Beith 0 Talbot 1 ( H-T 0-0)
It was the Bot who settled first & made the early running as they shot down the Bellsdale slope. Frize was fortunate to escape an early booking when he went right through Hyslop 30 yards from goal. Graham Wilson took the resultant free kick & got it up & over the wall but straight at Grindlay who made an easy save.
The home side came close in the 7th minute. Frize read Leishman’s long throw & intercepted it on the right wing. The ball was swung into the centre where McPherson ran onto it but his shot lacked fizz & was easily saved by Leishman.
A minute later Hyslop looped a header wide when he met McGoldrick’s free kick inside the penalty area.
It looked to be advantage Beith in the 11th minute. A ball into the heart of the penalty area was cleared but cannoned off a player at the edge of the area & fell kindly for McGlinchey inside the box. He went down under Lyle’s challenge & the ref pointed to the spot. Christie struck it on target but Leishman went the right way & dived low to his left to turn it wide.
Talbot threatened the Beith goal on the quarter hour mark. McCracken led a counter-attack down the left before finding Milliken. He cut the ball back into the area where Young met it sweetly & his low drive was goal bound until it was blocked off a defender. It came back out to Young who squared it across to Steven Wilson who lifted a shot over the bar from 18 yards.
Beith’s defence had to be at the top of their game in the 24th minute when Milliken gathered out on the right & whipped a tremendous cross into the centre. Graham Wilson went for it at the near post but was just beaten to the ball by a whisker by McLaughlin who headed clear.
Frize had a lucky escape soon after. Already on a yellow card he blatantly tripped Steven Wilson as he raced forward but the ref decided it wasn’t worth a 2nd caution.
The penalty apart, Beith hadn’t offered much of a threat but they did come close on the half hour mark. A Beith corner was headed clear by Boyle but came out to J Wilson who met it on the volley & sent a shot just over the bar.
MacDonald became the 2nd Beith player cautioned when he up-ended McCracken as he bore down on the Beith box, resulting in a free kick 20 yards out. G Wilson took it but his shot clipped the top of the wall.
In the 42nd minute Beith almost capitalised on a slice of luck inside the Talbot box. McGlinchey’s mishit shot broke into the path of McPherson 15 yards out but he hesitated for a fraction & was challenged as he hit it with the ball spinning high into the air where it was gathered by Leishman.
The referee again erred on the side of leniency a minute before the interval. MacDonald should have received a 2nd yellow card for his late challenge on Milliken but the ref kept his cards in his pocket & contented himself with awarding the free kick. McCracken fired in a low shot from 30 yards that was blocked clear & the sides went in goal less at the interval.
The opening spell of the 2nd half was evenly contested with both sides having half chances to take the lead. Firstly Milliken cut into the area from the right & fired on target but sent his shot straight at Grindlay then down the other end MacGowan met McGlinchey’s hanging cross but hit a tame shot at Leishman.
Beith made the game’s 1st change in the 58th minute when Burke came on in place of McMenamin.
Graham Wilson very nearly provided the breakthrough in the 61st minute. He jinked inside the box off the left wing before firing narrowly over the bar.
Milliken picked up a yellow card in the 64th min for dissent when Beith won a free kick out on the right. MacGowan curled an in swinger into the box which Milliken headed over the bar. When the corner came over McLaughlin ran onto it but steered his free header over the bar from 8 yards.
Beith made a double switch in the 67th minute with McLean on for McPherson & Watt replacing MacDonald.
Two minutes later Talbot had a chance to take the lead. Graham Wilson released Young in space on the left of the area. He might have gone for the shot but instead opted to square it across the face of goal & the defence were able to clear.
Talbot enjoyed a bit of good fortune in the 70th minute. Watt got free on the right & sped a dangerous low ball across the 6-yard area. Christie was lurking unmarked at the back post but the ball clipped off McGoldrick’s heel & out to Harvey who completed the clearance.
A few minutes later Leishman produced his 2nd crucial save of the afternoon. A corner from the right came over into a packed penalty box & McLaughlin met it to direct an overhead kick on target. It looked a goal all the way until Leishman threw out his right arm to turn it away.
Tucker made his 1st change in the 81st minute with Shankland coming on for the tiring Milliken.
Shankland was only on the pitch two minutes before being flattened by J Wilson who received a yellow card for his troubles.
With 5 minutes to go Tucker made his 2nd change with White replacing McCracken in midfield.
Young nearly won it for Talbot soon after. Boyle met a ball in from the left & headed it back across goal where Young’s volley flew just past the right upright with the keeper beaten.
Just when it looked as though the game was heading for a replay Talbot made the breakthrough. White gathered by the right touchline & slipped the ball up the wing. The Beith defence were looking for an offside flag that never came & G Wilson carried on into the area where he took it wide of the keeper who sent him crashing to the deck. The ref pointed to the spot but there was a lengthy delay before it could be taken to allow treatment for Grindlay. The delay didn’t faze STEVEN WILSON who coolly stepped up & slotted the penalty home.
Beith threw bodies forward as the game moved into injury time but it was too little, too late & the Bot defence stood firm to knock the holders out.
This was an impressive away win against tough opposition & hopefully Talbot can kick on from this & maintain a similar level of performance next Saturday when they visit Hurlford in the league.
Beith – Grindlay, MacDonald, McMenamin, McLaughlin, Sheridan, J Wilson, McGlinchey, Frize, McPherson, Christie, McGowan
Subs – McLean, Watt, Collins, Burke, Martin
Talbot – Leishman, Harvey, Lyle, McGoldrick, Boyle, McCracken, Hyslop, S Wilson, Milliken, G Wilson, Young
Subs – Shankland, White, Stevenson, McPherson, Pope
|January 21, 2017||13:45||Scottish Junior Cup||2016/17|