Photographs by Paul Flynn.
MURRAYS MATCH REPORT
Talbot climbed to second in the table thanks to a battling win over Beith; the sides separated thanks to a moment of magic from Mark Shankland.
In the 1st half Beith were shooting down to the Coal Road end & aided by a stiff breeze looked to pin Talbot back.
The first chance of the match though came Talbot’s way in the 2nd minute. Stephen Wilson whipped a dangerous cross over from the right that skipped off the head of Glasgow in the centre and came to Hyslop at the far post where he guided a header wide of goal.
Leishman was tested in the 7th minute when Bradley hammered a shot on target from just outside the area. He blocked the initial shot & then reacted quickly to push it wide of the post as it spun back on goal.
Talbot threatened down the other end in the 13th minute. Graham Wilson beat Sheridan in an aerial duel & flicked the ball into the path of Glasgow who hit a 1st time volley just over the bar from 18 yards.
The Bot defence had to withstand Beith pressure in the 18th minute. Noble swept a cross over to the back post where Pope was forced to head it behind for the corner. The corner was taken deep to Green whose header for goal was blocked behind for a corner.
Talbot’s defence were on their toes and denying Beith clear cut opportunities as they did again in the 24th minute. A corner from the left was headed out & came to McGlinchey at the edge of the box but the defence were quickly out at him & his attempted shot blocked.
Glasgow used his pace to good advantage in the 28th minute, haring past Green & bursting into the box only to see his low cross blocked behind by Sheridan.
Shankland took the resultant corner & hit it to the far post where Hyslop guided a header back across goal where Green headed clear.
A minute later Talbot were on the attack again. Stephen Wilson latched onto a loose ball outside the area & fired a low drive for goal that was deflected wide for a corner. Shankland whipped the corner across the 6-yard line where Harvey met it but he glanced his header wide of the far post.
Talbot were looking threatening from set pieces & they gave the Beith defence another fright in the 33rd minute when Sheridan conceded a needless corner with a slack header. Shankland delivered it across the 6-yard line where Hyslop met it but he glanced his header wide of target.
One minute later Talbot ought to have taken the lead. Hyslop cushioned a header over the Beith defence to send Graham Wilson racing clean through on goal; however, he failed to make the most of it & drilled a low shot straight at the keeper.
Beith put Talbot under sustained pressure in the 37th minute. Bradley tried his luck from outside the box only to see his shot blocked. It came back out to him & he slipped it wide to Christie whose shot at goal was deflected behind for a corner. The corner was taken into the near post where Milliken attempted to glance it home but Harvey headed it behind. This time the corner was taken deep & only partially cleared with the ball coming out to Christie 16 yards from goal. He fired for goal but McPherson was quickly out to close him down & block behind for another Beith corner which was lifted into the near post where Leishman gathered.
The visitors had a half chance to take the lead in the 39th minute. A long ball down the centre flew over the head of Harvey & Collins raced onto it down the left. He went for the lob but under pressure from McPherson he hoisted it over the bar.
Just when it looked as though the 1st half would finish goalless Talbot finally made the breakthrough. In the final minute of the half Talbot were awarded a free kick 25 yards out after Hyslop was nudged in the back. MARK SHANKLAND stepped up & hit an absolute peach of a free kick; firing it over the wall & inside the left post beyond the despairing dive of Grindlay to send Talbot in ahead at the interval.
Talbot started the 2nd half purposefully & created a chance within a minute of the re-start. Pope lifted a cross to the far post where Hyslop’s header for goal was blocked. It came out to Graham Wilson who saw his effort at goal blocked by the defence.
In the 49th minute Talbot won a free kick within shooting distance when Graham Wilson was fouled just outside the penalty area. Once again Shankland took it & his effort brought out a top save from Grindlay who flew to his right to turn it wide.
Talbot’s next attack saw Shankland surge across the middle of the park being fouled all the way with the ref choosing to let play continue. He did eventually blow up for a foul by which time Graham Wilson caught Green as he tried to clear which resulted in a booking for Wilson & Green hobbling off the pitch to be replaced by N Docherty.
Shankland’s set pieces were a constant thorn in the side of Beith and he produced another in the 61st minute when his corner from the right had to be headed over his own bar by Sheridan in a desperate clearance. When he delivered the resultant corner from the left Beith did well to defend it at the back post.
Beith hadn’t offered much going forward after the break but they came within a whisker of equalising in the 69th minute. There was an element of fortune about it when Collins attempted a shot that was deflected straight into the path of Christie in space on the right & he angled a fierce drive that clipped the outside of Leishman’s left post.
Tucker made his 1st change in the 71st minute with McIlroy coming on in place of Graham Wilson.
Talbot came within inches of doubling their lead in the 76th minute. Shankland met a hanging cross from the right & guided a header across the face of goal. Hyslop slid in to meet it at the back post but just couldn’t connect.
Beith now made a further change with Collins making way for Haggerty.
With 7 minutes remaining Beith had a chance to test Leishman when they won a free kick 25 yards out but McGlinchey hit a tame effort straight into the wall.
Two minutes later a quickly taken free kick down the right sent Christie scurrying free down the right but he over-hit his cross beyond the far post. N Docherty ran onto it but lashed a wild shot way off target.
Talbot then won a free kick outside the Beith penalty area when Glasgow was up-ended by Sheridan. Pope fired it straight into the wall but the ball rebounded out to Shankland who volleyed it wide of target.
Tucker now made a late switch with Armstrong replacing the tiring Stephen Wilson.
Talbot saw out the closing minutes fairly comfortably and might have extended their lead a minute into added time. McIlroy showed great persistence to rob Sheridan at the edge of the area before slipping the ball through to Hyslop. He was in space on the left of the box but chose the wrong option trying to square it across to Glasgow rather than shooting & the defence were able to clear.
All in all, a good win for Talbot who now face two cup ties in the upcoming week, first up is the visit of Kilwinning on Wednesday night in the Sectional cup semi & then next Saturday the Bot host Wigton in the senior cup.
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, Harvey, McPherson, S Wilson, Hyslop, White, G Wilson, Shankland, Glasgow
Subs – McIlroy, McCracken, Armstrong, Kemp, Hewitt
Beith Juniors – Grindlay, R Docherty, Noble, Green, Sheridan, Wilson, Christie, McGlinchey, Collins, Bradley, Milliken
Subs – Haggerty, N Docherty, McDonald, Middleton, Miller
|August 25, 2018||14:00||2018/19|
|Team||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|
|14||Gareth Armstrong 7||Defender||0||0||0||0|
|9||Graham Wilson 12||Forward||0||0||1||0|