Photographs by Paul Flynn.
Beechwood has not been a happy hunting ground for Cumnock over the years and so it proved again as Talbot powered past their rivals in this West of Scotland tie.
A stiff breeze & continuous rain didn’t make for ideal conditions but it didn’t stop Talbot from taking the game to the Nock from the get go.
Talbot tested the Nock defence in the opening minute when McKenna conceded a sloppy corner. Glasgow whipped it in & Niang could only head it up in the air but when Semple came through a crowd of bodies to punch it, the referee awarded a soft free kick to the defending team.
With 5 minutes gone Talbot won a free kick inches wide of the Nock penalty area. Samson weaved inside Muir who sent him tumbling & received a yellow card for his troubles. Pope took it but it wasn’t his best effort & his floated cross was easily claimed by Semple.
Cumnock weren’t at the races & it was no surprise when Talbot took the lead after 9 minutes. Pope’s deflected cross fell to Samson at the near post & he cheekily back-heeled it across the face of goal where DWAYNE HYSLOP slid it home from close range.
Talbot maintained their grip on the game & the next attack saw Glasgow lay the ball out to Pope who fired in a dangerous cross that Murdoch headed clear.
The Nock defence were looking ropy and Murdoch had to take one for the team in the 17th minute when he picked up a caution for hauling Hyslop to the deck to prevent him running onto Wilson’s ball over the top. Pope took the set piece & angled it beyond the far post to try & find Wilson but Ferry stretched to clear it away.
It was nearly two nil to the Bot after 19 minutes. Glasgow’s corner from the right found McCracken in the 6-yard area near the back post but his header drifted just wide of target.
Frustration was getting the better of Cumnock & Faulds was fortunate only to see yellow when he went right through the back of Glasgow with no attempt to play the ball.
Eventually Cumnock did succeed in crossing the halfway line with their 1st attack coming after 25 minutes. They forced a corner down the right that cleared everyone in the centre & was retrieved by Pope. He sclaffed his clearance straight to Faulds who was bundled over by Glasgow 22 yards out. Faulds drilled the free kick straight into the wall but the ref halted play as his assistant had noticed a clash in the area. Curiously, the referee appeared to signal that McKenna had used his elbow but then only booked him for it & also booked Glasgow for his part. When the set piece was re-taken, Carmichael floated it to the back post where Leishman made an easy catch.
Hyslop conceded a free kick in the 32nd minute when he caught Faulds 30 yards out. Faulds fired his shot at the wall & it spun out for the corner. When the ball came over MURDOCH climbed highest in a congested goal mouth to head home from close range & level the score.
Talbot rallied after this setback and almost regained the lead in the 36th minute when Hyslop met Glasgow’s corner at the near post only for Semple to produce a top class save to turn his header round the right post.
Three minutes later it was Cumnock’s turn to threaten from a set play when they won a corner down the left. Once again it was hung under the bar but this time Leishman got there 1st to punch clear.
Lyle had his name taken in the 40th minute for a late challenge on Ferry.
As the half drew to a close Talbot twice came close to taking the lead. In the 44th min Semple came to the visitors rescue when he kept out McIlroy’s header from Glasgow’s cross & in injury time McCracken rose to meet Glasgow’s corner unopposed but he lifted his header over the bar & the sides went in level.
Talbot started the 2nd half strongly and Glasgow was denied a certain goal within a minute of the re-start when Stephen Wilson’s ball from the right fell to him in front of goal but McKenna did well to throw himself in the way & block his shot to safety.
Two minutes later Armstrong sent Pope through on the left & he fizzed a ball across the face of goal but there was too much on it for anyone in the centre to get a touch.
The Nock fans thought their side had moved ahead in the 51st minute. Carmichael gathered out on the left & whipped a cross onto the head of Patterson who dispatched it beyond Leishman but their celebrations were short-lived as the ref had spotted that the ball was out of play before Carmichael reached it & pulled play back for a shy.
In the 54th minute Lyle released a pass to find Samson on the right. He cut into the penalty area & squared it across goal where Hyslop ran onto it to fire for goal. His shot was blocked in the goalmouth by McIlroy who with his back to goal couldn’t force it home & the chance was lost.
This proved to be the Talbot front two’s last involvement of the afternoon as Tucker made a double switch bringing on Shankland & Graham Wilson for Samson & McIlroy.
The subs didn’t take long to make their mark, Graham Wilson won a free kick 35 yard out just after the hour mark, which Shankland took. With most expecting a shot, Shankland coolly passed it wide of the wall to find Stephen Wilson racing down the right & his shot on target was beaten away by Semple.
Cumnock made their 1st change in the 65th minute with Dinwoodie replacing Murray.
A minute later Ferry had his name taken for the visitors for kicking the ball away at a Bot free kick.
Faulds should have headed for an early bath in the 69th minute. He rashly slid into a challenge on Pope & caught him late but the referee bottled the decision & didn’t produce the 2nd yellow card.
The longer the game went the more pressure Talbot exerted & it finally paid off in the 75th minute. Glasgow cut in off the left & fired a shot toward the far post that was deflected behind off the back of Niang. Glasgow went across to take the corner & his low delivery was met by GRAHAM WILSON who steered it into the bottom corner to restore Talbot’s lead.
Talbot could have killed the game off only a minute later. Stephen Wilson gathered on the right & his ball over the top found Shankland racing through on goal. He slotted it past the advancing Semple but angled his shot just wide of the far post.
Cumnock were then forced into a change when Gracie injured himself whilst fouling McCracken. He had to limp off to be replaced by McMurdo.
It was game over in the 81st minute when Talbot grabbed their third. Cumnock were on the attack but Faulds sloppy pass was easily intercepted by Pope who sent Glasgow racing down the left. He cut the ball back into the box where Pope screwed a shot across goal. His shot landed at MARK SHANKLAND 6 yards out & he blasted home to put Talbot 3-1 ahead.
Two minutes later Talbot were back on the attack when Shankland released Glasgow down the left wing. He fired a low ball across the face of goal that Dinwoodie did well to clear.
The Cumnock defence were posted missing again in the 85th minute when Shankland’s pass sent Stephen Wilson through. His 1st touch took him away from goal but he recovered to slide it back into the path of Lyle whose fierce shot was beaten away by Semple.
Tucker now made his final change with White coming on for Stephen Wilson.
Talbot saw out the remaining minutes comfortably enough to seal the win and book their place in the 3rd round of the West.
Next up for Talbot is another Ayrshire derby but of a different order of magnitude as they face Ayr United next Saturday in front of a sell-out crowd and a live TV audience.
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, McPherson, McCracken, Armstrong, Hyslop, Stephen Wilson, McIlroy, Samson, Glasgow
Subs – Graham Wilson, Shankland, Kemp, Waite, White
Cumnock Juniors – Semple, Muir, Ferry, McKenna, Murdoch, Murray, Faulds, Niang, Patterson, Gracie, Carmichael
Subs – Crawford, Dinwoodie, Reid, Dignan, McMurdo
|January 12, 2019||13:30||Ardagh West of Scotland Cup||2018/19|
|10||Keir Samson 14||Forward||0||0||0||0|
|12||Mark Shankland 9||Forward||1||0||0||0|
|14||Graham Wilson 10||Forward||1||0||0||0|
|7||Stephen Wilson 15||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|15||Steven White 7||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|