Talbot 1 Whitletts 0 (H-T 1-0)
Talbot started the game positively & should have been ahead inside 5 minutes when Pooler squared it across the area for Shankland to run onto but he scuffed his shot well wide from 15 yards.
A minute later Talbot had the Whitletts defence at full stretch. Hyslop released Stevenson down the right & his low ball across the face was heading straight to Shankland until Anderson stuck out a leg to intercept it.
Talbot made all the early running & Doribo came to the visitors rescue in the 17th minute with a crucial save. Shankland whipped a good cross into the centre which Hyslop glanced on target & the keeper did really well to react to block his effort.
Two minutes later Hyslop missed a sitter to put Talbot ahead. He stooped to meet Stevenson’s lofted cross from the right but somehow steered his free header well wide of goal from 4 yards out.
Whitletts hadn’t lacked effort but had lacked any chances although they could have taken the lead in the 23rd minute. A neat ball was knocked over the top of the Bot defence to release Balfour clean through on goal. Luckily for Talbot he lost his footing & although he scrambled back to his feet took a heavy touch & faced with an onrushing Leishman opted to throw himself to the ground looking for a penalty & was booked for his troubles.
A minute later Talbot had the ball in the back of the net but it was rightly ruled out for offside. Pope drilled a low shot on target that Doribo spilled. Shankland turned it home from close range but he was standing in an offside position.
The game’s only goal came on the half hour mark. Hyslop headed the ball on for Shankland who raced clear of the defence. He tried to round Doribo who sent him crashing; resulting in a booking for the keeper & a penalty to Talbot. SHANKLAND made no mistake from the spot sending the keeper the wrong way.
Whitletts were almost gifted a way back into the game in the 34th minute. McPherson miscontrolled a high ball that broke to Cameron in midfield. He chipped a diagonal ball in behind the defence to find Balfour in space but he volleyed a tame effort straight at Leishman.
White doesn’t score many but he came close to doubling Talbot’s lead in the 38th minute. Pooler laid the ball back into his path & he drilled a low shot just wide of Doribo’s right post from 25 yards.
Talbot continued to dominate the remainder of the half & almost doubled their lead two minutes before the interval. Pooler headed the ball into the path of Shankland & his strike partner returned the ball to him on the far corner of the 6-yard box. Pooler fired a shot on target but Doribo made a good save at his near post.
Unfortunately for the paying spectators that was pretty much as it as a spectacle in what proved to be a game of one half.
The referee had more to write in the 2nd half than reporters as he was kept busy with substitutions & cautions. He first had to reach for his notebook to book Black for a professional foul on Pooler & then had to mark down two changes for Whitletts as they brought on Cunningham & Boyle then a triple sub for Talbot as G Wilson, Milliken & Thomson came on as late replacements for Talbot, and a late booking for Talbot’s Boyle.
If ever a game looked like one goal would win it this was the one but Whitletts did have a good chance to equalise 9 minutes from time. Sloan outpaced Pope on the right & fired a ball across the area. Stevenson ought to have cut it out but it somehow eluded him & came through to Boyle who fired a shot straight at Leishman from 15 yards.
Talbot ended the game on the attack, spending the closing stages in the Whitletts half without remotely looking like threatening Doribo’s goal, and the final whistle came as a relief to the chittering support.
Next up for Talbot is another cup tie at Beechwood – this time the Bot will be hosting Luncarty in the last 16 of the Scottish.Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Harvey, Pope, McPherson, Boyle, Latta, Stevenson, White, Pooler, Shankland, HyslopSubs – Thomson, McCracken, G Wilson, S Wilson, Milliken
Whitletts Victoria – Doribo, Anderson, Ewart, Kirkland, Buchanan, Sloan, Cameron, Black, Balfour, Kerr, Kennedy Subs – Cunningham, Boyle, Boyd
|February 11, 2017||2:00 pm||New Coin Holdings West of Scotland Cup||2016/17|