ARMSTRONG GOAL SINKS THE RABS
Report: Jim McAuley, Photography: Craig McGhee, Media: Lee Conn
Talbot continued on their winning ways by picking up all three points at Beechwood against a Rob Roy side who had lost their previous three league matches and like Talbot were perched in the bottom half of the league. In the end the “Bot” deserved their win, but the one goal lead which they held for 70 minutes of the match proved enough to win the game which in reality is what the bottom of the table struggles are all about.
Don’t get me wrong this was an entertaining match even though it only had the solitary goal, but to be honest if it wasn’t for the heroics of Roy keeper Chris Smith then this game would have had a different outcome. However looking back he must put his hand up when the Talbot goal is dissected as he looks to be caught out in no mans land when Mick Wardrope swung in a superb corner.
There was only one change in the Talbot ranks with Craig McCracken in for Aiden Wilson and with the system reverting to a 4-4-2 Connor Boyd and Bryan Boylan were handed the job of getting goals on the score board.
The game was minutes started when Talbot had their first serious attempt on goal. The Roy defence had seemed to have mopped up a Talbot attack when the ball was cleared to McCracken who picked out Armstrong lurking near the edge of the box. He in turn flicked the ball to McPherson who was progressing up the stand side wing. With the visitors expecting an attack towards the corner flag he switched the ball to Armstrong whose slide rule pass found the feet of Boyd who although being pressured by a number of Roy players managed to turn the ball into a space in the defence where Thomson slammed the ball at goal forcing a terrific save from Smith who palmed the ball to the feet of Wardrope but his narrow strike just flashed past the foot of right hand post
Shortly after this fright for the visitors they were dealt a severe blow when Greene was forced to retire and be replaced by McDonald who fitted into the central defence roll.
Connor Boyd should have got himself on the score sheet when a superb cross from Gillies was won in the air by McPherson and as his header bounced off the ground and up into the air the big striker met it on the run and headed the ball off the underside of the bar but the ball decided to spin the wrong way as it thumped off the goal line and spun to safety.
The Talbot support were less than impressed with the stand side assistant in the 16th minute when McPherson burst into the box and as his shot was blocked it fell to Boyd who chipped the ball past Smith and into the net, but the official decided he was offside. It was Talbot who were doing all the pressing and Boylan found himself with only the goalie to beat but struck the ball into Smith’s legs
The breakthrough came in the 20 minute mark when Mick Wardrope swung a delightful corner into the box and as McDonald and Smith failed to clear the ball, the unmarked Armstrong headed into the net to put the home side 1-0 .
The visitors had a moment where they proved the were still in the game on the half hour mark when O’Kane presented Docherty a decent chance when he whipped the ball onto the front man’s head but he squandered it by heading well past the target. The stand side linesman was certainly not making any friends amongst the Talbot faithful when he flagged Boyd offside even though the ball had come off the head of Hussain
Just before half time Rob Roy’s Gilday found himself first in the box for a foul on McPherson and was joined by Walker who was mouthing off in the direction of the referee.
There were no changes to the personnel on both sides for the start of the second half but Thomson was on the wrong end of a head knock that drew blood from the youngster, but after a session with the magic sponge he was fit to continue. Langan should have doubled Talbot’s lead in the 55th minute when Boylan lifted a decent cross onto the head of the midfielder and with all the time in the world he tried to guide the ball past Smith but instead his header went well past.
McPherson entertained the crowd with a Franz Beckenbuaer stroll up through the middle of the park before off loading the ball to the feet of Boyd who somehow got the ball stuck about his boots but luckily for him Thomson was following up and his shot was deflected from the target by Gilday .
Craig McCracken is renowned for his prowess at corner kicks but this would be one he would rather forget when it looked like Bryan Boylan was going to get his head to a Wardrope corner but as the ball dipped over him, it hit the big defender square on the face which put him on his backside. The “Rab’s decided to change it on the hour mark when McVey replaced Smith and he should have levelled the match when he found himself unmarked at a rare Roy corner but his glancing header put the ball wide of Glavin’s goals.
The players and the fans were well aware that a second goal was crucial and Boylan was unlucky not to get it when he latched onto a Thomson pass and hammered a cannonball shot just wide of Smith’s goal. The visitors finally started playing like a team needing an equaliser and with 15 minutes left on the clock Baber managed to get down the wing and chip a good effort into the path of McDonald who dwelt on the ball long enough for Thomson to get a block on it which spun into the path of Max Gillies who ballooned the ball over the bar.
Boylan found himself on the end of another missed chance when he found himself unmarked at a Gillies free kick where he cushioned his header just inches over the bar. Wardrope turned provider moments later when his cross was ping ponged around Smith’s six yard box with Thomson, Boylan and Armstrong all having a dig before the ball was cleared away.
The visitors replaced McDonald with Pirrie as they chased an all important goal and as they made the push Mick Wardrop was carded for a trip on substitute and he was followed by O’Kane and Boylan into Mr Timmons book as the game spiced itself up for the closing finale.
As the match headed to the final whistle both sides had decent chances but Pirrie squandered a free kick when he hammered the ball into the midriff of Glavin, while at the other end Smith denied Boyd when he pulled off a worldly one handed save as the striker had his diving header from a Wardrope cross all but counted.
In the dying moments Bryan Boylan was replaced by Jamie Glasgow as the Talbot hung onto their slender lead. It was a much needed three points, but once again Talbot missed a number of decent chances albeit some were down to excellent keeping by Chris Smith.
TALBOT: Glavin, McPherson, Gillies, Slooves, McCracken, Langan, Armstrong, Wardrope, Boyd, Boylan, Thomson. SUBS: Glasgow, Smith, Wilson, Lennox, Hendry, Boyle, Urquhart.
ROB ROY: Smith, Walker, Gilday, Hussain, Greene, Stirling, Gillies, O’Kane, Baber, Docherty, Smith. SUBS. Anderson, Pirrie, Campbell, McVey, McDonald, Bell, Aitken
|October 28, 2023||14:00||PDM BUILDBASE WOSL PREMIER||2023/24|
|Kirkintilloch Rob Roy||0|
|12||Jamie Glasgow 10||Forward||0||0||0||0|
|10||Bryan Boylan 12||Forward||0||0||1||0|
Kirkintilloch Rob Roy