Beechwood park was looking at its best, basking in the July sunshine, as Talbot hosted Kilmarnock for Steven White’s testimonial.
The home fans had cause to cheer in the 5th minute when Talbot took the lead. Hyslop slid a pass into the heart of the penalty area where Talbot’s trialist, KEMP, coolly passed the ball beyond McKay to put Talbot ahead.
The visitors had an opportunity for an immediate riposte when Harvey & Pettigrew collided whilst attempting to clear. The ball fell kindly for Samizadeh on the right but he scuffed a weak shot wide of target.
Kilmarnock ought to have equalised in the 11th minute. Cameron nicked in to steal the ball from Pettigrew & carried in on goal but was thwarted by Leishman who sped quickly off his line & spread himself to make the block.
Talbot very nearly doubled their lead in the 17th minute from a set piece. G Wilson met Shankland’s corner & thumped a header off the underside of the bar. It bounced out to Pettigrew who steered a header on target which Queen cleared off the line.
A more direct route nearly paid off for Talbot in the 23rd minute. Leishman lofted the ball down the centre where G Wilson won it in the air. His head flick found Shankland racing down the right side of the box & he flashed a shot across goal from a tight angle.
Talbot’s next chance came just after the half hour. Shankland met a shy from the right & laid it back to G Wilson who drilled a shot over the crossbar.
A swift Killie counter-attack almost resulted in a leveller in the 36th minute. Graham squared the ball inside to Samizadeh who wheeled round before firing just over the bar.
The next chance came Talbot’s way when G Wilson guided a header into the path of Shankland. He held off his marker, but under pressure he could only stab his shot wide of the right post.
In the 41st minute Kilmarnock made the game’s 1st change when they replaced McKay with McDonald in nets.
It looked like Talbot were heading in ahead at the interval but Killie produced an outstanding goal in the dying seconds of the half to draw level. SPENCER gathered the ball 25 yards out & hammered a peach of a shot past Leishman to make it 1-1.
Tucker rang the changes at the interval, with Talbot making multiple changes. Off went Shankland, S Wilson, G Wilson, Pettigrew, Hyslop & Harvey & on came Pooler, Glasgow, McIlroy, Thomson, McPherson & Whyte.
White nearly rained on his own parade when a short back pass gifted a chance to Samizadeh but Leishman reacted swiftly to make the save.
Down the other end Armstrong found McIlroy inside the area. He dinked it across goal where Glasgow headed off target at the back post.
Glasgow then pounced on McClevy’s defensive error, gathering the ball out by the right corner flag when Killie’s full-back had assumed the ball was running out of play. He drove into the area & cut it back where Thomson fired over the bar from 16 yards.
Talbot nearly unlocked the Killie defence in the 63rd minute. Thomson won the ball 30 yards out & fed it to McIlroy who played it back into the path of Thomson as he charged into the area; however McDonald had read the danger & came quickly off his line to smother the ball at the feet of Thomson.
Killie now made a double substitution with Hawkshaw & Samizadeh making way for Lyle & Mouanda.
Pooler set up Talbot’s next chance when he squared the ball inside to McIlroy. He looked set to score but was challenged by Mouanda as he went to hit it & his shot trundled through tamely to the keeper.
With quarter of an hour remaining White left the field to a ringing ovation from both sets of fans to be replaced by Lyle.
Kilmarnock were also forced into another change when the impressive Graham pulled up injured & hobbled off to be replaced by Scally.
Talbot finished the game strongly, dominating the last ten minutes & threatening a goal on a number of occasions.
In the 83rd minute Glasgow saw his free kick from 25 yards come back off the bar with the keeper beaten.
Four minutes later Talbot again won a free kick within shooting distance when Mouanda tripped Glasgow as he raced forward. This time rather than going for goal Glasgow slid a pass out wide of the wall to find Faulds racing down the right. He hammered it low across the 6-yard area but no one could get a touch.
In the final minute Talbot had a golden chance to win it. McIlroy held the ball up well under pressure inside the box before laying it inside to Pooler. He could’ve gone for goal himself but instead squared it across to the unmarked Glasgow who scooped it over the bar from 12 yards with the keeper stranded.
In the end, it finished honours even, with the Talbot fans happy to pay tribute to a great servant & given grounds for encouragement with a good team performance.
Talbot – Leishman, Armstrong, Harvey, Pettigrew, White, S Wilson, Faulds, Hyslop, G Wilson, Shankland, Kemp
Subs – Pooler, McIlroy, Glasgow, McPherson, Whyte, Thomson, Lyle
Kilmarnock – McKay, Queen, McClevy, Dempsie, Wilson, Spencer, Graham, Hawkshaw, Cameron, Samizadeh, Jefferies
Subs – Lyle, Barr, Mouanda, McLaughlin, Scally, McCracken, McDonald
|July 16, 2017||14:00||2017/18|