MURRAY’S MATCH REPORT
Talbot secured their place in Tuesday’s Scottish cup draw with a comfortable away win over reigning North region champions, Hermes.
Talbot were short odds favourites to progress but it was the hosts who made the livelier start. They stretched the Bot defence in the 3rd minute when a ball in behind the defence almost sent Jack clean through but he couldn’t quite reach it and Leishman was quickly off his line to gather.
Hermes were playing a risky game, keeping a very high line as they attempted to squeeze the action into Talbot’s half and as the Bot settled into the game, the host’s game plan unravelled.
The referee was left with a game changing decision in the 10th minute when Talbot successfully beat the offside trap. Milliken raced free down the right & knocked it past Sweeney who’d raced out his box to stop him. The keeper clearly fouled Milliken and on another day might have walked for a professional foul but the ref chose only to book him.
Talbot took the lead with quarter of an hour gone in large part due to an error from Sweeney so in a sense justice was done. Shankland chased down a ball in behind the defence & Sweeney sclaffed his clearance straight to the feet of GRAHAM WILSON on the right edge of the box and he fired a low shot into the empty net.
The Hermes defence were now being turned at will and Milliken had a great chance to double Talbot’s lead in the 19th minute when a ball over the top found him running through one on one with the keeper. He tried to drill it past the advancing Sweeney but the keeper blocked his effort and it spun out to Shankland who cut in on his left foot and went for goal, only to see his shot blocked by a defender. Wilson reacted quickest to the loose ball and raced into the penalty area and took it wide of the keeper only to lose his footing and the ball ran behind for the goal kick.
It was all Talbot now and it was no great surprise when Talbot moved 2-0 ahead in the 25th minute. Milliken raced onto a ball by ***** and might have went for goal himself but unselfishly squared it across to the unmarked GRAHAM WILSON who rifled it into the roof of the net.
Young had an opportunity to extend the lead when he raced free down the left but he angled his shot wide of the far post and a minute later Milliken tested the keeper when he lashed a shot on target that Sweeney parried to his left before gathering at the 2nd attempt.
Talbot put together a well-worked counter-attack in the 34th minute. Milliken used his pace to break down the left before sliding a good ball into the penalty area. Wilson dummied it for Shankland but before he could pounce McKenzie slid in to knock it behind for a corner. When Butch’s corner came over Wilson met it but couldn’t keep his header under the bar.
Talbot kept plugging away looking for further goals and created a few half chances shortly before the interval. In the 1st of these, Hyslop’s flick created space for Milliken on the right of the area but he went for goal on his weaker right foot and the shot was blocked behind.
Shortly after, Pope sent the ball down the line to Young and he fed it across the box to Shankland who lifted a shot over the bar.
In the final chance of the half Leishman’s clearance sailed over the static Hermes defence to find Milliken on the left side of the area. Sweeney was caught off his line but Milliken was caught in two minds and ultimately his final ball was neither a cross nor a shot and Sweeney recovered to gather in the centre.
There were no changes during the interval and no change in fortune either, as Talbot started the 2nd half as they’d ended the first.
Wilson had his name taken in the 47th minute for a high tackle on Hyslop.
Shankland provided Talbot’s next effort at goal. Wilson found him in space on the left & he cut inside Cruickshank before firing just wide of Sweeney’s right post.
However the goal wasn’t long delayed and Talbot made it 3 in the 53rd minute. Milliken’s header on sent Wilson through 1 on 1 with the keeper but he was denied his hat-trick when Sweeney blocked his low drive. Undeterred, Wilson pursued the ball out to the right and turned provider as he crossed into the centre for HYSLOP to head home from close range.
With the game as good as won the game went into a bit of a lull for a short spell with Talbot looking comfortable without threatening further goals.
Wilson sparked things back into life in the 65th minute when he met Pope’s shy and laid it into the path of Young. Butch’s shot was blocked but came back out to Wilson whose low drive forced a save out of Sweeney.
A minute later the Hermes keeper was again called into action. This time he threw himself to his left to turn Milliken’s fierce drive around the post.
Hermes now made their 1st change with Strachan coming on for McRae and Tucker made a double switch up front with Gillies & Love replacing Shankland & Milliken.
Talbot made it 4-0 in the 72nd minute. The Bot won a free kick out on the right which Pope curled into the area. Campbell met it and headed it back across for Gillies whose point blank header produced a fine stop from Sweeney. However, the keeper could do nothing to prevent GRAHAM WILSON tucking away the rebound to complete his hat-trick.
Hermes could easily have went a man down a minute later when Jack was guilty of a bad tackle on Hyslop but the referee gave him the benefit of the doubt and produced a yellow card.
Talbot’s next effort came from Love out on the right who fired a low shot across goal and wide of the right post.
Tucker made his final change in the 79th minute when Steven Wilson came on for Young.
Gillies was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet in the 80th minute. Latta pulled the back from the bye line and he fired a shot on target that had Sweeney beaten but was blocked in the goal mouth by Brown.
Gillies had another chance a couple of minutes later when Love’s diagonal ball found him running in behind the defence. He could’ve went for goal but instead opted to square it across to G Wilson for a tap in but Cruickshank slid in to intercept and put it behind.
Hermes made a late change when McLachlan came on in place of Cruickshank.
In the closing minutes the home side twice came close to grabbing a consolation effort. Smith let fly from 35 yards out only to see his shot clip the top of the bar and in the final minute Brown got his head on the end of a free kick into the area but his header looped just off target.
This was a good win for Talbot who might have won by a few more had they been a bit more clinical in front of goal. Next up for the Bot it is back to league duties and the visit of in form Petershill.
Hermes – Sweeney, Cruickshank, Smith, Brown, Campbell, McKenzie, Macklin, Wilson, Jack, McRae, Dawson
Subs – G Watson, McLachlan, Simpson, Strachan, Nash, Smith, S Watson (gk)
Talbot – Leishman, Latta, Pope, Lyle, Campbell, Hyslop, Young, White, Milliken, G Wilson, Shankland
Subs – Gillies, Love, S Wilson, Findlay, Johnstone (gk)
|September 5, 2015||15:00||SCOTTISH CUP||2015/16|