Talbot welcomed their first ever visitors from the town of Airdrie to Beechwood Park and after a tough ninety minutes played in driving rain they did what was expected of them by running out 3-1 winners against a side who sit a division below them. Granted Gartcairn are no mugs as they are pushing for promotion for the top division and had just knocked Lowland League side Tranent out of the Challenge Cup. Talbot had made a couple of changes for this match with Keiran Healy replacing Neil McPherson, Ally Park in for the cup-tied Ali Boyle and a start for young Aaron Mason up front.
The visitors threw down the gauntlet early doors and in the opening minutes former Motherwell and Ross County player Darren Smith made a telling run down the left but his cross into the box was easily cleared. Five minutes later goalkeeper Cowie got lucky when a routine passback from Moss saw him harassed by Mason into kicking the ball straight at Graham Wilson who elected to pass to Mason rather than try a cheeky lob which most of the crowd were expecting.
In the 16th minute Mick Wardrope did well to clear a Gartcairn free kick but Eley was quickest to react by whipping the ball back into the box where Stafford mishit the ball into the feet of Johnstone who managed to get the ball on target but it proved to be an easy save for Fisher. The game got bogged down in the middle of the park with both sides producing some great defending which no doubt proved to be a bit too frustrating for former Hearts youth player Jordan Love who collected the only yellow card of the game when he was late with a tackle on Craig McCracken. McCracken then nearly got himself onto the score sheet in 30 minutes when he got his head to a Wardrope corner forcing Cowie into parrying the ball off the goal line where McCracken managed to react the quickest but hooked the loose ball into the side net. Shortly after Love and McCracken clashed again with the Talbot defender on the deck holding his face but the veteran striker was spared a second yellow by referee Paul Timmons.
With the game heading for the interval Johnstone ghosted through Talbot midfield where his pass to Moss saw the big defender cross a poor ball into the danger area which came off Staffords head and into the path of Johnstone who’s first time volley from the edge of the box took the paint off the top of Fisher’s crossbar. Talbot were quick to reply and an Aiden Wilson long ball up the wing was headed into the path of Park by G.Wilson and his toe poke to Wardrope produced a side foot shot that came off the crossbar and onto the path of G.Wilson who headed tamely into the hands of Cowie.
With the visitors buoyed by their opening forty five minutes they opened the second half by flinging all kinds of long balls into the box which were putting a bit of pressure on the Talbot back line. However a long throw-in by Smith was headed away by McCracken which was pounced upon by Griffiths who was quickly tracked down by Park. Finding himself in a bit of bother he elected to pass backwards but accidentally passed the ball into the path of Mason who skipped away from Moss to thunder the ball past Cowie from 20 yards right on the 50th minute. All credit to Gartcairn who looked to have equalised when Smith got himself behind the Talbot back line but Fisher got his body in front of Smith’s shot but the referee had already whistled for offside.
There was a flurry of substitutions by both sides as the game progressed and the changes were quick to take effect when on 70 minutes Ross Smith was the target of a Ballantyne throw-in. The youngster managed to get the ball to the foot of Wardrope who dinked a cross onto the head of Park and his slight touch eased the ball past Cowie’s finger tips and into the top of the net. If Talbot thought the game was over then they were sadly mistaken when minutes later Gartcairn were back in the game when a Talbot attack was broken up as Bulgor launched a 49 yard pass into the path of the unmarked Smith who in turn found substitute Burns and the former Stirling Albion striker made no mistake sending the ball past Fisher.
This was the last we were to see the visitors as an attacking force as Talbot started to control the match with Mick Wardrop curling an effort past the post while Ross Smith collected a Samson pass in the box and although he managed to get away from his marker he shot well past the goals. With the 90 minutes fast approaching Talbot’s best move of the game merited their third goal when the ball was worked from wing to wing involving Smith, Lennox and Armstrong ending in a Wardrobe cross being headed into the net by Ross Smith. Soon after the referee’s whistle ended the match that on the whole Talbot deserved to win.
Fisher, Stafford, A.Willson (Ballantyne), Healy, McCracken, Armstrong, Taylor (Lennox), Wardrope, Mason (Samson), G,Wilson (Smith), Park (Sinnamon)
SPONSOR MAN OF THE MATCH AWARDS:
The Boo Boys award went to Craig McCracken and was presented by Bob Harvey
Old Crocks MOM was Craig McCracken and presented by Kieran Houston.
Eddie Smith & Friends picked Michael Wardrope as their MOM and Andy Leishman picked this up on Michael’s behalf from Alistair Smith & Tristen Stirling
Loons Supporters Club MOM was Michael Wardrope and was picked up by Kieran Healy and presented by Alex Tanner
Jimmy Ferguson & Friends chose Gareth Armstrong as their MOM and this was presented by Aaron Lindsay
The Mauchline BC award was presented by Billy Eaglesham and won by Craig McCracken.
Match Ball Sponsor – Emerald Contracts.
|March 18, 2023||14:00||Indigo Comms WOSL Cup||2022/23|
|Team||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|
|16||Ryan Sinnamon 11||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|17||Nathan Lennox 7||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|11||Ally Park 16||Midfielder||1||0||0||0|
|14||Ross Smith 10||Midfielder||1||0||0||0|
|10||Graham Wilson 14||Forward||0||0||0||0|
|12||Keir Samson 9||Forward||0||0||0||0|
|3||Aiden Wilson 15||Defender||0||0||0||0|
|7||Ross Taylor 17||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|9||Aaron Mason 12||Midfielder||1||0||0||0|
|15||Jamie Ballantyne 3||Defender||0||0||0||0|