Photographs by Paul Flynn.
Talbot started a little nervously and weren’t helped when the referee produced a harsh early yellow card for Harvey after only 3 minutes. There wasn’t much in the way of goal mouth incident in the opening exchanges with play largely confined to midfield.
The first effort at goal came in the 12th minute after Talbot won a corner on the left. Glasgow lifted it beyond the far post where Hyslop climbed to head it back across the area. It came to Glasgow on the left edge of the area & he curled a right foot shot off target.
Cove’s first effort at goal came in the 16th minute. Park clipped a neat chip into the box where Brown met it; hooking the ball over the bar from 12 yards out.
Talbot had a wonderful opportunity to take the lead in the 20th minute. Armstrong’s slide rule pass opened the defence sending Kemp racing through one on one with the keeper but McKenzie came out on top on this occasion with Kemp’s shot cannoning off the chest of the keeper as he advanced off his line.
Their keeper was called into action again a minute later when Talbot won a free kick out on the right. Pope bent a cross in under the bar that McKenzie claimed confidently.
Talbot had hit their stride now and were having the best of it and threatened the Cove goal again in the 26th minute. A ball down the right found Wilson racing free inside the area & he managed to take it round the keeper and head for the bye line. He floated a cross over that McIlroy headed home from close range but the linesman had spotted the ball had drifted behind before he crossed it and awarded a goal kick.
Masson became the first of numerous Cove players to enter the ref’s notebook when he received a caution in the 32nd minute for a needless barge into Stephen Wilson.
The Cove keeper was much the busier of the two & was called upon again in the 34th minute when Glasgow dinked a ball over the defence to find McIlroy racing through on the left of the area. However, McKenzie had spotted the danger & was quickly off his line to make the block & put it behind for a corner. Talbot kept the pressure on, forcing 3 corners in quick succession, but the Cove defence stood up to it.
In a rare Cove attack Park won a corner down the right when his cross deflected behind off Glasgow. Park drilled the corner in at pace & Leishman could only parry it away. The ball bounced out to Masson who launched a wild shot over the bar & nearly over the houses behind the goal.
A promising Talbot break was ended in the 39th minute when Watson took out Kemp after the Talbot man side-stepped him, resulting in a Bot free kick and a booking for Cove’s centre half.
The free kick was floated into the area where Hyslop nodded it on into the goal mouth where it was smashed clear.
Beechwood erupted when Talbot took the lead in the 41st minute. McIlroy laid the ball off into the path of STEPHEN WILSON & he strolled through before smashing a powerful drive that McKenzie got both hands to but couldn’t prevent sailing beyond him & inside the far post.
The celebrations had barely died down when Talbot almost doubled their lead. A shy from the right was thrown into the feet of Kemp 25 yards out & he turned before drilling a shot just wide of the left hand post.
Soon after, the ref blew for half-time & Talbot trooped off deservedly in front to the delight of the vast majority of the crowd.
The second half was only four minutes old when Park became the latest Cove player booked for a late tackle just inside the Talbot half.
The visitors were handed a way back into the game in the 52nd minute when they were awarded a soft penalty decision. McPherson was adjudged to have brought down Brown as he was set to shoot & the ref booked the Talbot man & pointed to the spot. MEGGINSON took the spot kick & his low drive beat Leishman who guessed the right way & got a hand to it but couldn’t prevent it sneaking inside the right post. In a fit of petulance Megginson chose to celebrate the equaliser by running up the sidelines & taunting the Bot support.
The goal gave Cove a boost and two minutes later they had a half chance to take the lead. Milne cut inside off the left wing into the area & fired a shot over the bar.
Cove then picked up a two for one booking deal. Ross receiving a caution for shoving his arm into Wilson’s face & Brown joining him in the book for protesting against the decision.
The Cove crime count mounted in the 57th minute when Megginson received a yellow card for a late challenge on Hyslop and Yule should have joined him a minute later for a blatant trip on Wilson but this time the ref kept his cards in his pocket.
The visitors now made a change with Ferguson coming on for Masson.
Talbot had settled again after the disappointment of the equaliser and threatened the Cove goal on the hour mark. Armstrong evaded a couple of challenges before slipping the ball through to Kemp on the right of the area & his fierce low ball across goal just eluded McIlroy in the centre. The defence failed to clear it properly & the ball came out to Lyle. Talbot’s captain isn’t renowned for his goal scoring but he let fly from 30 yards & hit a daisy cutter that flew just wide of the right post.
Talbot made the crucial breakthrough in the 61st minute. McIlroy gathered it on the right & played it into CALVIN KEMP who skipped past a couple of challenges before lashing a low shot beyond McKenzie & into the bottom corner.
Cove now made their second change of the match with Macrae replacing Brown up front.
Another goal for Talbot would’ve put the Bot firmly in command & they nearly got it in the 67th minute. Kemp lifted a ball over the defence to find McIlroy in space down the left. He held it up before cutting it back across the area where Kemp had continued his run & slid a shot just past the right hand post.
A minute later and it was very nearly all square. A swift Cove counter-attack saw the ball played to Megginson inside the area. Leishman did well, diving low to his left, to keep out his strike but Macrae looked odds on to tuck home the rebound only for Lyle to appear from nowhere & make a crucial goal line clearance to block Macrae’s shot.
Action then switched to the other end where Kemp’s chip found McIlroy inside the area but his shot at goal was blocked off a defender.
Wilson received a yellow card in the 73rd minute when he caught Ross as he was clearing the ball up field.
Talbot continued to push forward and their next attack saw Glasgow race past Milne & break into the Cove half. He played it out wide to Kemp who angled the ball back to Glasgow who’d continued his run into the area but he was stretching as he hit it & could only send a low drive straight at McKenzie.
Tucker made a double substitution in the 80th minute with Samson coming on to make his debut in place of Kemp & White replacing Glasgow.
Cove gave the home fans a bit of a fright in the 82nd minute when Macrae held off the challenge of Harvey on the right of the penalty area but he fired his shot into the side-netting from a tight angle.
As the game reached the closing 5 minutes Talbot had two good chances to put the game beyond Cove. In the 87th minute White joined the attack & released a good ball through to Samson on the right of the area & he stabbed a low shot narrowly past the left hand post.
A minute later Talbot caught Cove out with a well worked counter. McIlroy carried it forward before releasing it to Samson on the left of the area. He skipped in past Redford & with only McKenzie to beat tried to pass it into the net but side-footed it just wide of the keeper’s right post.
In the final minute of regulation time Talbot nearly paid the price for failing to kill off the tie when Cove came close to a late equaliser. Park sent in a ball from the right that Hyslop failed to cut out. The ball landed at the feet of Yule 15 yards out & he cracked a low drive off Leishman’s right post.
However, that proved to be Cove’s last chance & Talbot saw out the remaining injury time with no alarms to claim the win.
A very good team performance from the Bot whose opponents sit atop the Highland League having won 9 out of 9 in their own league.
Next up for Talbot it is back to the defence of their Scottish Junior title as they face Lesmahagow next Saturday at Beechwood.
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, Harvey, McPherson, Stephen Wilson, Hyslop, Glasgow, McIlroy, Kemp, Armstrong
Subs – Samson, McDowall, McCracken, White, Waite, Hewitt (gk)
Cove Rangers – McKenzie, Redford, Milne, Ross, Watson, Kelly, Park, Yule, Megginson, Brown, Masson
Subs – Ferguson, Macrae, Milne, Macleod, McCafferty (gk)
|October 27, 2018||14:30||William Hill Scottish Cup||2018/19|
|10||Jamie Glasgow 12||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|12||Steven White 10||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|14||Keir Samson 11||Forward||0||0||0||0|