PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.
MATCH REPORT JIM McAULEY
A Keir Samson brace was enough to secure Talbot the points in this tough encounter which was ruined by a gale force wind which made the match totally farcical at times, but all credit to both sides for entertaining the four hundred plus crowd who were huddled into Bellsdale Park.
Tucker had elected to go with the starting line up that had faced Hearts the week previous, but as early as the tenth minute he was forced into a change when Neill McPherson limped off. Neill had been involved in a sore one two minutes earlier when he seemed to be caught as he cleared a ball down the pitch. He was replaced by Robbie McCracken who moved to right back as Chris Stafford moved into the middle of defence.
On 13 minutes with the wind at their backs and playing up the slope Beith had the first chance of the game when Fowler powered into the box and fired off a smart cross that Watt headed into the air where the wind blew the ball into the path of McLean but his outstretched leg failed to connect and the ball ended up in Leishman’s arms.
A minute later Watt tried a speculative shot from well out which was well wide while the busy Boylan showed his annoyance after being flagged offside with a clear run at goals on the cards.
Beith were putting the elements to good use and on the 18th minute Noble and McMahon capitalised on a Talbot clearance that had been caught up in the wind to set up Fowler who honed in on goals but his angled shot was turned around the post by the fingertips of Leishman in a save that was more spectacular due to the fact that the ball had taken a wicked bobble before he got to it.
The home side were dominating at this point and on the half hour mark a speculative wind assisted hoof up the pitch was gathered by Fowler who set up McMahon but he shot well past
Four minutes later Beith had the chance to open the scoring when Watt left a number of Talbot players in his wake but his pinpoint cross was headed narrowly over the bar by the unmarked Fowler.
It was no surprise when Beith took the lead on 41 minutes when Noble cleared a loose ball up the pitch, the ball seemed to pick up speed in the wind and that saw it fly past the Talbot back line into the path of Hepburn who set up Fowler and the striker slammed the ball into the net from about eight yards via the base of the post.
Beith’s celebrations were short lived as two minutes later Talbot were level due to a training ground move that must be one of the best goals so far this season. It started with Glasgow down the left who cut into the edge of the box before finding Armstrong he in turn fashioned a one two with Graham Wilson which Armstrong played to the feet of Boylan who’s deft touch left Samson unmarked who stroked the ball past Burgess.
Although being limited to very few chances due to the elements and some decent Beith defending Talbot fashioned two good moves before the interval when Glasgow and Grahan Wilson linked up but Wilson just couldn’t get the cross away and on the half time whistle Samson picked out Aiden Wilson but his cross was blocked.
The opening five minutes of the second half were frantic to say the least. Glasgow threw in a tantalising cross into the box but there were no takers while C. McCracken did well to block a Frize cross that was heading into the danger area.
Both sides were looking for chances as the game became more entertaining, Glasgow and McLean had shots blocked while a McGlinchy corner kick had alarm bells ringing in the Talbot defence but after an old fashioned stramash the ball was cleared.
In the 62nd minute Boylan looked to have put Talbot ahead when his 20 yard strike was heading to the bottom right of the net but Burgess pulled off a terrific one handed save. From the resultant corner Glasgow found the head of Samson but the ball hit the side netting. The Talbot fans were less than pleased two minutes later when Boylan had the ball in the net but the referee had blown for an infringement seconds earlier.
Beith were quick to show they were still in this game when Frize made a superb run down the wing and his low cross into the box was clipped well over the bar by McLean. Moments later Fowler had a half chance but he shot tamely into the keeper’s arms. On the 72nd minute Frize was kicking himself after finding himself unmarked he headed a McGlinchy corner well over the bar.
After that period of pressure by the home side Talbot delivered the sucker punch on the 76th minute after Samson won a free kick on the right of the Beith box. Glasgow delivered a wicked ball that fell to C.McCracken whose touch saw the ball cannon off the bar before being cleared for a corner. Glasgow fired the resultant corner right to the back post where Samson rose above the Beith defense to head the ball into the net.
Glasgow was unlucky not to get himself on the scoresheet when he latched onto a loose ball due to an excellent Armstrong tackle, he then powered up the middle of the park before chipping the keeper from 30 yards but the ball just dipped over the bar.
The last chance of the game came when R.McCracken latched onto a loose ball after Noble half cleared a Boylan cross and the youngster tried his luck from 25 yards but the ball took a vicious swerve and went a few yards past the post. Talbot started to wind down the clock by introducing Mason for G. Wilson, and on the last minute Boyd replaced Glasgow who limped off after catching a stud on the back of his heel.
To summarise it was a hard won three points in difficult conditions against a decent Beith side. The injuries to McPherson and Glasgow we hope are superficial and they are up for selection next week. Robbie McCracken and Chris Stafford put in a great shift after the defensive switch around, while the whole team stuck to their tasks throughout the match.
|January 29, 2022||13:30||PDM BUILDBASE WOSL PREMIER||2021/22|
|Team||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|
|8||Graham Wilson 12||Forward||0||0||0||0|
|12||Aaron Mason 8||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|4||Neill McPherson 14||Defender||0||0||0||0|
|15||Willie Boyd 10||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|