PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.
MURRAY’S MATCH REPORT
Talbot made hard work of it but ground out a narrow win over Forth in the South Challenge cup.
The Bot had an early chance in the 4th minute when Graham Wilson’s shot from 15 yards was saved by McPhee’s legs.
Talbot were seeing a lot of the ball, with Forth content to sit in, and it was paying off as Talbot were struggling to make any headway in the final third.
In the 12th minute Stevenson headed a cross behind and when Mason’s corner came over from the right Shankland met it but sent his header over the bar.
Talbot were given a fright in the 13th minute when Lafferty slid a pass through to find Henderson inside the area. He cut in off the left and went for goal but McPherson got across to block his shot.
In the 23rd minute Aiden Wilson worked a one-two with McDowall down the left and he raced to the bye line and tried to cut it back to the waiting Shankland but there wasn’t enough on it & the defence intercepted.
Aiden Wilson swung a good across the face of goal in the 26th minute but no Bot players got near it.
Talbot scored the game’s only goal in the 31st minute. The Bot won a free kick out on the left which Shankland swung into the centre where CRAIG MCCRACKEN headed home from close range.
Two minutes later Talbot had a chance to double their lead. Shankland cut inside onto his right foot and sent a low drive just wide of McPhee’s right post from the edge of the area.
The Bot had another half chance a minute later. Aiden Wilson pinged over a cross that Donnelly headed clear. It came out to Lyle who crossed it onto the head of Shankland who guided a header wide of the left post.
The visitors had the ball in the net in the 39th minute but it was rightly chalked off for offside and that was pretty much it for the 1st half.
Talbot have had a habit of improving after the interval but this cup tie proved the exception to the rule with the 2nd half being as poor a 45 minutes as will have been seen at Beechwood in a long while.
McPherson picked up a caution in the 55th minute for holding and a minute later Shankland joined him in the book for an aerial challenge.
Around the hour mark Tucker made a double switch with Armstrong & Mason going off to be replaced by Boyd & Boylan.
There was really only one near thing in the whole 2nd half and it came in the 62nd minute for the visitors. A corner from the right was headed toward goal and Graham Wilson had to clear it from the goal mouth.
The closest Talbot came to adding to their lead was in the 72nd minute. Shankland fed it wide right to Healy and when his ball came across goal McQuarrie bundled it just wide of his own goal.
Talbot made another change with quarter of an hour left when Samson came on for Shankland.
The Bot had to see the last 10 minutes out a man down. A ball over the top saw McPherson bring down Stewart and he was shown a 2nd yellow and was off to the clubhouse. Forth had a free kick just outside the penalty area but it was drilled straight into the wall.
In the closing stages McDonald picked up a caution for a cynical foul on Graham Wilson then Donnelly joined him in the bad books for a late tackle on Healy.
The game trundled on to its conclusion with neither keeper actually required to make a save in the 2nd half.
Not a game to live long in the memory and Talbot will be hoping to raise it a gear or two next week when they travel through to East Lothian to face Preston Athletic in the William Hill Scottish cup.
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Craig McCracken, Armstrong, Healy, McDowall, Graham Wilson, Shankland, Mason
Subs – Boylan, Samson, Hyslop, Boyd, Robbie McCracken, Stafford, Hewitt
Forth Wanderers – McPhee, Cassidy, Brown, McQuarrie, Donnelly, Cookman, McDonald, Lafferty, Stevenson, Henderson, Savarese
Subs – Hutchison, Murray, McLaughlin, Fullarton, Stewart, J McDonald, Banks
|October 16, 2021||14:00||SOUTH REGION CHALLENGE CUP||2021/22|
|12||Bryan Boylan 11||Forward||0||0||0||0|
|6||Gareth Armstrong 14||Defender||0||0||0||0|
|15||Keir Samson 10||Forward||0||0||0||0|
|10||Mark Shankland 15||Forward||0||1||1||0|
|14||Willie Boyd 6||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|11||Aaron Mason 12||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|