After what seemed an endless wait Talbot finally returned to action at Beechwood & it was worth the wait as Talbot ran out convincing winners over Penicuik, with the fans being treated to 7 goals in total.
Talbot got off to a muted start and it was the visitors from the east who shaded the early exchanges without ever threatening to breach Talbot’s defence.
The first effort on target came in the 14th minute when Glasgow laid the ball back to Healy and he drilled a powerful shot at goal from 20 yards that Watt had to parry.
The game really sparked into life in the 21st minute when Glasgow came close twice within a minute to breaking the deadlock. Firstly, his dipping shot from the edge of the area clipped the crossbar and shortly after his low right foot drive smacked off the base of Watt’s right post with the keeper well beaten.
Penicuik made a change after 25 minutes when Watson came on in place of Young.
Two minutes later Talbot took the lead. Samson charged down a clearance from the left-back and Shankland chased it down to the corner flag. Nifty footwork left the defender chasing shadows before he looped a cross to the back post where JACK MCDOWALL steered a header down & across and beyond the keeper.
The Bot came close to extending their lead in the 35th minute. Wilson cut the ball back from the left to find Shankland whose half volley from 18 yards flew just over the bar.
The visitors hadn’t offered much threat in the final third but they did have an opportunity to level after 36 minutes. A cross in from the left was headed clear by Wilson but only as far as Kateleza who lashed a powerful strike wide of target from 16 yards.
Play then switched to the other end where Shankland found Lyle in space down the right. He hung a cross over to the far post where Samson met it but couldn’t direct it on goal from a tight angle.
The last chance of the half came in the 42nd minute. Shankland evaded a couple of challenges before slipping a pass through to Glasgow. He turned his man & fired on target but straight at Watt and so Talbot reached the interval a goal ahead.
Tucker made a raft of changes for the start of the 2nd half with Shankland, Glasgow & Armstrong making way for Boylan, Robbie McCracken & White.
The changes almost paid off immediately with Robbie McCracken nearly doubling Talbot’s lead. His shot from a tight angle caused Watt an anxious moment as the keeper turned it round his left post.
A minute later McCracken had another effort on target when Watt dived low to his right to save his effort from 20 yards.
It was all Talbot now and the Bot had a penalty appeal waved away in the 52nd minute. McDowall’s cut back found Boylan on the left of the area and his fierce drive was blocked en route leading to a shout for hand ball.
Talbot did double their lead in the 54th minute courtesy of a wonderful strike from a set piece. Lamb upended McDowall as he raced forward resulting in a free kick 35 yards out. KEIR SAMSON stepped up and curled an unstoppable shot over the wall that flew inside Watt’s left hand post to make it 2-0.
Penicuik tried to respond and Reid tested Hewitt in the 58th minute with a well struck effort from 30 yards that he held low to his left. The visitors now made a double change with Kateleza & Edwards making way for Furness & Hope.
Before the subs had a chance to look at the ball Talbot extended their lead. McDowall pounced on a slack pass midway inside the Penicuik half, carrying it forward before releasing BRYAN BOYLAN on the left & he slotted it past the keeper to make it 3-0.
In the 64th minute Talbot won another free kick within shooting range when Boylan was fouled 30 yards out but this time Samson’s effort went just too high.
Talbot now completed their changes with youngsters Murphy & Smith from the development squad replacing Samson and McDowall.
The visitors pulled a goal back in the 72nd minute following a good passing moved which ended with REID racing onto a pass in behind down the left & coolly passing the ball beyond Hewitt.
However any hopes of a comeback proved short-lived as Talbot added to their lead in the 75th minute. Lamb, who was anything but meek, caught Boylan late inside the area & the ref pointed to the spot. WILLIE LYLE stepped up and his spot kick sent the keeper the wrong way to put Talbot 4-1 ahead.
Talbot had to play out the closing ten minutes a man short after McPherson took a heavy knock and couldn’t continue.
Penicuik took advantage of the extra man to exert some pressure on Talbot and forced a string of corners in succession which Talbot successfully defended.
With 2 minutes remaining Penicuik reduced the leeway with a well-constructed goal. Finnie flighted a good ball over the defence to find TANSEY inside the area & he smashed his shot past Hewitt to make it 4-2.
Talbot weren’t quite finished though and completed the scoring with the final kick of the game. Boylan’s tenacity saw him win the ball out on the right and his cut back from the bye line was met by KIERAN HEALY who lashed it first time inside the keeper’s left post.
A good win and performance from Talbot who will be back in action next Saturday when they host Clydebank in a tough opening fixture to the league campaign.
Auchinleck Talbot – Hewitt, Lyle, A Wilson, McPherson, C McCracken, Armstrong, McDowall, Healy, Glasgow, Samson, Shankland
Subs – Boylan, R McCracken, White, Smith, Murphy
Penicuik Athletic – Watt, Baptie, Young, Edwards, Kateleza, Tansey, Neave, Lamb, Collins, Forbes, Reid
Subs – Watson, Furness, Finnie, Hope
PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.