MURRAYS MATCH REPORT
Talbot will face local rivals Glenafton in this season’s Scottish cup final after narrowly overcoming Linlithgow Rose at Beechwood.
Once again there was little to choose between the sides. Linlithgow settled the quicker of the two sides but just as last week they couldn’t make it count in the final third.
The first real threat at goal came in the 11th minute when Muhsin tried his luck from outside the area. His shot cannoned off the head of S Wilson & flew over the bar.
Talbot’s first effort at goal came in the 19th minute when Young pulled his shot well wide of target from 20 yards out.
A minute later Talbot came very close to taking the lead. McNab fouled Latta out on the right touchline & Young whipped a great free kick over into the centre where G Wilson powered a header just over the crossbar.
At the other end Donaldson’s low cross caused a momentary panic when McGoldrick took a fresh air swipe when attempting to clear it but the ball ran through to Leishman.
Linlithgow put together a neat move on the half hour with Kelbie & Batchelor working a one-two before releasing the ball to Coyne. He spun & shot on target forcing a decent save from Leishman, low to his left.
Latta was a whisker away from putting Talbot in front in the 34th minute. Young released Pope down the left & he cut inside McNab before curling a dangerous low ball across the goal mouth. Latta slid in to meet it in the centre but just failed to connect.
Talbot threatened again a minute later. G Wilson slid a pass into the Rose box from the right wing to find Milliken at the corner of the 6-yard area with his back to goal. He turned & fired for goal but couldn’t keep it down & his shot sailed over Hill’s bar.
As the saying goes you have to strike while the iron is hot & Talbot succeeded in turning their purple patch into a lead in the 37th minute. A good passing move saw the Bot move the ball from left to right. G Wilson touched the ball off to Thomson & he fed it out to Latta on the right touchline. He cut it back to the edge of the area to find YOUNG in space & he curled it inside the right post to put Talbot 1-0 ahead.
The lead nearly proved short lived with Rose coming close to an equaliser within a minute. Latta conceded a free kick out on the left for a foul on Donaldson & received a caution into the bargain. Donaldson lifted the free kick deep beyond the far post where Thom headed it back across goal. Talbot managed to scramble it clear but only as far as the edge of the area where Kilbie’s clever flick sent Coyne clean through on goal. He ought to have scored but stroked his shot off the base of the left post & Pope was able to clear the danger.
Talbot saw out the remainder of the half with no alarms to take a one nil lead in at the interval.
Early in the 2nd half Talbot came close to doubling their lead & effectively putting the tie beyond Linlithgow’s reach.
Young found Milliken inside the area & he pulled it back into the path of G Wilson. His first effort was blocked by a defender but he ran onto the rebound & lashed it off the top of the bar with Hill well beaten.
Linlithgow’s first chance of the 2nd half came in the 55th minute when they forced a corner on the right. Muhsin pulled it back for Batchelor to stride onto but his low drive from 20 yards was comfortably smothered by Leishman.
On the hour mark Batchelor again tried his luck from distance but with the same result as Leishman easily held his effort.
Tucker now made his first change with Hyslop replacing Thomson.
A 2nd goal would have ended the tie & Talbot nearly produced it in the 64th minute. Young sent the ball up the line to Milliken who whipped an excellent first time cross across goal. G Wilson dived to meet it inside the 6-yard box but just failed to cleanly connect with his header & the ball sped behind for a goal kick.
The visitors made their 1st change in the 69th minute with Kelly coming on for Kelbie.
Although only a goal ahead Talbot weren’t looking in any particular danger of conceding as the clock ran down. In the 76th minute Linlithgow made a further change with Swann on in place of Gray & Talbot soon followed suit with White on for Latta.
With 8 minutes remaining Rose played their last card when Small replaced Donaldson.
With nothing to lose the visitors piled forward in the closing stages making for a nervy last 5 minutes for the home support. Muhsin’s diagonal ball found Leiper free on the left of the area but he was quickly shut down by Lyle who got across to concede the corner.
The visitors threatened again in the 87th minute when Kelly made the bye line down the right. He lifted a cross onto the 6-yard line where Leiper met it but his header deflected off his own player & ran tamely through to Leishman.
In the last minute of regulation time Linlithgow had one final chance to take it to penalties. The ball broke to Leiper 15 yards out & he drilled a powerful shot at goal that forced an impressive stop from Leishman; throwing himself to his left to parry it to safety.
As the game moved into injury time Tucker made his last change with Pooler on for Milliken and shortly after the referee’s whistle signalled the end to much jubilation from the Talbot support.
Talbot were made to work hard for it but got the job done & once again the defence produced another clean sheet. This will be Talbot’s 7th Scottish final under Tucker; an amazing achievement.
Next up for Talbot is a dress rehearsal for the final itself as they tackle Glenafton on Wednesday night in a game which may have a crucial say in the destination of this season’s league title.
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, Harvey, McGoldrick, S Wilson, Young, Thomson, Milliken, G Wilson, Latta
Subs – Pooler, Stevenson, Hyslop, White, McPherson
Linlithgow Rose – Hill, McNab, Donaldson, Thom, McKenzie, Leiper, Gray, Muhsin, Coyne, Batchelor, Kelbie
Subs – Kelly, Small, Swann, Beaumont, Bernard (gk)
|April 22, 2017||14:30||MACRON SCOTTISH JUNIOR CUP||2016/17|