Talbot 1 Troon 0 (H-T 0-0)
With a lot at stake for both sides this game had a very cagey opening with little happening.
The first chance came Troon’s way in the 12th minute. Milliken’s attempted crossfield to Pope was intercepted & Barbour raced clear down the right. He played it inside to Curragh who drilled a low shot inside on target that Leishman held inside his left post.
Lyle had his name taken in the 13th minute when he nudged Nisbet off the ball as they both chased a ball over the top. Keenan took the free kick but hit a tame effort straight into the wall and he was fortunate not to end up in the ref’s notebook moments later when he barged McPherson over.
Wilson became the 2nd Bot player cautioned, when he was booked for an innocuous challenge on Nisbet in the 18th minute. This time Barbour took the set piece & his low drive clipped the outside of Talbot’s wall, forcing a full length diving save from Leishman to prevent it heading inside the left post.
Talbot did have the ball in the net in the 20th minute but it was ruled out for offside. Pope curled a free kick into the area where Young guided a header back across goal. It looked as though it may have been drifting inside the right post on its own but McCracken slid in to make sure, and he had strayed offside.
In Talbot’s next attack, Wilson showed quick feet to burst through the midfield & race toward the Troon box but his final shot sailed high over the bar.
A close offside call thwarted Talbot in the 25th minute. Pooler slid the ball through to Milliken on the left, who looked onside as he bore down on Fraser but as he knocked the ball past the advancing keeper the flag had went up & although the ball ended in the net it didn’t count.
Troon came close to taking the lead in the 32nd minute. Keenan’s pass picked out Nisbet down the right. He made for the bye line where he slung a cross over that clipped the top of the bar.
Pooler missed a golden chance to put Talbot ahead in the 34th minute. He easily intercepted Armstrong’s casual back pass to go clean through on the keeper, however he failed to take it round him & Fraser was able to smother the ball.
Talbot tested the visiting keeper again in the 40th minute. McCracken met Pope’s free kick into the area & powered a header on target that Fraser initially fumbled but gathered at the 2nd attempt.
The final chance of the half came a minute before the interval. Milliken ran onto Pope’s ball over the top, beating Fraser to it, and knocking it wide past the keeper. He gathered out on the left & swung a cross over to the back post for Thomson but it sailed over him.
Talbot had a good chance to grab the opener early in the 2nd half. Pope played the ball into the feet of McCracken inside the box & he returned the ball back to Pope. He slid the ball through to the unmarked Thomson who got his shot all wrong, tamely side-footing wide from a good area.
Keenan received a caution in the 55th minute for an aerial challenge, conceding a free kick just outside the area. Pope’s free kick struck the defensive wall & spun behind for the corner. Young whipped a dangerous corner over which Chatham headed just over his own bar.
Talbot’s task was made considerably harder in the 59th minute when they were reduced to 10 men. Wilson went charging forward down the right & dived into the tackle when the ball was running away from him. It looked as though he played the ball & his foot never left the ground, but the ref deemed it a 2nd yellow and off he went; a shocking decision, particularly as his 1st booking was a joke.
Troon failed to make the most of a good chance in the 63rd minute. Leishman bowled the ball out to McPherson 30 yards from goal but he slipped allowing Maley to nick the ball. He spotted Leishman stranded off his line & went for the early shot but hit it too near Leishman who was able to make the stop.
Talbot made a change in the 66th minute with Shankland on for Thomson.
The visitors made an attacking substitution in the 69th minute, taking Spence off & throwing Forsyth on to play up front.
The change almost paid off a minute later. Forsyth broke down the right, winning a corner, and when the corner came over & Talbot failed to clear their lines, he slid in to stab the ball just wide of the right post.
Curragh messed up a real chance to put Troon ahead in the 72nd minute. He raced clear on the left & simply had to square it across for Forsyth to roll it into the empty net but instead opted to try & go it alone. He lost control of the ball, dived to try & win a penalty, and ended with nothing but a yellow card for his troubles.
With quarter of an hour remaining Milliken climbed to beat Fraser to Pope’s hanging cross but his header drifted wide of target.
Tucker now made his 2nd switch with Stevenson coming on to replace McCracken & moments later Troon followed suit bringing Ure on for Maley.
Troon’s two subs combined in the 81st minute when Forsyth laid the ball back for Ure who fired wide from 20 yards.
Talbot’s next attack saw Shankland cut inside off the left & shoot for goal, his shot taking a slight deflection off Armstrong as it flew just wide of the left post.
Just when it looked as though the game was going to finish goal less, Talbot produced a dramatic late winner. Stevenson raced away from Chatham down the right & cut it back across the penalty area to find MILLIKEN in space 16 yards out. He worked it onto his left foot before drilling a shot past Fraser with the aid of a deflection off Armstrong.
There were contrasting emotions at the final whistle with Bot players celebrating a win that keeps them in the title hunt whilst the Troon players slumped to the surface as this defeat sealed their relegation.
Next up for Talbot is a mid-week trip to Darvel in the quarter-final of the West.Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, McPherson, McCracken, White, Young, S Wilson, Milliken, Pooler, ThomsonSubs – Stevenson, Shankland, Whyte, McLuckie, Hewitt
Troon – Fraser, Armstrong, Brown, Keenan, Collins, Chatham, Barbour, Spence, Curragh, Maley, Nisbet
Subs – Forsyth, Phillips, Simpson, Ure
|May 13, 2017||14:00||McBookies West Super Premier League||2016/17|