Talbot travelled across to the East to take on Premier club Newtongrange in their third pre-season friendly of the new season and returned home with an emphatic 5-0 win under their belt. The Star had been busy during the close season with five new signings to date and on paper looked a decent side, but this was to be Talbot’s day especially for the younger element that made it a day the East giants will want to forget.
Once again Talbot started with no central defence which forced Tucker into bringing along ex-Winton Rovers player Darren Miller to pair alongside Willie Lyle who was acting in a sweeper role. Talbot were certainly the busier of the two sides as the game kicked off and in the 6th minute Shankland whipped in a dangerous cross that Boyd hit back across the face of the goals but there were no takers. The game was bogged down in midfield for a large part of the opening encounters and the home side fashioned a few chances but their finishing efforts were woeful to say the least. On 15 minutes Talbot should have been awarded a penalty when Boyd headed a pope cross into the path of Shankland whose parting shot was clearly handled in the box. Five minutes later Bryan Young’s dangerous ball into the box was headed clear back to his feet and his first time drive just skimmed the left hand post.
The first half was drawing to a close when the home side were awarded a dubious corner, and from it Thompson volleyed a peach of a shot goal ward which forced Leishman into a terrific save where he tipped the ball over the bar.
Tucker rang the changes in the second half by bringing on Keir Milliken and Lee Cochrane for Bryan Young and Graham Wilson. Talbot took the lead a minute later when MARK SHANKLAND found himself free on the right and with nobody following up he cut into the box beat two defenders and dispatched the ball into the net well away from the keeper. Two minutes later Talbot were denied another penalty when Shankland’s shot was handled by Thompson but the referee waved play on. On the hour mark Tucker replaced Steven White for young Martin Findlay much to the home sides delight due to the veteran midfielder’s no prisoner tactics. Talbot were unlucky no to have doubled their lead a minute later when Shankland fired a shot just over the bar after connecting with a Milliken through ball. This was to be the young striker’s last act as he was replaced on the 70th minute by trialist Billy Wells. The star had a good opportunity to level things on the 75th minute when Chris Renton
fashioned a decent chance but he shot well wide. A minute later DWAYNE HYSLOP doubled Talbot’s lead when he put a glancing header from a Pope whipped cross well out of the reach of the home keeper. This was followed sixty seconds later when Wells broke up the left wing and sent in a wicked cross which was met by the unmarked MARTIN FINDLAY who powered his header well past Renton in the Star goals. The home side had their heads down by this and on the 80th minute Wells again found loads of room on the left and his deft pass through the defence left KEIR MILLIKEN in the clear and he chipped the ball over the advancing keeper to make it 4-0.
There was no fight left in the home side by now and worse was to follow when LEE COCHRANE robbed the ball on the right hand side of the midfield, advanced forward and with the home defence back peddling he unleashed ferocious 25 yard strike that flew over the clawing hands of the keeper before nestling in the back left hand side of the net.
This was a terrific result for Talbot against a well fancied Star side.
TALBOT: Leishman, Latta, Pope, Lyle, Miller, White (Findlay 60), Young (Cochrane 45), Hyslop, Shankland (Wells 70), G.Wilson (Milliken 45), Boyd. Sub not used Johnstone.