MURRAY’S MATCH REPORT
Talbot moved joint top of the league table after this hard fought win over Largs – in the first match to be played under floodlights at Beechwood.
The Talbot line-up had a slightly unfamiliar look to it with Armstrong partnering McPherson at the back in the absence of Craig McCracken.
It was the visitors who settled first and they squandered a decent chance early on. A Largs free kick was flicked on into the path of William Sewell sending him through on the out-rushing Leishman. He lifted it round Leishman but McPherson recovered to get back & make the clearance.
Largs had another chance in the 5th minute when a ball down the right found William Sewell & he drilled a low shot that Leishman held at his near post.
Talbot’s first real threat came after 10 minutes. Leishman found Shankland on the right & he released McCracken down the wing. He whipped a great low ball across goal between the defence & keeper but there was no one there to tap it in.
Shankland came close to opening the scoring in the 14th minute. McPherson flighted a free kick out to the left where Graham Wilson headed it down to Boylan. He teed it up for Shankland & McGowan did well to tip his shot over the bar.
The keeper did well again moments later when he punched Shankland’s corner clear just before Graham Wilson could get on the end of it.
The Bot were having a good spell and Graham Wilson came close after 17 minutes when he gathered outside the box and sent a left foot shot just wide of McGowan’s right post.
Talbot’s next attack saw the Bot countering through Shankland whose diagonal pass found Boylan racing clear on the left. He cut into the heart of the penalty area but didn’t catch his shot cleanly from 12 yards and it ended up a comfortable save for McGowan.
Largs keeper was having a good night and he was quickly off his line to thwart Talbot’s next move. Armstrong’s diagonal ball out of defence arrowed towards Boylan as he raced in behind the defence but McGowan read it & just got there first to punch the ball to safety.
Thistle had a half chance in the 26th minute from a corner. George Sewell got his head to it but he was coming away from goal & sent his header well over.
With half an hour gone Talbot again tested the visiting keeper. Leishman launched it up field where Graham Wilson rose to challenge for it. The ball broke into the path of Shankland 20 yards out & he forced a good stop from McGowan who dived to turn his shot round his right post. Once again Shankland whipped a dangerous corner into the goalmouth but McGowan was again equal to the challenge & punched clear under pressure.
Talbot’s next opportunity came from a corner. Armstrong meeting Shankland’s corner at the near post where he glanced it narrowly over the bar.
Boylan was next to test the keeper when he raced onto Graham Wilson’s header down the right side of the penalty area & hit it 1st time only to see McGowan parry it away.
Largs forward William Sewell got a sore one in the 34th minute when he closed down Leishman as he went to make a clearance & caught the clearance full on the face but he was able to continue after receiving treatment.
McGowan was having a good night & it was going to take something special to break the deadlock and Shankland duly supplied it a minute before the interval. MARK SHANKLAND latched onto a loose ball 25 yards out and sent a screamer flying into McGowan’s top left hand corner to send Talbot in 1-0 ahead at the break.
Talbot started the 2nd half quite lively and won a free kick just outside the penalty area when Aiden Wilson’s pass found Graham Wilson down the left & he was bowled over by Love. Shankland took it & crossed it over beyond the back post but got too much on it & it went for the goal kick.
In the 52nd minute Shankland hit a superbly weighted cross field pass to pick out Boylan down the right. He raced into the penalty area and had Graham Wilson waiting in front of goal but he didn’t get his final ball right allowing the keeper to smother it at his near post.
A few minutes later Healy played the ball up the left channel to Boylan who laid it inside first time for the run of Shankland but George Sewell beat him to it to fire it behind for the corner.
Around the hour mark William Sewell won Largs a corner down the right. Before it could be taken Talbot made a substitution with McDowall coming on for McCracken. When the corner came over KEIR MILLIKEN got on the end of it to head towards goal. Leishman saved it and Milliken followed up to stab the rebound for goal. Healy appeared to clear it off the goal line but after a short delay the stand side assistant signalled it had crossed the line and the ref awarded the goal.
Healy had his name taken in the 66th minute for a late challenge.
The loss of the goal had unsettled Talbot and McBryde was allowed plenty of time & space in the 68th minute to pick out his cross; forcing Leishman to come out and punch clear.
The referee was turning card happy and booked Graham Wilson in the 70th minute for an innocuous aerial challenge.
Tucker now made a double substitution with Boylan & Boyd making way for Glasgow & Samson.
Talbot regained the lead in the 76th minute. Love made a mess of a clearance, hitting it straight at Shankland, and fortunately for Talbot the ball broke straight to the feet of KIER SAMSON who slotted it past the keeper.
The Bot were then guilty of sloppy play a minute after scoring. Glasgow lost the ball 25 yards out and Ballantyne fired just wide of the right hand post.
Largs now made a double switch with McBryde & McMaster making way for McGinty & Adam.
In the 82nd minute Talbot had a wobbly moment when defending a Largs free kick from wide. It went beyond the back post where Adam steered it back toward goal and Leishman blocked & cleared before Sewell could get to it.
Ballantyne then picked up a caution for a foul on Graham Wilson.
Graham Wilson was unlucky with 5 minutes remaining when he met it on the volley. His effort was heading on target but was deflected wide and two minutes later he came close again when he darted in off the right & sent a left foot shot narrowly wide of McGowan’s left post.
With 2 minutes remaining Talbot threatened again; this time via Samson, who sped clear on the right before firing it across the face of goal where Ballantyne deflected it behind.
In the final minute, Armstrong received a yellow card for a professional foul. The free kick was lobbed up the centre where Leishman rushed out to punch clear. It came to Adam outside the area but he was closed down before he could hit it.
As the game moved into injury time Talbot found themselves a man down. Glasgow caught George Sewell late with a mistimed challenge. A booking would have sufficed but the ref produced a straight red and also managed to book Shankland for dissent. It was too late though for Largs to take advantage of the extra man and Talbot held out for the win.
Next up for Talbot are new opponents as the Bot travel to Kilmarnock to face Bonnyton in the league.
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Armstrong, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Robbie McCracken, Boyd, Healy, Graham Wilson, Shankland, Boylan
Subs – Glasgow, Samson, Mason, McDowall, Pope, White, Hewitt (gk)
Largs Thistle – McGowan, George Sewell, Ballantyne, Hughes, Love, Faulds, Docherty, McBryde, Milliken, William Sewell, McMaster
Subs – Adam, McGinty, McPhee, Lindsay, Farrell (gk)
|August 4, 2021||19:30||PDM BUILDBASE WOSL PREMIER||2021/22|
|11||Bryan Boylan 14||Forward||0||0||0||0|
|14||Keir Samson 11||Forward||1||0||0||0|
|12||Jamie Glasgow 7||Midfielder||0||0||0||1|
|7||Willie Boyd 12||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|6||Robbie McCracken 16||Defender||0||0||0||0|
|16||Jack McDowall 6||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|