MURRAYS MATCH REPORT
Talbot enjoyed a sunny evening at the seaside as the Bot defeated Troon at Portland Park to book their place in the last 4 of the Ardagh cup.
Talbot were the sharper team for most of the 1st half & should have opened the scoring as early as the 3rd minute. Steven Wilson fired a great ball in from the right to find Milliken in space inside the area but he lashed his shot over the bar.
MILLIKEN made no such mistake in the 11th min when he grabbed the opening goal. Stevenson’s ball through the centre parted the Troon defence & Milliken strolled through on goal & knocked it past Semple.
A few minutes later Talbot almost doubled their lead. Lyle’s cross into the area was only headed out as far as Young, who controlled it on his chest before laying it out to the left to find Steven Wilson. He raced into the area & fired for goal but his shot flew wide of the right hand upright.
Talbot were well in command & Hyslop came close in the 19th minute when he met Pope’s hanging cross & looped a header back across goal and wide of the right post.
The 2nd goal was coming & it duly arrived in the 21st minute. HYSLOP rose to meet Young’s corner from the left & he powered a header home at the back post.
Troon’s defence was almost breached again in the 25th minute. Steven Wilson nodded the ball on into the path of Milliken & Collins was at full stretch as he made a crucial sliding tackle to prevent Milliken going through on goal.
Stevenson won Talbot a free kick 30 yards from goal when he was shoved over by Spence in the 33rd minute. Graham Wilson struck it, and his shot flicked off the top of the wall before speeding just wide of the left post. When Young’s corner came over Hyslop met it but placed his header wide of goal.
Troon had offered little but it was game on when they pulled a goal back in the 39th minute. Moore played it into the feet of Robertson who traversed across the penalty area before sliding a pass through to MUIR who slipped the ball past Leishman to reduce the deficit and set up a competitive 2nd half.
The home side started the 2nd half brightly, keeping the ball well but without doing any damage in the final third. For all Troon’s early possession it was Talbot who were 1st to threaten when Hyslop sent Steven Wilson free down the left. He passed it to his brother & Graham’s low drive was heading on target until Chatham blocked it for a corner. Young delivered a dangerous ball across the 6-yard box where Pope had a chance to restore Talbot’s 2 goal cushion but he didn’t make a clean enough contact & glanced his header wide.
Talbot’s next chance came to Graham Wilson. Harvey lifted a free kick down the middle towards Steven Wilson which Collins headed clear. However, it came straight out to Graham Wilson in space just outside the box but he opted to hit it first time and blazed his shot way over the bar.
Robertson isn’t a great favourite of the Bot support partly due to his Jacques Cousteau antics over the years and he annoyed the travelling fans in the 57th min when he fell over rather easily to win a free kick 30 yards from goal. McKnight lifted it up & over the wall but it didn’t dip quickly enough.
Down the other end Milliken showed Collins a clean pair of heels before cutting it across the area but unfortunately for Talbot Stevenson couldn’t quite reach it.
Talbot played well for the most part but weren’t clinical enough in front of goal and squandered a real chance to put the game beyond Troon’s reach in the 65th minute. Young’s inch perfect pass sent Milliken free down the left & when he squared it across the area Steven Wilson should have buried it but he side-footed it past Semple’s right post.
The next attack from Talbot was a solo effort from Steven Wilson as he surged down the right leaving a couple of Troon players in his wake before knocking it round Armstrong & heading into the box. If he’d been able to beat Semple it would’ve been a goal to remember but Troon’s keeper denied him; getting down well to turn his low drive around the post.
With 20 minutes remaining both sides made a change, Forsyth replacing Nisbet for the home side & Thomson making his Talbot debut in place of Stevenson.
The referee wasn’t giving Talbot much & he seemed to be the only one in the ground who failed to spot McKnight’s shove on Milliken as they went for a high ball in the 79th minute.
Troon were throwing bodies forward, hemming Talbot in, making for a nervous closing spell for the visitors. They won a free kick out on the right in the 81st min when Pope fouled Moore & McKnight delivered it to the near post where Chatham ran onto it but placed his free header straight at Leishman.
Tucker now made a further change with Pooler coming on for Milliken.
There was a close call for Talbot in the 85th minute when a Troon corner was only headed out as far as Spence whose low drive from 19 yards flew just wide of the right post, with the aid of a slight deflection from Pope. When the 2nd corner came over it too was only partially cleared, coming out to Muir who fired a low drive on target that Leishman held inside his left post.
In the closing stages Thomson nearly added a 3rd for Talbot when he finished off a move involving Pooler & Steven Wilson by drilling a low shot to Semple’s left but Troon’s keeper produced a fine save to deflect it wide.
Troon kept pressing but couldn’t breach the Talbot defence & the Bot held on to seal a good away win.
Next up for Talbot is the start of the defence of their league title as they travel through to Barrhead to take on Arthurlie.
Troon – Semple, Chatham, Armstrong, McKnight, Collins, Spence, Nisbet, McCrea, Robertson, Muir, Moore
Subs – Forsyth, Harvey, Keenan, Strachan
Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, Harvey, Boyle, Hyslop, Young, Stevenson, G Wilson, Milliken, S Wilson
Subs – Pooler, McPherson, Thomson, Latta, Hewitt
|August 24, 2016||6:30 pm||Ardagh Cup Knockout Game||2016/17|