Match Report by Murray
The fans at Beechwood were treated to a seven goal thriller and a superb Bot comeback as Talbot edged out Hurlford in this league encounter.
From the outset this game was fiercely contested although neither side could make any clear cut chances in the opening spell.
The 1st test for either keeper came in the 11th minute. Creaney let fly from outside the box and his shot deflected off Lyle; however Leishman dived to his left to make the stop.
Milliken came close to the opener after 15 minutes. Wilson swept a cross in from the left which Milliken met in the centre. He headed it back & down the way it’d come but it lacked power & Brown saved to his right.
Another Wilson cross caused the Ford defence problems minutes later. It looked to be heading straight for White in front of goal until McLune intercepted to put it behind with a diving header.
Young fired the corner over to the far corner of the 6-yard box where Campbell powered a header back across that flew wide of the right hand post.
The opening goal arrived in the 19th minute and it came Hurlford’s way. Brown hoisted a long ball down the left over Talbot’s backline. R Robertson chased it into the box and Leishman came racing out to gather. He reached it before Robertson but couldn’t hold it and the ball broke out to CHISHOLM who had the easy task of slotting it into the empty net.
Losing a bad goal was a blow in itself but Talbot suffered a worse setback in the 25th minute. Campbell was caught late by Chisholm as he stretched to clear the ball & as he fell to the turf it became apparent that he’d picked up a serious injury. Campbell was carried from the field on a stretcher and Latta was brought on. This necessitated a re-shuffle with White moving back into defence & Hyslop into central midfield.
The referee produced a yellow card a piece on the half hour mark to Pope & R Robertson after they tangled off the ball.
The Bot were left with an uphill battle when they fell two behind in the 31st minute. Hurlford won a corner on the left when McKenzie’s long range effort deflected behind and when the corner went deep beyond the back post R Robertson climbed to head it goal ward & KEAN touched it home from close range.
Talbot needed an early riposte and it duly arrived in the 35th minute. Latta lifted a ball into the area that McKillen failed to deal with. It broke off the Hurlford man into the path of MILLIKEN who lashed a right footed shot high past Brown to reduce the deficit.
A few minutes later Latta met Pope’s cross from the left touchline but his header flew wide of the left post.
Kean squandered a good chance to extend Hurlford’s lead in the 40th minute when he met a free kick flighted in behind the defence. With Leishman stranded off his line all that was required was for him to hit the target but he didn’t make a clean contact and glanced his header well wide.
Talbot finished the half strongly and produced a couple of chances in the dying minutes of the half. McGoldrick raced half the length of the field before releasing the ball to Wilson and his reverse pass to Milliken was just a fraction too firm, allowing Brown to smother the ball at Milliken’s feet.
In 1st half injury time Pope squared the ball across to Boyd whose drive from 20 yards flew just wide of Brown’s right post.
Talbot may have ended the 1st half strongly but they got off on the wrong foot after the re-start. Within a minute they were caught out when McKenzie intercepted Young’s pass. He hit a long diagonal ball which Kean reached just before Leishman. The angle was too tight to attempt a shot and he squared it across goal where White cleared it to safety.
Hurlford restored their two goal advantage in the 48th minute. McGoldrick’s headed clearance was returned straight back into the Talbot box where it fell to BORRIS on the right of the area and his shot took a nick off Pope on its way into the net.
The visitors were forced into a change in the 53rd minute. C Robertson went over on his ankle and had to go off and within a minute Talbot took advantage of the extra man and pulled a goal back.
Young swept a cross in from the left and Wilson cushioned a header back toward Hyslop. He was sent tumbling as he ran onto it and the ref pointed straight to the spot. POPE proved as reliable as ever from 12 yards and slotted it down the middle as Brown dived to his right to make it 3-2.
Hurlford very nearly restored their two goal cushion within a minute. They won a corner out on the right which Talbot only cleared out as far as M Brown and his shot from the edge of the area was deflected just past Leishman’s left post.
C Robertson wasn’t fit to continue so Hurlford made their 1st change with G Mitchell coming on in his place.
The next goal was going to be critical and Talbot grabbed it in the 58th minute. Milliken used his pace to run at G Mitchell who was forced to concede the corner. Young lifted it to the far post where POPE ran in unchallenged to head home the equaliser.
Hurlford sensed the game slipping away from them and made their 2nd change in the 62nd minute when D Mitchell replaced McLune.
The momentum was now with Talbot and only a fantastic stop from Brown prevented the Bot from taking the lead in the 70th minute. Young whipped a cross into the centre which Hyslop headed down to Wilson. He had his back to goal but turned and hit it 1st time forcing a top save from Brown before McKillen completed the clearance.
Hurlford made their final change in the 72nd minute with McKenzie making way for Nisbet.
Talbot thought they’d taken the lead in the 73rd minute. McGoldrick met Lyle’s free kick at the back post and he climbed to power a header into the roof of the net, only for it to be chalked off for a dubious offside call.
The game was flowing from end to end and White picked up a caution in the 76th minute when he his foul ended a Hurlford counter-attack midway inside Talbot’s half.
Tucker now made his 2nd change as Love replaced Milliken.
Talbot had a let off in the 78th minute when the woodwork came to the rescue. The defence were caught out when a corner from the left was fired low into the near post where M Brown side-footed it against the right post.
He was unlucky there but was guilty of a bad miss in the 81st minute, again from a corner kick on the left. This time he had a free header at the near post but failed to hit the target.
Borris picked up a yellow card in the 82nd minute for dissent. He conceded a free kick for a foul on Young and then talked himself into the book. Pope took the free kick short to Young who returned it out wide to Pope. He swept a dangerous ball across the face of goal but no Bot player could get on the end of it.
Talbot grabbed the winner in the 84th minute. Love combined well with Latta out on the right creating the space for Latta on the overlap. He fired a superb cross beyond the back post where YOUNG met it to head back across goal and beyond Brown to make it 4-3 to Talbot.
Two minutes later Talbot had a half chance to put the game beyond doubt. Pope’s disguised pass sent Love free on the left and he cut inside before unleashing a ferocious shot which swerved just wide of the left post.
With one minute remaining Talbot made their final change with Shankland on for Wilson.
As the game entered injury time Talbot had another effort at goal. Young stole the ball from Borris inside the Hurlford half and cut in from the left and drilled a shot over the bar.
Talbot still had defending to do and in the 3rd minute of added time Borris had a late chance. He gathered the ball out on the right before skipping inside into the area and shooting for the near post. It looked as though Leishman had it covered but in any case McGoldrick was guarding the post and thumped it clear, and soon after the referee signalled time up.
This was Talbot’s best performance in a good while with the team showing great character to come back from two goals down to claim the 3 points. Next up for Talbot is another away day in the cup as they travel to Ravenscraig park to face Greenock in the West.
Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, McGoldrick, Campbell, Boyd, Young, Hyslop, G Wilson, Milliken, White
Subs – Shankland, Love, Latta, Cochrane, Gillies
Hurlford – A Brown, M Brown, Creaney, McKillen, C Robertson, McLune, McKenzie, Chisholm, Kean, R Robertson, Borris
Subs – Nisbet, D Mitchell, G Mitchell, Cochrane, Blair
|November 7, 2015||14:00||McBookies West Super Premier League||2015/16|