PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.
Talbot had to settle for a share of the spoils at Largs but it ended up a point gained rather than two lost as both their title rivals went down to defeat.
There was plenty of commitment from both sides but little excitement with goal mouth incidents being few and far between.
The first effort of the match came in the 14th minute when Glasgow laid the ball back to Armstrong and he fired over the bar from 22 yards.
Five minutes later Graham Wilson gathered on the right before squaring it inside to Glasgow. He in turn fed it on to Aiden Wilson who drilled a shot wide of the right hand post from the edge of the area.
The opening goal came in the 28th minute and it was Talbot who broke the deadlock. Wardrope was fouled out near the right touchline and he took the resultant free kick – sweeping a cross over which CRAIG MCCRACKEN headed beyond the keeper.
Talbot couldn’t build on their lead but weren’t under any pressure either from the home side.
In the 38th minute McMaster was cautioned for a scything challenge on Graham Wilson.
Largs levelled in the 41st minute and there was a hint of controversy over it. Thistle won a corner down the left that was lifted deep beyond the far post. Graham Wilson miscued a header back into the centre where WILLIAM SEWELL guided a header home. Talbot vehemently protested that Leishman had been impeded when the corner came over but the officials ignored the protests and the goal stood and the half finished all square.
Talbot started the 2nd half positively and Graham Wilson almost found Samson with a cushioned header but it just eluded him and the keeper was able to gather.
Talbot’s next attack saw Glasgow turn his man and burst down the left. He was impeded but the ref gave the advantage and he was able to fire a cross into the near post which the defence managed to knock behind for the corner.
In the 56th minute Wardrope tested the defence with a dangerous low cross from the right that they just managed to scramble to safety.
George Sewell had his name taken in the 58th minute for a shirt tug on Glasgow as he raced forward.
Talbot had a good chance to retake the lead on the hour mark. Armstrong lifted a ball down the left that Graham Wilson won in the air. He nodded it into the path of Samson inside the box but Farrell blocked his shot at his right hand post. The rebound came out to Graham Wilson but he failed to connect with an attempted scissors kick.
The Bot’s next attack saw Wardrope bend a good ball in from the right that McGoldrick dived to head behind for the corner. When the corner came in Farrell punched it clear but it only came out to Armstrong on the right. He fired it low across the 6-yard area where it skipped up off a defender and Graham Wilson looped a header back across goal that just dropped over the bar.
Largs had an opportunity to test Leishman in the 74th minute when McPherson conceded a free kick 30 yards out for handball. William Sewell got it up and over the wall but Leishman had read it and made a comfortable save.
Two minutes later Talbot should have had a free kick just outside the Largs box. Healy lifted it down the right where McMaster clearly controlled it with his hand but somehow the assistant ref failed to spot it.
Talbot now made a double switch with Boylan & Shankland on for Glasgow & Wardrope.
The subs were involved soon after coming on when Boylan gathered on the left and pulled it back to Shankland inside the area but his attempted shot was blocked.
In the 81st minute Samson’s long throw wasn’t dealt with by the home defence and it fell to Stafford 15 yards out but his shot was blocked and ran through to Farrell.
Down the other end Talbot had a scare when a defensive lapse saw George Sewell race clear on the right. He slid it across the area to find his brother but William Sewell scooped his shot over the bar from 6 yards out though it wouldn’t have counted anyway as the linesman’s flag had went up.
Talbot were looking leggy and it was the home side who finished the stronger.
Largs had a good chance to claim all 3 points in the 84th minute when a free kick flighted into the area broke off McCracken and fell kindly for William Sewell but he blasted his shot over the bar.
Tucker made one final change in the closing stages with Mason on for Healy.
The final effort at goal came from Largs when Forbes raced forward but he lost his balance as he was shooting and his right footed effort was easily smothered by Leishman and Talbot held out to claim the point.
Next up for Talbot it is back to Beechwood where they host Rutherglen in midweek as the Bot will look to extend their lead at the top of the table.
Largs Thistle – Farrell, Hughes, McMaster, McGoldrick, Ballantyne, Faulds, George Sewell, McBryde, William Sewell, Adam, Forbes
Subs – Duff, McLeod, Docherty, Love, Gray, Zadarnowaki
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Craig McCracken, Healy, Wardrope, Armstrong, Samson, Graham Wilson, Glasgow
Subs – Shankland, Mason, Crawford, Hyslop, Boylan, Hewitt
|April 9, 2022||14:00||PDM BUILDBASE WOSL PREMIER||2021/22|
|7||Michael Wardrope 14||Midfielder||0||1||0||0|
|12||Bryan Boylan 7||Forward||0||0||0||0|
|8||Kieran Healy 15||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|14||Mark Shankland 7||Forward||0||0||0||0|
|15||Aaron Mason 8||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|