Auchinleck Talbot v Blantyre Victoria




Report: Jim McAuley, Photography: Craig McGhee, Media: Lee Conn.

Talbot fans leaving Beechwood on Saturday will be wondering if they had just watched a game of attrition as the visitors defended stoutly or was it something more like a game that was atrocious as once again Talbot failed to turn their dominance into goals. In reality they were undoubtedly the better side carving out a number of chances but once again poor finishing nearly took them to extra time as they huffed and puffed against a hard working Blantyre side who held out until the 87th minute.


Talbot had made a couple of changes to the team that had drawn with Arthurlie with Ally Park becoming the fifth player to pull on the right back jersey while Aiden Wilson was drafted into the central defence. Vic’s had made a few changes themselves bringing in Sam Archibald from the youth team and making his debut in midfield was 17 year old Pearse Carroll who had just been released from Falkirk.


The visitors kicked off towards the Coal Road end and within seven minutes they had forced the first corner of the game, but the delivery was poor which gave Boylan the chance to control the ball and sweep it up field towards Smith, however Jones was alert to the danger and ushered the ball back to his keeper. All credit to Smith who chased the pass back down and harassed Orr into striking his clearance into his legs where the ball spun out towards the byline. 


Smith was the quickest to react by collecting the loose ball and sending it into the danger area where McLew managed to clear, but only into the path of Park who headed the ball back to Smith where the strikers lob come cross found Boyan lurking in the box and he in turn turned the ball past Orr and into the path of Thomson who tried to steer the ball into the net but somehow Jones got his head to the attempt and put the ball out for a corner. From the resulting award Wardrope swept a superb ball into the danger area and although Armstrong found himself unmarked he headed well over the bar.


Talbot were enjoying the bulk of the early play the Blantyre side had a bit of belief about them and forced a number of corners which the home defenders dealt with the in swinging cross balls with relative ease. As the game continued the home side were finding openings down the right wing and on 20 minutes Boylan found Park making a run inside the Vics defence and his short pass was collected by the defender but his shot sailed harmlessly past Orr’s goals. 


Park was proving to be Talbot’s main outlet and was back in action minutes later when he was sent up the wing by Armstrong and although his cross was too high for Boylan it fell into the path of the unmarked Thomson who failed to control the ball and his half heart attempt trundled towards Orr who decided to tip the ball past the post.


With the end of the first half looming Talbot pulled of the move of the game where Boylan laid off a Park clearance into the path of Thomson who in turn sent Smith on his way and although his cross was a bit on the high side the ball fell to Gillies who like Thomson failed to put the chance to good use.


Gibson was the first to go into the book for a late tackle on Smith minutes before the referee blew for the end of proceedings. 


Talbot came out the traps in the opening minutes when a Boylan header sent Smith into the box but dwelt on the pass to Wardrope who when he did receive it did well to keep the ball in play and as it was cleared  by Archibald it fell to Boylan who rifled his shot over the bar. In the 55th minute Talbot had a claim for a hand ball when Thomson’s shot from the edge of the box hit a Vics player but the referee waved play on. The game had become bogged down in the visitors half as Talbot chipped away without troubling the Blantyre defence. Jones found himself in the book in the 64th minute soon followed by Talbot’s Thomson as the match got a wee bit physical. 


In the 73rd minute Wardrope did well to fashion a chance but his effort had no pace to it and it rolled gratefully into Orr’s hands. Talbot made a change on the 75th minute as Boyd replaced Thomson and it was the ex-Meadow man who was to separate the sides in the 87th minute. A long ball down the wing by McPherson looked to be intercepted by McLew but from nowhere Smith appeared to wrestle the ball from him, cut into the box and his pass was stroked into the net by Boyd via the boot of Jones to give Talbot the lead


A minute later all hell broke loose when McLew was shown the red card after having a rush of blood to the head and crashing into Armstrong. A full scale melee then took place between both sets of players with McPherson picking up a card along with Kyle McDonald. The visitors had the Talbot fans holding their breath when K.McDonald stroked a great ball through the Talbot defence and past Glavin’s post. Boyd should have added another when Smith again battled his way into the box but this time his pass to Boyd saw the attacker get the ball lost amongst his feet and as it broke loose Langan skied his shot.


With the game time running down there were last minute substitutions where  McMillan replaced Boylan while Smith was replaced by Abet. The referee’s whistle was heartily accepted by the vast majority of the crowd who had no appetite for another 30 minutes of purgatory. 


TALBOT: Glavin, Park, Gillies, McPherson, Wilson, Langan, Wardrobe, Armstrong, Boylan, Smith, Thomson. SUBS: Boyd, Abet, Black, McMillan, McCracken, Hendry.

BLANTYRE VICS: Orr, Jones, Archibald, Gibson, Kerr, McLew, Bowman, Carroll, Jarvie, Zeb, L.McDonald. SUBS: K.McDonald, Osinski, McMee, Sharp, Gillespie, McGovern, White



Date Time Competition Season
September 16, 2023 14:00 SOUTH REGION CHALLENGE CUP 2023/24


Auchinleck Talbot1
Blantyre Victoria0

Auchinleck Talbot

# Player Position Goals Assists YC RC
4Neill McPhersonDefender0010
15Tarek Abed 10Midfielder0000
12Connor Boyd 11Forward1000
2Ally ParkMidfielder0000
14Fraser McMillan 9Defender0000
5Aiden WilsonDefender0000
8Gareth ArmstrongDefender0000
7Michael WardropeMidfielder0000
1Aidan GlavinGoalkeeper0000
17Chris HenryGoalkeeper0000
9Bryan Boylan 14Forward0000
11Ewan Thomson 12Midfielder0010
3Luke GilliesMidfielder0000
6Ruaridh LanganMidfielder0000
18Jamie Black (On loan to Greenock)Midfielder0000
10Ross Smith 15Midfielder0100
19Craig McCrackenDefender0000
 Total 1120

Blantyre Victoria

Position Goals Assists YC RC


Beechwood Park
8 Beechwood Ave, Auchinleck, Cumnock, East Ayrshire KA18 2AP, UK


Michael Williamson

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