PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.
Photographs by Paul Flynn.
Photographs by Paul Flynn.
MURRAYS MATCH REPORT
Talbot shone in the sunshine as they swept past Carluke into the last 4 of the West; racking up six goals along the way.
This tally looked unlikely in the opening exchanges as both sides struggled to find any pattern to their play with the ball being lumped up & down the park to no effect.
There had been little to report on until Talbot took the lead in the 10th minute. The Bot won a free kick out on the right that was knocked short to Waite. He whipped a good early cross over where Kemp powered a header on target. Brown made the save but GRAHAM WILSON followed up to knock in the rebound.
Four minutes later Talbot had a half chance to add to their lead. Waite made for the bye line before cutting it back into the path of Lyle but he hoisted his shot well over the bar.
Play now grew increasingly scrappy, giving the visitors a glimmer of hope. In the 23rd min Chiedu launched a howitzer of a throw into the centre of the Bot goalmouth. The ball broke to Lafferty 15 yards out but he slid his shot a few yards wide of Leishman’s left post.
A few minutes later Lafferty had another opportunity. McPherson’s clearance came to him just outside the area & he drilled a low shot past the left post.
Talbot were having a ropy spell but Carluke lacked the cutting edge to take advantage.
In the 36th minute McAllister picked up the game’s 1st caution for a late tackle on Kemp on the half-way line.
There had been a goalmouth action but Talbot tested the visiting keeper in the 39th minute. Kemp got on the ball out on the left touchline & hooked it inside to find Wilson racing into the area. He shot on target but Brown parried it away.
A minute later though Talbot got the crucial 2nd goal. White let fly from the edge of the area & although Brown dived low to make the save he was helpless to prevent GRAHAM WILSON tucking away the rebound.
In the 42nd minute Talbot added a third. McDowall surged through the centre before releasing it to his right to find DAVID WAITE & he slotted a low shot back across goal & under Brown to give Talbot a 3-0 lead to take in at the interval.
Talbot started the 2nd half positively and the pressure resulted in a booking for Lindsay who impeded Graham Wilson after the Bot striker had robbed him of the ball.
It had been all Talbot since the re-start but a moment of sloppiness almost cost the Bot in the 52nd minute. Armstrong lost the ball just outside his own penalty box & Carluke worked the ball to Lafferty on the right of the box who fired a shot on goal that Leishman blocked at his near post.
Both sides now made a double substitution. Tucker bringing McIlroy & Glasgow on for Graham Wilson & White and then the visitors replaced Biggart & Weir with McDonald & Mitchell.
Talbot put together a slick move on the hour mark. McDowall turned his man out on the touchline before passing it on to Kemp. They played a one-two that ended with McDowall teeing it up for Kemp who fired a shot across goal & just past Brown’s left post.
Carluke now made their final change with Lambie on for Grierson.
McKenna became the 3rd Carluke player in the book soon after for a blatant body-check on McDowall just wide of the box. Waite took the set piece & floated it beyond the far post where Kemp fired it back across goal. The defence cleared it but only out to Armstrong who blazed a shot just wide of the right post from 20 yards.
Brown produced a great reaction save to deny Talbot a further goal in the 64th minute. Pope hit a long diagonal free kick to find McDowall out on the right. He hit it 1st time across goal where McIlroy side-footed it on target only for Brown to block with his feet.
Talbot made their final change in the 66th minute when Samson came on for Kemp and it didn’t take the sub long to make his mark.
With 68 mins gone it was 4-0 to Talbot. Armstrong played it down the right for McIlroy & he hit an early ball inside to find KEIR SAMSON pacing away from the defence into the box where he rounded Brown before slotting it into the empty net.
The Bot’s next chance came when Waite sent it out left to find Samson’s run. He hit the bye line before cutting it back to 6 yards out where McDowall volleyed it over the bar.
McDowall had a good chance to add to Talbot’s lead with quarter of an hour remaining. Leishman launched the ball up the park where Samson headed the ball on to McIlroy on the left. He held off the challenge of Chiedu & slotted it back to Samson who released a pass to find McDowall in space on the left of the area but he pulled his shot across goal and wide of the left post.
Brown came to the visitors rescue in the 79th minute with another fine stop to deny McIlroy. Samson headed Leishman’s ball down into McIlroy’s path & he looked favourite to score but again Brown saved McIlroy’s low drive with his feet. The ball came out to Waite 25 yards from goal & he powered a shot on target that the keeper parried away.
Carluke’s keeper was doing well, despite the score line, and he was in action again in the 80th minute. Armstrong went on a mazy run inside the box before firing on target from 8 yards but Brown was equal to it. The rebound came out to Samson whose low drive was heading for target until blocked by a defender.
Eventually, the pressure told and Talbot grabbed their 5th in the 83rd minute. Samson attempted to wind his way through the defence down the left and the ball broke back out to Waite. His shot was blocked but fell nicely for JACK MCDOWALL on the left of the area & he curled it away into the opposite corner.
With 3 minutes remaining Talbot completed the scoring. Chiedu brought down Samson just inside the area resulting in a booking for the full-back & a penalty to Talbot. GORDON POPE took it & coolly sent the keeper the wrong way to make the final score 6-0 to Talbot.
A good win for Talbot and a welcome confidence boost going into a league double header at Beechwood where Talbot face Kilbirnie and then Hurlford in the coming week.
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, McPherson, McCracken, Armstrong, White, Waite, Graham Wilson, Kemp, McDowall
Subs – McIlroy, Glasgow, Samson, Stephen Wilson, Hyslop
Carluke Rovers – Brown, Chiedu, Watson, Lindsay, McAllister, Weir, Biggart, Grierson, Lafferty, McKenna, Kane
Subs – McDonald, Lambie, Mitchell, Neill
MURRAYS MATCH REPORT
A much changed Talbot side made hard work of it but did enough to see off the challenge of Craigmark to book their place in the last 8 of the West.
Without setting the heather on fire Talbot started strongly enough and Kemp had several opportunities in as many minutes to give Talbot an early lead.
His 1st chance came in the 8th minute. Harvey found Waite on the right & he fed it inside the area to Glasgow. He was challenged before he could hit it but the ball broke back to Kemp who curled a left foot shot just over the bar.
A minute later Glasgow’s pass split the visitors defence allowing Kemp in on goal. He went for the lob & lifted it over the keeper but also just over the crossbar.
In the 10th minute Kemp had a further chance to put Talbot ahead. White dispossessed Dyer midway inside the Bot half & Talbot quickly broke up the right through Glasgow. He lifted it across the area to find Kemp in space but he angled his shot across goal & wide of Masterton’s left post.
This early flurry of chances proved a false dawn as the game quickly grew scrappier with errors aplenty from both sides.
It took until the 27th minute before the next close call. Pope’s shy from the left came straight into the path of Glasgow who raced onto it just inside the area & toe poked a shot that slid past the left post with Masterton beaten.
Craigmark hadn’t been at the races but they nearly took a surprise lead in the 29th minute. They won a free kick 35 yards out that Boyle drilled straight into the wall. It deflected straight into the path of Dyer who drilled a shot inches wide of the right post from 15 yards.
This encouraged Craigmark and a minute later Connor raced through the centre before testing Leishman with a long range drive that he smothered at the 2nd attempt.
For all Talbot’s early chances Craigmark’s keeper hadn’t been overworked with Talbot failing to hit the target on multiple occasions. Glasgow had Talbot’s first meaningful effort on target in the 38th minute when Kemp’s ball found him with his back to goal & he spun before firing a shot that was blocked by Masterton.
Talbot pushed hard in the closing stages of the half but all they had to show for it was a glancing header from Kemp that flew wide of the left post and so for the 2nd match in succession Talbot went in goal less at the interval.
The 2nd half got off to a false, forgettable start with literally nothing of any note occurring.
The game’s first caution came in the 58th minute when R McKay was booked for persistent fouling after impeding Kemp. Waite took the set piece & whipped in a good delivery from the right that Harvey headed goal ward only to see his effort clatter off the left post.
Talbot had the visitors defence stretched in the 62nd minute. Glasgow played it down the left to Kemp who cut inside off the wing. He had Waite spare to his right but opted to shoot from the edge of the box; sending a wild shot careening high & wide.
A minute later Talbot grabbed the decisive goal. Pope slid the ball through to JAMIE GLASGOW and as S McKay backed off him he carried it into the left of the penalty box & passed it beyond Masterton.
With 20 mins remaining Talbot made a double switch with Waite & Kemp making way for McIlroy & Samson. Craigmark also made a switch with Reid replacing Thirtle.
Samson was barely on the park when he had a chance to double Talbot’s lead. Pope whipped a great cross over that found Samson 6 yards out at the back post but he couldn’t steer his header on target.
With quarter of an hour remaining Talbot completed their substitutions when Stephen Wilson came on for White and Craigmark also made two further changes with Ewing on for Cherrie & then Campbell replacing McCubbin.
Talbot came close to adding to their lead twice in the 83rd minute. Firstly Glasgow forced a good save from Masterton who dived low to his left to turn his shot from distance behind for a corner and then when the corner came in Pope met it beyond the back post but couldn’t direct his header on target.
Reid picked up Craigmark’s 2nd caution of the afternoon with 5 mins remaining for a trip on Stephen Wilson. The free kick was taken short to Harvey whose low drive from 25 yards flew just wide of the left post & into the side-netting.
In the final minute Talbot had one last chance to add to their lead. A short corner from the left was worked to the back post where Harvey scooped it over the bar from close range.
Whilst far from their best Talbot thoroughly deserved the win and now face a home tie with Carluke in the quarter-finals of the West. Next up for Talbot is a repeat of last season’s Scottish semis only this time with Talbot making the trip to Dundee to face Lochee in the 1st leg.
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, Harvey, McCracken, Waite, McDowall, Armstrong, Kemp, Glasgow, White
Subs – Samson, McIlroy, Stephen Wilson, Hyslop, McPherson
Craigmark Burntonians – Masterton, Lamont, Lowe, S McKay, R McKay, Boyle, McCubbin, Dyer, Thirtle, Cherrie, Connor
Subs – Ewing, Reid, Campbell, Stewart
Photographs by Paul Flynn.
Photographs by Paul Flynn.
Beechwood has not been a happy hunting ground for Cumnock over the years and so it proved again as Talbot powered past their rivals in this West of Scotland tie.
A stiff breeze & continuous rain didn’t make for ideal conditions but it didn’t stop Talbot from taking the game to the Nock from the get go.
Talbot tested the Nock defence in the opening minute when McKenna conceded a sloppy corner. Glasgow whipped it in & Niang could only head it up in the air but when Semple came through a crowd of bodies to punch it, the referee awarded a soft free kick to the defending team.
With 5 minutes gone Talbot won a free kick inches wide of the Nock penalty area. Samson weaved inside Muir who sent him tumbling & received a yellow card for his troubles. Pope took it but it wasn’t his best effort & his floated cross was easily claimed by Semple.
Cumnock weren’t at the races & it was no surprise when Talbot took the lead after 9 minutes. Pope’s deflected cross fell to Samson at the near post & he cheekily back-heeled it across the face of goal where DWAYNE HYSLOP slid it home from close range.
Talbot maintained their grip on the game & the next attack saw Glasgow lay the ball out to Pope who fired in a dangerous cross that Murdoch headed clear.
The Nock defence were looking ropy and Murdoch had to take one for the team in the 17th minute when he picked up a caution for hauling Hyslop to the deck to prevent him running onto Wilson’s ball over the top. Pope took the set piece & angled it beyond the far post to try & find Wilson but Ferry stretched to clear it away.
It was nearly two nil to the Bot after 19 minutes. Glasgow’s corner from the right found McCracken in the 6-yard area near the back post but his header drifted just wide of target.
Frustration was getting the better of Cumnock & Faulds was fortunate only to see yellow when he went right through the back of Glasgow with no attempt to play the ball.
Eventually Cumnock did succeed in crossing the halfway line with their 1st attack coming after 25 minutes. They forced a corner down the right that cleared everyone in the centre & was retrieved by Pope. He sclaffed his clearance straight to Faulds who was bundled over by Glasgow 22 yards out. Faulds drilled the free kick straight into the wall but the ref halted play as his assistant had noticed a clash in the area. Curiously, the referee appeared to signal that McKenna had used his elbow but then only booked him for it & also booked Glasgow for his part. When the set piece was re-taken, Carmichael floated it to the back post where Leishman made an easy catch.
Hyslop conceded a free kick in the 32nd minute when he caught Faulds 30 yards out. Faulds fired his shot at the wall & it spun out for the corner. When the ball came over MURDOCH climbed highest in a congested goal mouth to head home from close range & level the score.
Talbot rallied after this setback and almost regained the lead in the 36th minute when Hyslop met Glasgow’s corner at the near post only for Semple to produce a top class save to turn his header round the right post.
Three minutes later it was Cumnock’s turn to threaten from a set play when they won a corner down the left. Once again it was hung under the bar but this time Leishman got there 1st to punch clear.
Lyle had his name taken in the 40th minute for a late challenge on Ferry.
As the half drew to a close Talbot twice came close to taking the lead. In the 44th min Semple came to the visitors rescue when he kept out McIlroy’s header from Glasgow’s cross & in injury time McCracken rose to meet Glasgow’s corner unopposed but he lifted his header over the bar & the sides went in level.
Talbot started the 2nd half strongly and Glasgow was denied a certain goal within a minute of the re-start when Stephen Wilson’s ball from the right fell to him in front of goal but McKenna did well to throw himself in the way & block his shot to safety.
Two minutes later Armstrong sent Pope through on the left & he fizzed a ball across the face of goal but there was too much on it for anyone in the centre to get a touch.
The Nock fans thought their side had moved ahead in the 51st minute. Carmichael gathered out on the left & whipped a cross onto the head of Patterson who dispatched it beyond Leishman but their celebrations were short-lived as the ref had spotted that the ball was out of play before Carmichael reached it & pulled play back for a shy.
In the 54th minute Lyle released a pass to find Samson on the right. He cut into the penalty area & squared it across goal where Hyslop ran onto it to fire for goal. His shot was blocked in the goalmouth by McIlroy who with his back to goal couldn’t force it home & the chance was lost.
This proved to be the Talbot front two’s last involvement of the afternoon as Tucker made a double switch bringing on Shankland & Graham Wilson for Samson & McIlroy.
The subs didn’t take long to make their mark, Graham Wilson won a free kick 35 yard out just after the hour mark, which Shankland took. With most expecting a shot, Shankland coolly passed it wide of the wall to find Stephen Wilson racing down the right & his shot on target was beaten away by Semple.
Cumnock made their 1st change in the 65th minute with Dinwoodie replacing Murray.
A minute later Ferry had his name taken for the visitors for kicking the ball away at a Bot free kick.
Faulds should have headed for an early bath in the 69th minute. He rashly slid into a challenge on Pope & caught him late but the referee bottled the decision & didn’t produce the 2nd yellow card.
The longer the game went the more pressure Talbot exerted & it finally paid off in the 75th minute. Glasgow cut in off the left & fired a shot toward the far post that was deflected behind off the back of Niang. Glasgow went across to take the corner & his low delivery was met by GRAHAM WILSON who steered it into the bottom corner to restore Talbot’s lead.
Talbot could have killed the game off only a minute later. Stephen Wilson gathered on the right & his ball over the top found Shankland racing through on goal. He slotted it past the advancing Semple but angled his shot just wide of the far post.
Cumnock were then forced into a change when Gracie injured himself whilst fouling McCracken. He had to limp off to be replaced by McMurdo.
It was game over in the 81st minute when Talbot grabbed their third. Cumnock were on the attack but Faulds sloppy pass was easily intercepted by Pope who sent Glasgow racing down the left. He cut the ball back into the box where Pope screwed a shot across goal. His shot landed at MARK SHANKLAND 6 yards out & he blasted home to put Talbot 3-1 ahead.
Two minutes later Talbot were back on the attack when Shankland released Glasgow down the left wing. He fired a low ball across the face of goal that Dinwoodie did well to clear.
The Cumnock defence were posted missing again in the 85th minute when Shankland’s pass sent Stephen Wilson through. His 1st touch took him away from goal but he recovered to slide it back into the path of Lyle whose fierce shot was beaten away by Semple.
Tucker now made his final change with White coming on for Stephen Wilson.
Talbot saw out the remaining minutes comfortably enough to seal the win and book their place in the 3rd round of the West.
Next up for Talbot is another Ayrshire derby but of a different order of magnitude as they face Ayr United next Saturday in front of a sell-out crowd and a live TV audience.
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, McPherson, McCracken, Armstrong, Hyslop, Stephen Wilson, McIlroy, Samson, Glasgow
Subs – Graham Wilson, Shankland, Kemp, Waite, White
Cumnock Juniors – Semple, Muir, Ferry, McKenna, Murdoch, Murray, Faulds, Niang, Patterson, Gracie, Carmichael
Subs – Crawford, Dinwoodie, Reid, Dignan, McMurdo
It took penalties to decide the outcome of a pulsating West of Scotland Match at Abbey Park where Talbot had the upper hand but failed to finish the match due to poor finishing and some excellent goal keeping by ex-Talbot keeper Adam Strain. Talbot had to re-shuffle the pack due to a call off by Ross Harvey who had picked up an injury against Lesmahagow and replaced him with Craig McCracken in the centre of defence. It was business as usual for skipper Willie Lyle who returned to the side after being rested against Lesmahagow. Talbot suffered an early setback when Dwayne Hyslop picked up a bad injury when it looked like he took a set of studs into his face, and was instantly replaced by David Waite. The youngster automatically made himself known with a number of probing runs down the right wing where he whipped a few tantalising balls into the box but there were no takers. In fact the first half was devoid of any goalmouth action except where a pinpoint cross by Gordon Pope was misread by Sean McIlroy who headed the ball past Strain’s goal when it looked like it was easier to score than miss.
The second half started a lot brighter for Talbot when they upped the ante and Strain made a superb block at the feet of Calvin Kemp. The Talbot striker later passed up a great chance to open the scoring when he was adjudged to be onside during a Talbot attack, but made the mistake of not playing to the whistle and scuffed a hurried shot well off target. Changes were soon made with Graham Wilson and Keir Samson replacing Calvin Kemp and Sean McIlroy. Talbot continued to dominate the game as they swarmed around the Kilwinning goalmouth and Craig McCracken was unlucky to see his scuffed shot just slip past the post, Adam strain was definitely the busiest of the keepers, but it took the outstretched hand of Andy Leishman to parry a Monti shot past the post which kept Kilwinning from taking an undeserved lead,
As the game headed towards the 90 minute mark the large Talbot travelling support thought they had nicked the tie when Keir Samson who actually looked to have been shoved in the back got his head to a David Waite whipped cross which cannoned off the post. The game then went to penalties and straight away Andy Leishnan proved why he is one of the best keepers in the Juniors by saving Nisbet’s spot kick down at his left hand post. From then on Talbot made no mistakes from the spot with the Wilson’s Waite, Glasgow and Gordon Pope all hitting the back of the net. A hard won tie at a very difficult venue, and a place in the next round against Cumnock.