NO LUCK TALBOT LOSE AGAIN
Report: Murray Steele, Photography: Craig McGhee, Media: Lee Conn.
Talbot did enough to earn a share of the spoils against Beith but as so often this season in a game of fine margins they came out on the wrong side of a narrow defeat.
The Bot got off to a nervy start and Beith had a half chance in the 1st minute. Slooves’ attempted clearance was blocked and it spun into the path of Rossiter who fired over the bar from the edge of the area.
The next chance also came the home side’s way. Rossiter got away down the right and played it low into the centre where Diver took a touch before firing straight at Henry.
The travelling support and Bot dugout were incensed in the 17th minute when Talbot countered through Wardrope. His pass found Smith in space down the left but the move was halted due to a debatable offside call.
Two minutes later Talbot came close to taking the lead. Wardrope’s diagonal pass found Smith in behind the defence down the left. He squared it for Boylan whose left footed effort slid just wide of the left post.
Talbot were having a good spell and Stott came to Beith’s rescue in the 20th minute. Thomson’s cross was met by Wardrope who laid it into the path of Boylan and his low drive was saved by the feet of Beith’s keeper.
Action then switched to the other end where Monti raced down the left before feeding it to Mason. He cut in onto his right foot but was challenged as he hit it and the ball went tamely through to Henry.
The home side took the lead in the 23rd minute. Langan pinged a ball out to Thomson on the left and he cut inside but his shot was blocked by Rough. Beith then lifted it quickly down the right where ROSSITER got the better of Wilson before drilling a shot that squeezed past Henry at his near post.
In the 28th minute Beith had a half chance from a well-worked corner. The corner was drilled in low to Frize who laid it back to the edge of the area where Monti fired over the bar.
A minute later Talbot had the ball in the back of the net only for the referee to come to Beith’s aid. A good pass down the right channel sent Thomson through on goal. There looked to be absolutely nothing wrong with his challenge on Stott who’d raced off his line to block and when the ball went loose, Thomson tucked it into the net, but the referee awarded Beith a foul for the challenge on the keeper.
On the half hour mark Boylan received a very tame yellow card for a challenge on Mason. From the subsequent free kick Monti’s ball in from the left was met by Diver at the back post but he couldn’t direct it on target.
Beith had a good chance to double their advantage in the 36th minute. Mason got in behind and raced through on goal but Henry did well – getting a hand to it to force him wide when he tried to go round him – and Slooves then cleared it when it came into the centre.
Five minutes from the break Wardrope released Thomson down the left. He tried to drill it across goal but it was well cut out by Rough.
Shortly before the interval Wardrope had his name taken for an innocuous challenge on Sculllion.
Soon after the re-start McGlinchey went down theatrically inside the Talbot box following a corner. The ref wasn’t impressed but opted not to book him for diving.
In the 48th minute Thomson became the 3rd Talbot player in the book and there wasn’t much doubt about this one.
Two minutes later Thomson had a good effort well saved by Stott. He cracked a low left foot drive from 25 yards that Stott dived to his left to keep out.
Talbot’s next attack saw Langan burst free on the right before cutting it back to Wardrope. Stott was stranded off his line but a Beith defender managed to block Wardrope’s shot en route to goal.
In the 58th minute Thomson was barged over by Frize but the referee kept his cards in his pocket.
Just after the hour mark Beith threatened when Mason cut the back back from the left into Rossiter who sent a shot wide of the left post from 15 yards.
Talbot then came agonisingly close to levelling. Boylan hammered a shot from 25 yards that had the beating of Stott but clipped the junction of post and bar.
Boylan then turned provider – playing the ball into the path of Langan who raced into the area but couldn’t keep his shot down under pressure from the defence.
In the 70th minute Talbot made their 1st change with Boyd on in place of Thomson.
Two minutes later Langan tried to burrow his way into the area down the right. The ball broke off him when challenged and spun into the centre where Stott was quickly off his line to beat Boylan to it.
With quarter of an hour remaining Boyd lifted over a good cross from the left that Stott couldn’t claim. Wilson went for it at the back post but in the ensuing melee in the 6-yard box the referee gave the decision Beith’s way.
Both sides now made changes with Monk on for Scullion for the home side and Abed replacing Smith for Talbot.
Talbot nearly got in on the 78th minute when Boyd’s well-weighted diagonal pass found Boylan on the left of the penalty area. He managed to knock it past McGlinchey but didn’t get the break of the ball and the defence were able to clear.
Tucker now made a double switch with Boyle & Wardrope making way for Lennox & Gillies.
With 10 mins remaining Armstrong received a caution for obstruction on Mason just wide of the penalty area but Beith made nothing of the resultant free kick.
Two minutes later Talbot broke forward via Langan. He was taken out by Frize but the referee gave the advantage and Boylan raced into the right of the penalty area where his low drive was blocked by Stott. The referee then cautioned Frize for the earlier challenge.
In the closing stages Slooves looked certain to be booked for an identical challenge to Armstrong’s but the only thing consistent about match officials is their inconstancy and no card was shown.
Deep into injury time Beith missed a glaring chance to double their lead. A good pass split the Bot defence sending Monk clean through but he steered his shot past the left hand post.
A tough one to take but positives to take out of it going forward. Next week it’s a break from league duties as Talbot make the long & winding trek down to Wigtown in the senior cup.
Beith – Stott, McGlinchey, Noble, Rough, O’Neill, Scullion, Monti, Frize, Diver, Rossiter, Mason
Subs – Burns, McWilliams, Monan, Monk, Scott, Walker
Auchinleck Talbot – Henry, Armstrong, Wilson, Slooves, McPherson, Langan, Boyle, Wardrope, Boylan, Smith, Thomson
Subs – Boyd, Abed, Lennox, Gillies, McMillan, Park, Kennedy