PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.
MURRAYS MATCH REPORT
The fans were well entertained in this thrilling cup tie as for the third time this season Talbot came from behind to beat Meadow and claim their place in the Scottish Junior quarter-finals.
Talbot got off on the wrong foot and fell behind after only 6 minutes with the first real attack of the game. McCloy stole a yard on Aiden Wilson and whipped a cross into the near post where WARDROPE steered a header off the underside of the bar that spun back over the line.
The Bot’s first threat came in the 12th minute when Armstrong found Glasgow in space on the right. He played it first time into the near post where McLennan dived to head it past his own post.
It should have been all level in the 16th minute when Talbot spurned a great opportunity to equalise. McCracken’s long diagonal picked out Glasgow down the left & he skinned Findlay before lifting a cross straight onto the head of Samson who headed it straight at Waters from 5 yards out.
It was then Meadow’s turn to threaten the Bot defence when Connor Boyd managed to wriggle past a couple of challenges. He broke free down the left & slid it across the face of goal but there was no support in the centre.
The visitors had the next shot on target on the half hour mark. The ball broke to Connor Boyd 25 yards out & he drilled it on target but straight at Leishman.
Talbot came close to levelling in the 38th minute. Aiden Wilson’s deep cross found Boylan at the far post & Waters produced a good stop to keep it out at his left post before Willet bundled it behind for the corner.
A minute later the Meadow keeper was back in the thick of it. Glasgow won the ball and slid a pass through to Boylan on the left. He skipped inside onto his right foot and lashed a shot at goal that Waters tipped over his crossbar.
Talbot ended the half on the attack. Boylan did well out on the right and swung over a cross to the far post toward Samson who claimed that his shirt was being held as he tried to reach it but the officials weren’t interested and Meadow went in a goal to the good.
Tucker’s half-time team talk did the trick & Talbot came out all guns blazing at the start of the 2nd period. Within a minute of the re-start Graham Wilson was denied by Waters as he let fly from 18 yards only to see the Meadow keeper parry his effort away.
A 2nd goal would’ve left Talbot with a mountain to climb and Meadow had a half chance in the 48th minute to double their lead. Connor Boyd was in space on the right edge of the area but couldn’t beat Leishman from a tight angle with Andy turning his shot wide of the left post.
Talbot squared the tie in the 55th minute. Armstrong slipped the ball into the path of the overlapping Aiden Wilson whose low cross into the centre was converted by GRAHAM WILSON to make it 1-1.
In the 58th minute Talbot had a half chance to take the lead. Stafford’s cross found its way to Aiden Wilson in a bit of space inside the area but he lashed his shot well over the bar.
Having fought their way back into it Talbot found themselves facing a spot kick in the 59th minute in what must surely be a contender for softest penalty award of the season. A shy from the right was thrown into Wardrope who crumpled to the ground under the flimsiest of challenges from Armstrong. Not only did he fall over at the slightest pretext it looked to be a foot or so outside the penalty area but the ref pointed to the spot and MCLENNAN made no mistake from 12 yards to put Meadow back in front.
Talbot dusted themselves down and were back on the attack in the 61st minute when they won a free kick 35 yards. Glasgow hit it into the area where it broke into the path of Healy who fired a shot just over from 15 yards.
Meadow made the game’s first change in the 64th minute when Graham Boyd was replaced by McNab.
In the 67th minute Aiden Wilson swung a cross beyond the far post which Stafford headed back across goal. Waters came for it & dropped it but unfortunately no Bot player was close enough to take advantage & the defence were able to clear it out for a shy. The shy was taken quickly to Aiden Wilson who lifted a cross toward the far post where KIER SAMSON glanced a header beyond Waters inside the left post to make it 2-2.
It was then Meadow’s turn to exert some pressure when they forced a couple of corners in quick succession but Talbot withstood the inswinging deliveries.
Meadow made their 2nd change in the 71st minute with McCloy going off to be replaced by McKie.
The first card of the afternoon appeared in the 72nd minute with ex-Bot midfielder Faulds receiving a caution for a challenge on Glasgow.
Talbot had a let off in the 79th minute when Meadow broke and the ball was passed out to McNab in space on the left of the area. He lifted a cross towards the far post which Wardrope managed to head wide from a yard out.
Tucker now made a double substitution with Healy & Boylan making way for Mason & Hyslop.
It looked next goal the winner & Talbot nearly grabbed it in the 81st minute. Glasgow cut in off the left & powered a right foot shot on target which brought out a top save from Waters who dived to his left to turn it wide of the post.
Two minutes later Talbot won a free kick in a good area after Faulds bundled Armstrong over 22 yards out. Armstrong clipped it toward the far post but Meadow defended it well & were able to clear.
The woodwork came to Talbot’s rescue in the 86th minute when Meadow broke down the left. The ball was played into the near post where McNab’s shot from a tight angle hit the right post. The rebound came back to him but his follow up effort was blocked by Leishman.
This proved to be pivotal as Talbot went down the other end and went in front for the first time. Glasgow’s cross from the right saw Mason bundled over in the area as he went to meet it but the referee waved play on. The ball came out to Graham Wilson & he chipped a cross toward the back post where CRAIG MCCRACKEN rose to head it home off the underside of the bar. This proved to be his last involvement as he’d taken a knock and was replaced for the closing stages by Lyle.
Meadow pushed hard in the closing minutes – piling bodies forward to snatch an equaliser – but Talbot held firm for the win and will now face a trip to Shotts Bon Accord in the last 8. Next up for Talbot it’s the senior cup where for the first time in Beechwood’s history Talbot will host top flight opposition when they face Hearts.
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Craig McCracken, Armstrong, Healy, Graham Wilson, Glasgow, Boylan, Samson
Subs – Mason, Hyslop, McDowall, Boyd, Robbie McCracken, Lyle, Hewitt
Irvine Meadow – Waters, Whyte, Willet, Slooves, Findlay, McLennan, Faulds, Wardope, G Boyd, C Boyd, McLoy
Subs – McNab, McKie, McMillan, McLaughlin, Sivewright, McFadyen, McLean
|January 15, 2022||14:00||IndigoUnifiedUK SCOTTISH JUNIOR CUP||2021/22|
|7||Kieran Healy 14||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|14||Aaron Mason 7||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|5||Craig McCracken 15||Defender||1||0||0||0|