Talbot climbed to 2nd in the table courtesy of an impressive away win over Pollok; a result Talbot will hope to replicate in a fortnight’s time when they meet again in the Scottish cup.
The home side were the 1st to settle & had the 1st effort at goal in the 3rd minute when Leishman easily fielded Gormley’s drive from 25 yards.
A minute later Harvey had his name taken for a foul on Stuart McCann as he broke forward. McCluskey flighted the free kick into the area where it was headed clear.
Action then switched to the other end as Talbot won a free kick out on the right in their 1st foray into the Lok half. Shankland whipped a great ball across to the back post where McIlroy & Glasgow both just failed to make contact.
Talbot’s next attack saw Glasgow have a half chance inside the Lok area. A Talbot shy came to him 15 yards out but he chose to take a defender on rather than go for the shot & the chance was lost.
Longmuir produced a good stop in the 12th minute to prevent Talbot taking the lead. Shankland curled an inch perfect cross over from the left which Steven Wilson met at the back post only for Longmuir to turn his header around the post.
The breakthrough came in the 19th minute when Talbot won a penalty. Shankland knocked it into the feet of McIlroy who helped the ball out to the left. Glasgow got there before Niang who sent him tumbling with a shove in the back & the ref pointed to the spot. STEVEN WILSON took it & gave Longmuir no chance, hammering it inside the right post as the keeper went the wrong way.
In the 23rd minute Pollok squandered a half chance to test Leishman. Gormley pulled the ball back to McGregor at the edge of the area but he ballooned his shot way over.
Four minutes later Harvey had to look sharp to deny the home side. McGregor slid a pass through the centre for McCluskey but Harvey got there first to clear the danger.
Pollok hadn’t brought their shooting boots & failed to make the most of another half chance in the 29th minute. The Bot defence failed to clear their lines & it came to S McCann 18 yards out but he lifted his shot over the bar.
A minute later Talbot doubled their lead. McIlroy squared the ball to SHANKLAND 25 yards out & he darted into the area, side-stepped the challenge of Niang, & coolly passed the ball beyond Longmuir to put Talbot 2-0 ahead.
Pollok pushed forward looking for a way back & McCluskey had an effort on target in the 33rd minute. He beat Pope to the ball & carried it forward before drilling a shot at goal that took a deflection on its way through to Leishman. The Lok frontman then had his name taken for dissent as he appealed that it had hit a hand on its way through.
The home side ought to have reduced the deficit five minutes before the interval. Gary McCann got free on the right & squared it across the area where Gormley only had to pass it into the net; however, Lyle reacted quickest & nicked in to turn it behind for a corner.
Glasgow showed his pace in Talbot’s next counter, surging past Sideserf into the penalty area but he couldn’t get past Niang & the defence were able to clear.
In the closing seconds of the half Pollok wasted a clear chance to pull a goal back. McCluskey was sent free down the right & strolled into the box but with only Leishman to beat he tamely hit his shot straight at him & Talbot went in two goals to the good at the interval.
Just as they did last week at Cumnock Talbot came out flying at the start of the 2nd half & nearly produced a peach of a goal a minute after the re-start. A slick passing move saw Shankland find McIlroy in the box. He fed it onto Glasgow who back-heeled it back into the path of Shankland who saw his low drive turned round the post by Longmuir.
Talbot played the corner short, allowing Shankland the angle to whip a ball across the face of goal but there were no takers in the centre.
Two minutes later McIlroy came close to putting the game beyond Pollok. White’s ball down the left found him breaking into the area & he drilled an early shot across goal that slipped just wide of the far post.
McIlroy had another opportunity to get on the scoresheet in the 55th minute. Leishman bowled the ball out to Glasgow on the left & he flew up the wing, breezing past Niang, before firing it low across the 6-yard area. Unfortunately it went slightly behind McIlroy who couldn’t sort out his feet & he couldn’t get his shot away.
Pollok then had a chance when Gormley played in S McCann down the left. He knocked it wide past the advancing Leishman but hit it too wide & threw himself down in a vain attempt to claim a penalty.
The home side made a double switch in the 57th minute with McGregor & Byrne making way for Rowan & Hepburn.
The Bot had another chance to kill the game off in the 63rd minute. Shankland’s early ball up the left picked out Glasgow in space. He paced away from the defence but Longmuir had read the danger & came rushing off his line. Glasgow opted to hit it early but Longmuir did well to make the block.
Tucker made Talbot’s first change in the 68th minute with Graham Wilson on in place of McIlroy.
Talbot were looking comfortable sitting on their lead but Pollok weren’t out of it & they threatened to reduce the leeway in the 77th minute. Gary McCann fired over a cross from the right touchline that came to McCluskey on the left of the area. He fired a low shot on goal that was well-saved by Leishman.
This proved to be McCluskey’s swan song as he once again made a beeline for the referee to remonstrate about something & the ref produced a 2nd yellow card to reduce Pollok to 10 men.
Tucker now made a further change with Thomson on for Steven Wilson.
Pollok made their final change in the 83rd minute with Forde replacing S McCann up front.
With four minutes to go Pollok were reduced to 9 men. Gary McCann took a poor 1st touch & with the ball breaking away from him he recklessly lunged in with studs showing & was shown a straight red.
A minute from time Pollok grabbed a consolation effort when FORDE latched onto a ball over from the left, wheeling smartly to turn & fire low past Leishman to make it 2-1.
Another good win for Talbot who are back on league duty next Saturday when they are scheduled to travel through to Blair Park to face Hurlford.
Pollok Juniors – Longmuir, Byrne, Sideserf, Niang, Gallagher, Young, G McCann, McGregor, S McCann, McCluskey, Gormley
Subs – Rowan, Little, A Forde, Hepburn, Johnston (gk)
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, McPherson, Harvey, S Wilson, Hyslop, White, McIlroy, Glasgow, Shankland
Subs – G Wilson, Thomson, Faulds, McCracken, Armstrong
Photographs by Paul Flynn.
|February 3, 2018||2:00 pm||McBookies West Super Premier League||2017/18|
|Sean McIlroy 12||Forward||0||0||0||0|
|7||Steven White 15||Midfielder||0||0||0||0|
|6||Stephen Wilson 14||Midfielder||1||0||0||0|