Talbot kept the pressure on Pollok as they beat Kilwinning Rangers to narrow the gap at the top to a point with the Bot having 3 games in hand over the league leaders.
Both sides made a slow start and it wasn’t until the 9th minute that the first effort at goal came. Glasgow fed the ball up the left to Aiden Wilson and his low cross into the centre caused the defence problems. The ball broke to Hyslop who hooked the ball on target forcing a good stop from Barclay.
Kilwinning won a free kick wthin shooting distance in the 12th minute but Stewart directed it straight into the wall.
Talbot came close to the opener in the 15th minute. A free kick was taken short to Armstrong and he slid the ball through to Boyd on the right. He teed it back toward Stafford and his swerving cross deceived Barclay but came back off the right hand post.
The Buffs keeper did better 5 minutes later when he came off his line to beat Hyslop to Glasgow’s free kick from the left wing – managing to punch it clear under pressure.
The referee, who was in a lenient mood, ought to have booked Hanvey for a late challenge on Hyslop but opted to let it go.
Talbot had a decent chance in the 26th minute when Glasgow’s header found Samson running in behind the defence. His first effort was blocked by Barclay and when the rebound came back to him his follow-up effort was deflected behind for a corner kick.
The Bot did have the ball in the net in the 35th minute but the goal didn’t stand. Boyd lifted a good cross beyond the far post where Glasgow steered a header back across goal. It looked to heading inside the left post but Boyd prodded it over the line from close range and the linesman flagged him for offside.
In the 41st minute Talbot were inches away from taking the lead. A ball up the centre was hooked across the box by Graham Wilson and the defence could only clear it out to Glasgow whose rasping effort flew just wide of the left post from 18 yards.
Just when it looked as though the half would end goal less Talbot grabbed the opener on the stroke of half-time. The Bot won a corner on the left & when Glasgow delivered it into the near post area CRAIG MCCRACKEN ghosted onto the end of it to power a header home and send Talbot in 1-0 ahead.
The ref had kept his cards in his pocket for the 1st half but he did caution Stewart in the 50th minute for a late challenge on Hyslop.
Kilwinning’s main threat was coming down their left and Armstrong had to concede a corner in the 52nd minute when he blocked Lewis’s cross into the area. When the corner came in Leishman came for it but missed it but fortunately he quickly recovered and gathered at the 2nd time of asking.
The next goal was going to be pivotal and it came Talbot’s way in the 53rd minute. Leishman launched a kick down the right that cleared the defence and found KIER SAMSON racing in behind. He still had plenty of work to do but with Barclay stranded in front of his near post he flighted it beyond him into the opposite top corner with a sublime finish to put Talbot 2-0 ahead.
This sparked a double substitution from the visitors who took off Hanvey and Gardiner and brought on Lockwood and McArthur.
In the 59th minute Lewis went on a mazy run down the left hitting the bye line before cutting it back across the area. The ball came out to Boyd whose loose pass landed at the feet of McArthur 10 yards out. He was falling back as he hit it and Leishman was able to tip it over the bar.
On the hour mark Talbot made a double switch with Mason on for Graham Wilson and Healy replacing Boyd.
Further changes followed with the visitors bringing Ramsay on for Collins in the 69th minute and Talbot completing the changes shortly after when Robbie McCracken replaced Glasgow.
The Bot threatened to extend their lead in the 73rd minute. Craig McCracken played it into Mason who flicked it wide left where Craig had continued his run. He raced into the area past Caldwell and sent it across the face of goal but it went just behind Samson.
It was over as a contest in the 77th minute when Talbot grabbed their third. Leishman’s kick was headed on by Hyslop to find KIER SAMSON racing into the left of the area & he hit it early on the half volley to send a shot sailing over Barclay to make it 3-0.
Kilwinning kept plugging away and were rewarded with a consolation effort 4 minutes from time. Stewart’s cross from the right was met by MILLAR at the back post and he steered a header back across goal and beyond Leishman.
El Zabaidi had his name taken late on for a reckless challenge on Samson and in the closing exchanges Talbot had a good chance to add a 4th when Mason was released in behind the defence but he tried to round the keeper and Barclay was able to gather and the game finished 3-1.
A good win for Talbot who now move onto Saturday’s derby at Beechwood against a rejuvenated Cumnock.
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Craig McCracken, Boyd, Hyslop, Graham Wilson, Samson, Armstrong, Glasgow
Subs – Mason, Boylan, Robbie McCracken, Healy, White, Hewitt (gk)
Kilwinning Rangers – Barclay, Wood, McGowan, Caldwell, El Zabaidi, Hanvey, Stewart, Gardiner, Collins, Lewis, Millar
Subs – Lockwood, Anderson, McArthur, Ramsay, Kirkpartrick, Brown
|March 16, 2022||19:30||PDM BUILDBASE WOSL PREMIER||2021/22|
|15||Kieran Healy 7||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|9||Graham Wilson 12||Forward||0||0||0||0|
|11||Jamie Glasgow 14||Midfielder||0||1||0||0|
|7||Willie Boyd 15||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|12||Aaron Mason 9||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|14||Robbie McCracken 11||Defender||0||0||0||0|