MURRAY’S MATCH REPORT
Talbot survived a scare in this hard fought William Hill Scottish cup tie as they battled to a 2-2 draw away to Dundonald Bluebell.
The Bot got an early indication this wasn’t going to be an easy afternoon when McKenzie burst forward toward the Talbot penalty area. As he was challenged the ball broke left to Wilson whose low drive was smothered by Leishman.
Talbot’s first attack came after 5 minutes. Armstrong spread the ball out right to find Graham Wilson who fired it low across the area. The defence could only clear it as far as Armstrong, 15 yards out, but he took too many touches & was closed down before getting a shot away.
In the 10th minute Pope played it up the line to find Samson running in behind Mackie. He lifted a cross over to the far post where Stephen Wilson headed it back across goal & Lennox gathered under pressure from Graham Wilson.
A minute later Pope again played it down the left for Samson. He shrugged off Mackie’s challenge and fired in a shot from a tight angle that Lennox parried away.
Leishman was called upon in the 17th minute. A long ball down the right skipped off Young’s head and fell to Calum Smith. Leishman quickly raced to the edge of his area to make the block. The rebound came to Smith on the right touchline and he fired it low across goal where Young cut it out.
The home side had an opportunity to test Leishman again in the 21st minute. Chris Gay was nudged over as he broke forward resulting in a free kick 25 yards out. Drummond fired it round the wall but Leishman dived to his right to push it away.
Within a minute Talbot moved ahead. Armstrong slipped a well-weighted pass down the left for KEIR SAMSON & he out-paced Mackie before prodding the ball past Lennox to make it 1-0.
Talbot had a chance to extend their lead in the 25th minute. Nimmo caught Samson 22 yards out and the ref awarded Talbot a free kick. Shankland took it but his shot hit the top of the defensive wall & spun out for a shy. Stephen Wilson took it quickly, releasing Armstrong on the right of the area where he fired a shot that Lennox gathered at his near post.
The Bot’s next attack saw Pope on the overlap & his low cross caused Lennox difficulties with the keeper fumbling the ball but able to gather at the 2nd attempt.
Dundonald threatened an equaliser in the 32nd minute. The ball was played into Chris Gay at the edge of the area & he carried it forward before firing just past the right post.
Samson was getting joy down the left & was involved in a penalty shout in Talbot’s next attack. He gathered on the left before driving inside into the box where he was blocked by Mackie but the referee judged the collision accidental & waved play on.
Armstrong set the ball rolling on Talbot’s next attack as he surged forward through midfield before releasing it to Samson down the right. He made for the bye line before cutting a dangerous ball back across the face of goal but there were no takers in the centre. The ball came out to Shankland on the opposite wing & he whipped a good cross over that Nimmo headed clear.
Five minutes before the interval Talbot came close to grabbing their 2nd. The Bot won a free kick out on the left which Shankland curled over. Lennox touched it away but it came out to Samson 16 yards out, who with his back to goal fired an overhead kick on target that Lennox touched over the bar.
Talbot were ending the half strongly and threatened the Dundonald goal again in the 43rd minute. Pope drove into the box and fired a right foot shot at goal that deflected off Graham Wilson & just wide of Lennox’s right hand post.
The Bot kept pressing and had the home side pegged back but couldn’t add to their tally and went in 1-0 ahead at the break.
Dundonald made two changes during the half-time interval with Rogerson & Wilson staying in the clubhouse to be replaced by Matt Gay and Jeffries.
The changes seemed to rejuvenate the home side who made a strong start to the 2nd half without particularly threatening in the final third.
The first effort at goal after the break came in the 55th minute for Dundonald. Leishman punched a corner clear that came out to Mackie just inside the area & he directed a scissor kick wide of the right post.
On the hour mark Matt Gay cut in off the right past Armstrong & lifted a cross just beyond the back post which Calum Smith met but was unable to head back on target. Talbot now launched a swift counter down the right where Graham Wilson combined with Samson to release Samson on the right of the area where he fired into the side-netting.
Talbot had a chance in the 64th minute when Shankland lifted a cross over to find Samson 6 yards out but it was just too high and he couldn’t get over it and sent his header flying over the bar.
A minute later Talbot spurned a golden chance to double their lead. White challenged for the ball in midfield and the ball cannoned through to Graham Wilson on the right. He was clean through and strolled on into the penalty area before squaring it across to Samson. He looked a cert but the ball got caught between his feet & Lennox was quickly off his line to save at his feet.
Slack play in the Dundonald rearguard gifted Talbot their next opening. A loose pass came out to Shankland just outside the area and he went for goal only to see Durie deflect his shot behind. Shankland took the corner and his delivery cut the keeper out and flew to the back post but no one could get the touch needed.
With 20 minutes remaining Dundonald made their final change with Walton replacing McKenzie and a minute later Talbot made a double switch with Glasgow & Healy on for Shankland & Samson.
It was all square in the 73rd minute. Talbot’s midfield were posted missing allowing Chris Gay the time to slide a pass through the defence for JOHN SMITH who placed it low past Leishman.
Things went from bad to worse for the Bot and they found themselves a goal behind two minutes later with an early contender for goal of the tournament. Nimmo lifted a high ball down the right that Calum Smith knocked down into the path of JOSH JEFFRIES who cut in off the right & looped an unstoppable shot into the top right hand corner.
The drama continued as Talbot raced to the other end from the re-start and won a penalty. Stephen Wilson sped down the left and cut in inside to Glasgow whose shot was blocked by Durie’s arm. The ref pointed to the spot and Pope took it, firing a tame effort on target that Lennox parried away to his right. Pope followed up and got to the loose ball and the keeper turned from hero to zero as he dived to retrieve it and up-ended Pope resulting in a 2nd penalty. This time GRAHAM WILSON took over spot kick duties and gave the keeper no chance as he buried it high inside the left post to make it 2-2.
Unusually for a competitive cup tie there hadn’t been any bookings but Calum Smith had his name taken in the 79th minute for a late challenge on Lyle.
Dundonald had a chance for a late winner three minutes from time. A corner from the left was pulled back to the on rushing Chris Gay but he fired over from 15 yards.
As the game moved into injury time it was Talbot who who nearly snatched the win. A promising Talbot counter was ended when Glasgow was hauled down by Durie resulting in a yellow card for the full-back. The free kick was flighted up field where it broke to Glasgow on the right of the area and his low drive was saved by Lennox.
In virtually the final action of the match Talbot were inches from the win. A ball over from the right came across to Stephen Wilson and his shot was deflected just past the post by Durie.
The fans certainly got their money’s worth and both sides have it all to do again next Saturday at Beechwood.
Dundonald Bluebell – Lennox, Durie, Drummond, Mackie, Nimmo, Chris Gay, Rogerson, McKenzie, Calum Smith, Wilson, Wallace
Subs – Matt Gay, Jeffries, John Smith, Walton, Hendry, Crowe (gk)
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, Young, A Wilson, White, Stephen Wilson, Armstrong, Graham Wilson, Samson, Shankland
Subs – Glasgow, Healy, Pearson, McDowall, McKinlay, Hewitt
|August 10, 2019||15:00||William Hill Scottish Cup||2019/20|
|12||Kieran Healy 10||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|10||Keir Samson 12||Forward||1||0||0||0|
|14||Jamie Glasgow 11||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|11||Mark Shankland 14||Forward||0||0||0||0|