Talbot 2 Largs Thistle 1 (H-T 2-1)
The Bot got off to the perfect start when they took the lead after 4 minutes. Milliken slipped the ball through to YOUNG and he raced free on the left before hammering a shot into the top corner of the net.
One of Largs more effective tactics was the use of Fisher’s long throw & it almost brought them level in the 6th minute. The Bot defence managed to head his shy clear but it only came out to Love at the edge of the area & he touched it off to McMaster whose low drive sped just wide of the left post.
Talbot’s next attack saw Graham Wilson feed the ball to Milliken on the left of the area. His backheel flick left his marker for dead but Lundy was sharply off his line to beat him to the ball.
Young then came close with a speculative effort. He gathered out on the right wing & spotting Lundy off his line went for goal only to see his effort fly over the bar.
Hesitant defending almost cost Talbot a cheap goal in the 11th minute. Lundy punted it down the centre & McGoldrick attempted to head it back to Leishman; however he didn’t get enough on it & Love raced onto it but could only lob his shot over the bar.
Talbot doubled their lead in the 17th minute. Young whipped a corner over from the left beyond the back post. Hyslop headed it back across goal where Boyle met it & his header looked a goal all the way until Lundy produced a fantastic reflex save to turn it over the bar. The Largs defence hadn’t learnt any lessons from the 1st corner & once again Young hit it deep beyond the far post. Hyslop knocked it back across the face of goal where HARVEY bundled it home from close range.
Having gained control, Talbot went to sleep & immediately conceded a cheap goal down the other end. Fisher took a short corner to Thomson & he knocked a cross into the near post where LOVE guided home a free header.
Largs were forced into an early change when Gilbride limped off to be replaced by Walton.
Graham Wilson came close to restoring Talbot’s two goal cushion on the half hour mark. Boyle carried it forward before sliding the ball into his feet & he turned sharply before firing just wide of the right post from 30 yards out.
The remainder of the half was a bit flat & the only incident of note was Tennant picking up a caution just before half time for a professional foul on Milliken.
Neither side made any changes at the interval with Talbot now shooting toward the Coal Road end.
McMaster picked up an early caution when he tripped Graham Wilson as he raced across the pitch.
The 1st effort at goal in the 2nd half came Talbot’s way when Hylsop set up Graham Wilson at the edge of the area & his shot took a big deflection; spinning wide of the right post. When Young’s corner came over Lundy punched it clear but only as far as Stephen Wilson who controlled it on his chest before firing a half volley just over the crossbar.
Jamieson became the 3rd Largs player booked when cautioned in the 62nd minute for chopping down Graham Wilson. Young took the free kick & delivered it into the centre where McCracken guided a header inches wide of the left post.
Tucker made a change in the 64th minute with Shankland on in place of Milliken.
Shankland was involved in the 72nd minute when he got free on the left & cut it back for Young. Butch came within a whisker of grabbing his 2nd goal but his shot came back off the inside of the left post before being scrambled clear.
McGoldrick picked up Talbot’s 1st caution in the 73rd minute for a foul on Marks.
Talbot nearly put the game to bed in the 77th minute. Shankland cut inside from the left & fired a low ball across the face of goal. Hyslop flicked it for goal but Lundy made a good block & Graham Wilson couldn’t turn it home at the far post.
The referee came to Largs rescue a minute later when he denied Talbot a stonewall penalty. Shankland lifted a ball in behind the Largs defence which Graham Wilson ran onto. He cut inside Walton who sent him tumbling just as he was about to hit it but to the disbelief of the Bot support, the ref booked Wilson for diving.
Largs had offered little in the 2nd half but they caused the home fans a nervous moment in the 85th minute. Love picked it up on the left & swept a dangerous cross to the far post where McMaster just failed to connect with it.
Talbot finished the game in the ascendancy but without troubling the Largs goal. McCracken had two opportunities from the edge of the area but on both occasions fired well over the bar.
Talbot’s inability to take their chances, and a bizarre refereeing decision, made this a tighter affair than needs be but in truth Talbot were well worth the win & managed to climb the table & take advantage of Rob Roy & Glenafton’s idle Saturday. Next up for Talbot is a home cup tie as Whitletts Vics visit Beechwood in the West of Scotland cup.
Talbot – Leishman, Harvey, Lyle, McGoldrick, Boyle, McCracken, Hyslop, S Wilson, Milliken, G Wilson, Young
Subs – Shankland, White, Stevenson, McPherson, Pope
Largs Thistle – Lundy, Fisher, McMaster, Gilbride, Jamieson, C Little, Thomson, Tennant, Marks, Love, Struthers
Subs – Bennett, J Little, McDonald, Walton
|February 4, 2017||13:45||2016/17|
|Team||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|