Not a game to live long in the memory but Talbot did enough to grind out a win which secures their place in the Ardagh final where they will face local rivals Glenafton.
There was nothing wrong with Talbot’s start to the match & the Bot scored the game’s one & only goal after only a minute. McIlroy burst away from McNab down the left before squaring the ball to KEMP who fired low past Lamb to put Talbot 1-0 ahead.
Talbot kept the early momentum going & nearly doubled their lead in the 8th minute. Shankland broke on the left before cutting the ball back to Pope & his shot bounced just wide of the left post.
Irvine Vics came within a whisker of equalizing in the 14th minute. Talbot were caught daydreaming at a quickly taken corner & when the cross came over from the right Adam was allowed a free header from 6 yards but it came off the underside of the bar & bounced out to safety.
Harvey had his name taken in the 20th minute. He looked to be in control just outside the penalty area but was deceived by the bounce of the ball & ended up flattening Adam in an aerial challenge. Singleton took the free kick but hit it straight into the wall. Meanwhile, Adam exited the field for treatment before returning after being bandaged up.
The next effort at goal came from Talbot. Pope switched play in field to Kemp & he fired a shot from 20+ yards that just cleared the bar.
A 2nd goal for Talbot would have all but killed the tie off & they came close in the 36th minute. Kemp released Weir down the right side of the area & Shankland side-footed his cutback just over the crossbar.
Talbot wasted a good chance to extend their lead after 40 minutes. McIlroy knocked a good ball wide to Thomson & he sped down the left wing, cut into the box, and slid it across to Shankland who failed to convert from 6 yards.
The home side were forced into a change not long before half-time with Adam leaving the field to be replaced by Adams & in the final action of the half, Shankland fired a shot narrowly over from the edge of the area after being set up by Thomson.
Just as Talbot had scored early in the 1st half, Irvine Vics nearly repeated the feat, coming close within a minute of the re-start. Adams got free down the right & pulled it back for Ablorh who hammered a shot on target that Leishman blocked inside his near post.
The same two Vics players combined again in the 51st minute with Adams squaring the ball inside to Ablorh who toe poked the ball wide of the left post from 15 yards.
Tucker made his 1st change in the 57th minute with Wilson coming on in place of Shankland.
Thomson was unfortunate on the hour mark when he swung a dangerous cross over from the left. It was begging to be turned home but no had gambled on it & the ball curled wide of the far post for a goal kick. Two minutes later Talbot blew a great chance to double the lead. Hyslop’s slide rule pass released Kemp in behind the defence & when he played it across goal McIlroy looked set to side-foot it home from 6 yards but he got his feet in a muddle & somehow the ball ended up stuck between his feet.
Tucker now made two further changes, firstly Armstrong coming on for White and soon after Glasgow replacing McIlroy.
Talbot were denied their 2nd goal in the 77th minute by a poor call from the assistant ref. Weir bent a cross in from the left which Pope ran onto to glance past the keeper. He looked to be comfortably onside but the flag went up on the far side & the goal didn’t stand.
Vics now made their 2nd switch with Wilson on for Hamilton.
With the light fading, Talbot had a couple of opportunities to put the game to bed. In the 82nd minute Thomson’s accurate pass sent Kemp clean through on the right but his final ball across the face of goal had too much on it & no one could get a touch on it. Then, in the final minute Glasgow had a good chance to get on the score sheet. He controlled Pope’s ball over the top but scuffed his shot well wide from 15 yards.
Whilst Talbot weren’t at their best, especially in the final third, they did enough to get the job done.
No game for Talbot this Saturday due to the Glens participation in the senior cup so it will be a week on Saturday before the Bot are back in action when they face Clydebank in the league.
Irvine Victoria – Lamb, Craig, McNab, Young, Bonner, Davidson, Mears, Singleton, Adam, Ablorh, Hamilton
Subs – Hollis, Burt, Wilson, Scott, Adams
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Weir, Pope, Harvey, McCracken, White, Hyslop, Thomson, McIlroy, Shankland, Kemp
Subs – G Wilson, Glasgow, Pettigrew, Armstrong
|August 30, 2017||6:30 pm||Ardagh Cup Knockout Game||2017/18|
|12||Jamie Glasgow 9||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|9||Sean McIlroy 12||Forward||0||1||0||0|
|14||Graham Wilson 10||Forward||0||0||0||0|
|15||Gareth Armstrong 6||Defender||0||0||0||0|
|6||Steven White 15||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|10||Mark Shankland 14||Forward||0||0||0||0|