PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.
Talbot produced a big performance when needed to eke out a hard fought but well deserved win over Pollok to narrow the gap at the top of the table.
The game had a cagey opening and the first half chance went the way of the visitors in the 7th minute when Horne tried his luck from 25 yards; sending a right foot shot flying over the bar.
A minute later, Talbot took the lead. Boylan did well down the left & fired a dangerous ball across goal that Sideserf turned behind for the corner. Glasgow whipped the corner over to the far post where CRAIG MCCRACKEN rose to crash a header home via the underside of the bar to put Talbot 1-0 ahead.
In the 10th minute Pollok had a chance to put the ball into the Talbot box when they were awarded a free kick out wide on the right. Horne lifted it into the area where it was cleared but only as far as McCann whose attempted scissor kick sliced well wide of target.
The referee got his cards out for the 1st time in the 13th minute. Wharton lost control of the ball and lunged into the tackle resulting in a booking for the Lok player.
He was joined in the ref’s notepad in the 23rd minute when Stafford was booked for a challenge on Fraser.
Talbot then caught the Lok out with a swift counter – Armstrong playing it from deep in his own half to find Mason breaking free & he raced forward before firing a shot on target that was held by Longmuir.
The Bot’s next attack saw Boylan’s shot deflected behind for a corner. This time Glasgow took it short to Mason & he bent a cross toward the far post looking for McCracken but it sailed over his head & behind for the goal kick.
On the half hour mark Talbot won a free kick down the right when Boylan was caught by Fraser. Glasgow opted to shove it down the line for Stafford and his ball across was cut out for a corner. Glasgow swung it across goal where Stafford met it but he glanced his header well wide of the right post.
Longmuir then came to his defence’s rescue when he raced outside his area to narrowly beat Mason to a ball up the right. His clearance cannoned off Mason but it didn’t break for Talbot and the defence were able to clear.
The Bot had a chance to double their lead in the 34th minute. Aiden Wilson swept over a pinpoint cross to the far post to find Boylan but his header flashed wide of target.
The pressure was telling on Pollok and McGregor picked up a yellow card when he took Mason out off the ball.
Talbot thought they’d won a penalty in the 37th minute when Boylan was caught on the right edge of the penalty area but the referee awarded a free kick inches outside the area. Glasgow delivered it to the far post where Graham Wilson met it unchallenged and directed a powerful header back across goal that Longmuir turned past his right post.
The Bot were looking comfortable in their lead but a momentary lapse almost saw Lok draw level a minute before the interval. McCracken took a touch too many & was robbed of the ball allowing Pollok the chance to break. Grant got free down the right and when he slid it across the area it came to Fraser in acres of space in front of goal but fortunately for Talbot he pulled his shot well wide and Talbot went in ahead at the break.
Talbot started the 2nd half positively and had an effort on target within a minute of the re-start. Mason sent it out right to Glasgow and when his cross came over Boylan met it but his header went straight at Longmuir.
In the 50th minute the Bot turned defence into attack with a swift counter. McGregor hurled a long throw into the centre that Leishman gathered & he then sent it out to Glasgow who released Boylan down the right. He squared the ball across to the in rushing Graham Wilson but the ball got caught between his feet and the chance was lost.
Moments later Talbot had another chance when a ball up the left found Mason running up the wing & he cut inside McGregor before lashing a shot over the bar.
Grant became the 3rd Lok player booked when he petulantly threw the ball away when a decision went against him.
In the 53rd minute Mason found himself in a bit of space and surged forward before firing a left foot effort well over the bar from 25 yards.
Esplin joined the Pollok crime count in the 55th minute when he was cautioned for barging Healy over with a clumsy aerial challenge resulting in a Bot free kick 30 yards out. Glasgow shaped as though to hit it but instead threaded it out left to find Aiden Wilson whose cross to the back post was headed clear. It came out to Glasgow at the edge of the area but his shot at goal was blocked.
The visitors had a half chance in the 57th minute when Grant’s cross sped across the area and was gathered by Fraser on the left. He beat Glasgow and cut into the area but tried a curler from a tight angle that flew well over.
Talbot tested the visiting keeper on the hour mark. The Bot were awarded a free kick in their own half that McPherson floated up field. Graham Wilson won the header on and it came to Mason inside the box who rolled it back to Glasgow and his powerful strike was parried away by Longmuir.
The Bot’s next attack saw a lovely bit of skill from Glasgow that was worth the admission alone. He gathered the ball out on the left & through quick feet & close control managed to jink his past 3 Lok defenders before releasing the ball to Mason inside the area whose low drive was saved by the feet of Longmuir.
Pollok were feeding off scraps but had a half chance in the 65th minute. A long ball down the centre saw McCracken hesitate for a second & the ball broke to Forde 20 yards out and he fired a shot over the bar.
A minute later Pollok won a free kick out wide on the left that saw Glasgow booked for a professional foul. Fraser whipped in a dangerous delivery that just cleared the head of Sideserf before hitting off McPherson. Talbot scrambled it out the box but conceded another free kick by the right corner flag for Graham Wilson’s challenge. The free kick was whipped into the centre where Leishman punched it clear under pressure. The ball came out to Horne 20 yards out but he couldn’t keep his shot down.
Both sides made a change in the 69th minute – Talbot bringing on Samson for Mason and Pollok replacing Horne with Weir. The Lok sub was involved immediately after coming on when McGregor’s long shy from the right glanced off a head and came to him 6 yards out but his header lobbed well over the bar.
Down the other end Talbot had another effort on target when Healy gathered it 25 yards out and spread the ball out right to find Glasgow who tried to place it beyond Longmuir but the keeper did well.
Lok now made a 2nd change with Evans coming on for Grant.
With quarter of an hour remaining Talbot put together a good move down the right that ended with Glasgow making it to the bye line & firing a great ball across the face of goal that only needed a touch but there were no takers in the centre.
Pollok had a half chance in the 77th minute. They won a corner down the left which was played into the space in front of the near post where Lyon attempted to flick it home but his shot cleared the bar.
Action then switched to the other end where Graham Wilson won a corner down the left. Glasgow’s in swinger caused Longmuir problems but he managed to flap it away. The ball came out to Stafford but he took a heavy touch and Pollok were away on the counter down the left. Talbot’s defence recovered but then gifted the ball back to Pollok via a poor attempt at a pass back to Leishman. Forde read it and gathered wide on the left but could only force a corner that Talbot defended well.
Tucker now made a further change with Hyslop coming on for Glasgow.
With 5 minutes remaining Talbot had a scare when McPherson & Aiden Wilson left the ball to one another. The Lok player looked set to burst through on goal but Wilson made a fantastic recovery tackle to clear the danger.
Lyon then became the latest Lok player booked when he was cautioned for dissent.
Both sides completed their changes late on with Pollok bringing on G McCann for Forde and Talbot replacing Healy with Boyd.
As the game moved into injury time Talbot had a chance to seal it. Boylan gathered on the right and knocked a good ball inside for Samson to chase but he was just beaten to outside the area by Longmuir.
Deep into added time Pollok were reduced to 10 men when Evans cleaned out Boylan with a terrible tackle. The Bot saw the clock down and claimed all 3 points to narrow the gap at the top to 8 points with 5 games in hand.
A good win in front of an impressive crowd. Next up for Talbot it’s back to Beechwood for a midweek fixture against Kilbirnie.
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Craig McCracken, Armstrong, Healy, Mason, G Wilson, Boylan, Glasgow
Subs – Hyslop, Samson, Boyd, Robbie McCracken, Shankland, McDowall, Hewitt (gk)
Pollok – Longmuir, Grant, Wharton, McGregor, Sideserf, Horne, Fraser, Esplin, S McCann, Forde, Lyon
Subs – Weir, Graham, G McCann, Bradley, Duff, Evans, Lumsden (gk)
|February 12, 2022||14:00||PDM BUILDBASE WOSL PREMIER||2021/22|
|Team||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|
|7||Kieran Healy 15||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|12||Keir Samson 8||Forward||0||0||0||0|
|15||Willie Boyd 7||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|8||Aaron Mason 12||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|