Talbot were down to the bare bones for this semi final due to injuries, suspensions and cup tied players which forced Tucker into putting Steven White and Under20 player Greg Smith on the bench. With Craig McCracken still injured Gareth Armstong teamed up with Neil McPherson in the centre of defence while there was a starting place for Dwayne Hyslop in the middle of the park.
The visitors were quick off the mark forcing two corners which the Talbot defence dealt with, while in the fifth minute Hyslop tried his luck from 20 yards out but sliced the ball well over the bar. Minutes later the big man proved to be more deadly when Aiden Wilson’s quick throw in found Glasgow who put in a pin point cross that HYSLOP headed into the net via the clawing fingers of keeper Clark.
Talbot were finding space down the left side and on 14 minutes Aiden Wilson flung in a dangerous cross that forced Clark to touch the ball into the path of Boylan who smashed a shot from a few yards but Tully somehow headed the ball off his crossbar before it was cleared by Comrie for a corner. On the 17th minute Talbot doubled their lead when after collecting a Glasgow throw in Stafford burst into the box leaving at least three Sauchie defenders in his wake before picking out GRAHAM WILSON who slammed the ball past Clark from 12 yards.
If it wasn’t bad enough that Talbot were short of players, worse was to come when Boylan was injured on the 20th minute after Carroll naughtily body checked the striker into the hoardings where he suffered injuries to his head and knee. The player didn’t recover after a visit from the physio and was replaced by Robbie McCracken.
The youngster was soon involved in the match when he picked up a Glasgow pass and threaded a superb ball through to Graham Wilson whose shot was parried by the feet of Clark before being cleared by Docherty.
Beechwood was silenced on the half hour mark when Comrie cut out a Glasgow pass which fell to Smith who found out he had options either side of him as the Talbot players try to get to him and he played in Ross Kavanagh who beat Armstrong to the ball and slid a shot under the onrushing Leishman.
Minutes later Talbot should have restored their two goal cushion when the impressive Stafford again caused havoc in the Sauchie defence picking out Healy who faltered to get a shot away but got the ball to Hyslop whose pass was knocked into the path of Samson by Comrie but the striker was robbed of a goal when Clark made a superb one handed save with Columbine clearing the loose ball for a corner.
The remainder of the first half saw both sides cancelling out each other as Sauchie chased an equalizer while Talbot were happy to hit on the break.
The second half was hardly started when a Robbie McCracken clearance was headed on by G.Wilson which landed at the feet of Glasgow who outstripped Tully but Clark did well to block his first time shot. The game started to see a bit of niggle creep in that saw Kavanagh carded for going straight through the back of Hyslop. Morgan followed his team mate into referee Curran’s book for constant mouthing.
Talbot had a good penalty claim turned down when a corner was cleared into the path of Armstrong whose volley came off the arm of Scott Davidson, but was waved aside by referee Curran who had a great view of the infringement.
Talbot were now in the ascendency as they started to pick holes in the Sauchie defence. Robbie McCracken was unlucky not to get on the score sheet when he thundered a Graham Wilson back heeled pass from 18 yards but it was well parried by Clark. Graham Wilson became the first Talbot player in the book after a theatrical head injury by Comrie.
The game was over as a competition with 15 minutes to go when Aiden Wilson fired a long ball into the edge of the box where Glasgow turned Tully and as Clark advanced to avert the danger the Talbot midfielder lobbed the ball over his head and into the net.
The visitors seemed to run out of ideas and stamina after Glasgow’s goal and the player had another chance before the final whistle when Healy’s pass into the box gave Glasgow a clear run at goals but his shot slipped past the post.
This was a workmanlike performance by Talbot which was peppered by some sheer brilliance from the players. Sauchie were a tough outfit and good opponents but rarely bothered the Talbot defence. Next up a do or die match with Rob Roy on Wednesday night.
TALBOT: Leishman, Stafford, A.Wilson, McPherson, Armstrong, Hyslop, Healy (Boyd), G.Wilson, Boylan (R.McCracken), Samson, Glasgow(Smith). Subs: R.McCracken, Boyd, Smith, White, Hewitt GK.
SAUCHIE: Clark, Scott Davidson, Tully, Columbine(Kelly), Comrie, Smith, Sam Davidson(Dickie), Kavanagh(Crawford), Docherty, Carroll, Morgan SUBS: Greenhorn, Dickie, Crawford, Fisher, Syme, Kelly, Columbine GK.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.
|April 30, 2022||14:00||SOUTH REGION CHALLENGE CUP||2021/22|
|9||Bryan Boylan 12||Forward||0||0||0||0|
|7||Kieran Healy 14||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|11||Jamie Glasgow 15||Midfielder||1||0||0||0|
|14||Willie Boyd 7||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|12||Robbie McCracken 9||Defender||0||0||0||0|
|15||Greg Smith 11||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|