Talbot shot themselves in the foot as they gifted three goals to a slick Kilmarnock side who cashed in on Talbot’s misfortune for the first two goals and then punished the Talbot defence for slack marking. Kilmarnock sent down a strong squad to Beechwood for the LSY Testimonial match and it was evident that they were not turning up to make the game nothing more than a spectacle.
The Rugby Park side made up their side with a host of new signings including five players who were on the bench against Morton the day previous. They also boosted the bench with a number of Development players who proved to be a decent back up.
The game was 2 minutes started when Andy Leishman pulled off a superb one handed save to deny ex-Spurs kid Souleymane Coulibaly. The same player opened the scoring on the 15 minute mark when Adam Frizzell picked up upon slack play by Talbot and his pin point cross into the Talbot box was stroked into the net by the Ivory Coast internationalist.
Five minutes later Talbot were 2-0 down when once again they were caught in possession. The Killie visitors made sure Talbot were punished and after some slick play the ball was threaded through to ex Sheffield United youngster Callum McFadzean who passed the ball past Leishman and into the net.
The Talbot faithful must have been anticipating an avalanche of goals and it took two great saves from Leishman who denied Albanian striker Flo Bojaj who is on loan at Rugby Park from Huddersfield Town on both occasions.
It took until the half hour mark before Talbot showed their hand when Bryan Young flashed a drive at the Killie goals but it was meat and drink for Davies. Minutes later Talbot were awarded a free kick about 25 yards out and Mark Shankland managed to get the ball over the Killie wall but his ferocious shot just curled past the post. Talbot looked like they had finally settled and seemed to have dammed the Killie flood toward their goal in the latter part of the half and actually had a chance to pull a goal back when Young cut into the box and his low cross was turned into the side netting by Steven Wilson.
Both teams showed changes at the start of the second half with Steven White replacing McPherson while Killie replaced Frizzell and Coulibaly with Hawkshaw and Liddington. Talbot were first to show when Milliken tried a shot from 30 yards but it went well past Davies’s goals, but it was thanks to Leishman who once again denied Bojaj with a spectacular save.
On the 55th minute Talbot swapped Colin Spence for Willie Boyd and a minute later they forced their first corner. This was swung into the box where Gordon Pope seemed to be fouled going for the ball and referee Mr Wilson pointed to the spot. The penalty was taken by James Latta who hammered the ball into the body of Davies where the keeper seemed to let the ball squirm under his body and into the net.
Killie made a raft of changes on the hour mark and this paid dividends when Lewis Clark was left unmarked to power a header which was his first touch of the ball into the net to make it 3-1. Talbot hit back when Gordon Pope swung a superb ball away out to the wing where Shankland latched onto the pass, drove into the box and smashed a low pass right across the front of the Killie goals but unfortunately there were no takers. Talbot made a number of changes as the game started to peter out with new signing Danny Boyle replacing James Latta, Michael McGoldrick swapping with Steven Wilson and a keeper change with Brian Hewitt stepping in for Andy Leishman. “Butch” Young became the last change when he was replaced by his brother Mark.
The plethora of changes seemed to nullify the match and although both sides still made a good game of it there was little goalmouth action although the visitors were always the more dangerous.
Talbot can take a lot from this game as they came up against a well organized and ultra fit team which saw the “Bot” working very hard in every part of the pitch. Kilmarnock punished every mistake and although they will not come up against a team of this class in the coming season, mistakes will have to be few and far between.
TALBOT: Leishman, Latta, Pope, Lyle, Drummond, Spence, Young, McPherson, Milliken, Shankland, S.Wilson SUBS: Boyle, White, Boyd, Michael McGoldrick, Mark Young, Hewitt.
KILMARNOCK: Davies, Cobain, Boyle, I. Wilson, S. Smith, McKenzie, Dicker, McFadzean, Bojaj, Frizzell, Coulibaly SUBS: Lyle, Queen, Clark, Liddington, Hawkshaw, McLean, Dempsie, Whittaker, Morrison, A. Wilson
|July 24, 2016||14:00||2016/17|
|Team||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|