Talbot edged past Kilwinning on penalties to book a place in the West of Scotland final after a drab semi-final encounter at Beechwood.
The first chance of the afternoon went to the visitors in the 4th minute. Lamont squared the ball inside to Stuart who swerved a shot wide of the left post from 20 yards.
Talbot’s first chance came after 10 mins. Wardrope slid a pass through to find Smith in behind the defence. He opted to hit it early but drilled his shot straight at Henderson.
With quarter of an hour gone Boland had his name taken for a late challenge on Graham Wilson.
In the 17th minute Talbot won a corner out on the left. Wardrope put over a good delivery but McCracken just failed to connect in the centre.
The Bot won a free kick in a good area in the 19th minute. Taylor cut in from the right and was tripped by Torrace just as he was set to hit it – resulting in a booking for Buffs centre-half and a Bot free kick 20 yards out. Wardrope shaped to hit it but instead slid it down the right to find Samson who drilled it across goal where Smith met it but fired over the bar from 6 yards.
The next noteworthy incident came in the 33rd minute. Smith held it up well on the left before making for the byline and swinging over a good cross that Samson met in the air but couldn’t direct goal ward.
Talbot were forced into an early change after 35 mins when McCracken limped off to be replaced by Ballantyne.
In the 38th minute Talbot put together a well-worked move. Graham Wilson back-heeled it into the path of Aiden Wilson who switched play to the right to find Wardrope. He found Taylor breaking down the right of the penalty area but his attempted ball across goal was easily cut out.
Kilwinning ended the half the stronger and had two half chances in the closing stages. Lamont cushioned a header down into the path of McColm but his shot lacked the power to test Leishman and then deep in injury time a free kick from the right found Maccalman at the back post but it came off the top of his head and floated over and so the 1st half drew to a close with neither keeper being required to make a save of any note.
Talbot had a chance shortly after the break when Graham Wilson found Samson inside the area and he laid it back to Smith 15 yards out but his shot didn’t trouble Henderson.
The visitors made a change in the 52nd minute when MacIntyre left the field injured to be replaced by Wood.
In the 58th minute Samson squared it in from the right and as Smith went to run onto it he was sent tumbling by Torrance. The ref pointed to the spot, booked the Buffs defender and GRAHAM WILSON made no mistake from 12 yards – thumping a shot inside the right post to put Talbot 1-0 ahead.
Kilwinning now made a further change with McInally on for Kavanagh.
The Buffs nearly levelled in the 64th minute. A good pass down the left found Lamont in space inside the area and Leishman did well to save his low angled drive with his outstretched leg.
Two minutes later and it was all square. Kilwinning won a free kick midway inside the Bot half when Park handled it and Taylor then received a caution for kicking the ball away. When the free kick was flighted over from the left Leishman came for it but was never getting there and WOOD was able to guide a header into the empty net from beyond the back post.
Talbot were caught out again a few minutes later when Lewis was found in space down the right. He whipped in a dangerous cross which McPherson managed to head clear.
With quarter of an hour remaining Talbot made a triple change with Graham Wilson, Wardrope & Smith making way for Lennox, Boylan & Mason.
Three minutes from time Talbot had a late chance to win it. Lennox gathered on the left and fed it back to Wilson whose cross into the centre wasn’t dealt with. It broke to Mason who fired a low left foot shot back across goal that Henderson managed to block with his leg.
As the game moved into added time the Buffs made another change with Collins replacing Bolland.
Deep into added time Kilwinning won a corner down the right. When it came into the near post it skipped up off the turf and looked to hit Boylan’s arm but the referee dismissed the Buffs appeals and blew for full-time.
The penalties were taken down at the Beechwood Road end and it was the Buffs up first. Collins was first up and it was advantage Talbot as Leishman leapt to his right to keep it out.
Mason took Talbot’s first spot kick and gave the keeper no chance as he placed it low inside the left post.
Kilwinning’s hopes faded when their 2nd spot kick was again saved by Leishman to his right but Talbot failed to press home their advantage when Boylan tried to place his low to the keeper’s right and Henderson guessed correctly to keep it out.
McColm took the Buffs 3rd penalty and was the first Buffs player to score, but only just as Leishman again went the right way and got his fingers to it but couldn’t keep it out.
Lennox stepped up for Talbot’s 3rd and restored the Bot’s lead when he coolly sent the keeper the wrong way.
Kilwinning scored their 4th spot kick to make it 2-2 with Leishman once again nearly saving it low to his left before Taylor slotted home to put Talbot 3-2 up.
It was now sudden death with the Buffs needing to score their final penalty but again Leishman came out on top – blocking the penalty that was thumped down the centre and Talbot were through 3-2.
A very flat game with the only real positives being the balmy weather and the end result. Next up for Talbot it’s a Monday night encounter at Beechwood with table toppers Beith.
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Taylor, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, McCracken, Armstrong, Park, Wardrope, Samson, Smith, Graham Wilson
Subs – Mason, Boylan, Lennox, Crawford, Ballantyne, Sinnamon, Fisher
Kilwinning Rangers – Henderson, Boland, Kavanagh, Maccalman, Torrance, Marshall, MacIntyre, Lewis, McColm, Lamont, Stuart
Subs – O’Brien, McLean, McAlpine, McInally, Wood, Collins, Porter
Talbot v Kilwinning Rangers – Man Of The Match Awards
Andy Leishman lifted all five sponsors’ Man of the Match awards. Big Andy saved three of the five penalties in the penalty shoot out to send us through to meet Clydebank in the West of Scotland Cup Final.
Old Crocks – presented by Max Kuberski.
Killie Travel Club – presented by Allan Paterson.
Mauchline BC – presented by Liz Milgrew.
Loons Supporters Club – presented by Lex O’Hara
Mr & Mrs Jim Dunsmore & Friends – presented by Avril Dunsmore.
Match Ball Sponsor – Emerald Contracts.
Morton Wright (Jun) presented Avril Dunsmore with a bouquet of flowers of behalf of the club and we extend best wishes to Jim and Avril following their recent marriage.
|April 8, 2023||14:00||Indigo Comms WOSL Cup||2022/23|
|Team||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|
|15||Nathan Lennox 8||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|11||Ross Smith 14||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|9||Graham Wilson 12||Forward||1||0||0||0|
|5||Craig McCracken 16||Defender||0||0||0||0|
|14||Bryan Boylan 11||Forward||0||0||0||0|
|12||Aaron Mason 9||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|8||Michael Wardrope 15||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|16||Jamie Ballantyne 5||Defender||0||0||0||0|