But with Paulo Sergio removed of his duties as a manager in fairly short order, Leishman never got the phone call back. In fact, the only feedback Leishman did get was a prank call from one of his pals pretending to be John McGlynn offering him a contract.

"This has brought back a lot of memories, just the fact we drew Hearts again,” said Leishman. “It was a hard game, I knew I'd be busy all game and that was the case - I was the busiest man on the park and had a good game. I saved a penalty and with the goal I came out for a cross and shouted. Big Brian Slavin just got in my road and I've dropped it as he's hit into me and it's a tap in but there's a lot of good memories too."

A late Gordon Pope equaliser was mysteriously disallowed but Talbot's players left Tynecastle as local heroes. The same already applies this year around, with that 1-0 win against Ayr United in their hip pocket.

"Big Brian gave me whiplash," said Leishman. "I was sore for days after it. We were so close. I think it was the last eight minutes they scored. It was gutting and we scored and it was offside. At the time, we didn't know but when we saw it again it was on-side.

“The boy Fraser Mullen hit the penalty but Rudi Skacel was arguing with him because he was the penalty taker but it was the young boy's debut and he wanted to get a bit of confidence. But I saved it and Skacel wasn't happy about it. They were still arguing about it going into the tunnel at half time.

“To get the trial period was surreal, You've just played against all these boys and then you are in training with them. We did goalie training with Jamie MacDonald, he was the No 1, Mark Ridgers and Jack Hamilton, that was the three goalies and me. They were all good goalies. Jack was a young boy at the time and Ridgers was quite young as well. Jamie MacDonald was good and it was good to get that experience training with them.”

Hearts rang the changes ahead of the visit of Auchinleck, but with the canny Craig Levein now in charge there will be no repeat of that today. With top class technical players about like Jamie Glasgow, Graham Wilson and Mark Shankland all capable of doing a turn, Talbot aren't without quality.

"Skacel was brilliant in 2012 and they had seven or eight first-team players playing. For the Scottish Cup final against Hibs, there was only three players different to who played against us. They were panicking at half time, the embarrassment of not beating us would have been too much for them, and when they were struggling for a goal, they brought on David Templeton and somebody else and they were much better when he came on but I saved a few from him as well, so I did all right.

"But once Paulo Sergio left, I didn't hear back from them. I suppose you could say I'm still waiting on the phone call! In fact, my mates phoned me up, kidding on they were John McGlynn at the time.”

Leishman, now 30, accepts his chance of a senior gig with full-time training have probably gone now. But he and Auchinleck will still take some beating.

"I've had a few lesser offers, teams where I don't know if it's worthwhile if I weigh up my job and my football money," he added. "I couldn't sustain that. I've had phone calls from Stranraer, Livingston at the time when 'ginge' [Steven Aitken] was the manager up there, but it wasn't worth my while.

"I was a bouncer as well but I had a kid five years ago and as soon as the kid came I stopped the bouncing, I didn't want to risk anything happening to me. So you're up at six in the morning and a shift all day long."

If most of the pressure is on Hearts today, expectation is always part of the package at Talbot.

"The fans in Auchinleck all think we are going to beat Hearts," said Leishman. "It's just the way there are in Auchinleck but Hearts are a different calibre again [from Ayr], one of the best four or five teams in Scotland.

"We'll try and get in at 1-0 or 0-0. Against Ayr it was the same. If we try and go toe to toe, we'll get beat easily, so we just just need to try and sit behind the ball and get a corner or a set-piece, something like that.”

Andy Leishman was speaking at a William Hill media event. William Hill is the proud sponsor of the Scottish Cup.