Troon must have wished they’d stayed beside the seaside as they were hopelessly outclassed by Talbot at a wet & windy Beechwood in this one-sided league encounter.
Talbot settled to the task quickly and made the early running, pegging Troon back without being able to test them in the final third. The first effort at goal came from the visitors in the 7th minute when Chatham’s reverse pass found Fulton on the right of the area & he drilled a shot across goal and wide of the far post.
A minute later Johnstone was let off the hook by the referee. A short back pass put the keeper under pressure & as he tried to clear Graham Wilson charged it down but just as he looked set to follow up and head home the referee blew up for a foul.
Talbot were dominating possession and came close on a number of occasions. Twice in as many minutes dangerous balls were whipped across the face of the Troon goal, firstly by Shankland and then Stephen Wilson and on both occasions Samson nearly provided the finishing touch.
With 22 mins gone the visitors snatched the lead against the run of play. Kieran Paterson lifted a ball up the right that skated off Young’s head and behind for a corner. When the corner came over Talbot could only clear it as far as FULTON who rifled a fine finish inside the left post from 20 yards.
The goal didn’t faze Talbot though and the Bot were soon back camped in the Troon half and their pressure paid off when they grabbed the equaliser in the 28th minute.
A ball into the heart of the penalty area found STEPHEN WILSON with his back to goal & he was able to turn & slot a low shot inside the right post to make it 1-1.
Three minutes later Talbot moved in front. A shy from the right came to Shankland outside the area. He shaped as though to shoot but instead played it left to find KEIR SAMSON in space inside the box & he tucked a great finish beyond Johnstone to make it 2-1.
It was all Talbot and the Bot nearly scored again soon after. Healy’s shot from the edge of the area was deflected just wide of the right post off Graham Wilson.
The 3rd goal wasn’t long in coming though & duly arrived after 36 minutes. Pope slipped a good pass down the left to find the run of Samson & he lifted a cross into the centre where MARK SHANKLAND guided a free header into the back of the net.
Within a minute Talbot added their fourth. They won a corner down the left that Shankland drilled low into the near post. Samson attempted to back heel it home but his effort was blocked behind for another corner. This time Shankland lifted the corner into the centre where DILLON YOUNG bundled it home from close range.
Troon were coming apart at the seams & Keenan went off to be replaced by McCreadie.
The visitors looked down & out but rallied to come close to pulling one back in the 42nd minute. Stevenson shoved the ball on to Maley who returned it back to him and Leishman had to be on his toes to turn his powerful drive round his left post.
A minute before the interval Talbot came within a whisker of extending their lead. Graham Wilson’s touch sent Armstrong racing through the heart of the defence & his shot flew past Johnstone & cannoned off his right post and back into the arms of the relieved keeper and the half ended with Talbot trooping off 4-1 ahead.
It would have been easy for Talbot to take their foot off the accelerator but if anything they stepped up a gear after the interval.
Three minutes after the restart Gilmour did well to thwart Samson when he looked set to race through on the keeper and a minute later Graham Wilson latched onto Samson’s cutback from the left to flick a shot on target that Johnstone held.
In the 50th minute Talbot won a free kick 22 yards out after Samson was fouled. Shankland took it & fired it over the wall but Johnstone got his positioning spot on & held it inside his right post.
The chances kept coming & Talbot threatened again in the 54th minute. Pope’s slide rule pass sent Shankland free down the left of the area & he dinked it past Johnstone as he advanced off his line; however Gilmour was able to get back & clear.
An hour in and Tucker made a double substitution with Hyslop & McKinlay coming on for Armstrong & Graham Wilson.
The nonstop pressure finally told in the 62nd minute when Talbot added to their lead. Hyslop did well down the right to hustle McCreadie into conceding a corner. The defence were able to clear Shankland’s first corner but only straight back to him & he set it back to Stephen Wilson who pinged a cross over for DILLON YOUNG to head home Talbot’s 5th of the evening.
Before Troon had a chance to settle Talbot scored their sixth. McKinlay raced onto a ball down the left & fed it inside to Samson. His flick broke into the path of KIERAN HEALY who rolled it inside the left hand post.
McKinlay almost added another in the 67th minute. Stephen Wilson played it up the right to find McKinlay on the edge of the area & he showed good feet to create the space for a shot & crashed it off the bar from a tight angle.
Troon now made a change with McCloy on in place of Stevenson.
The sub was barely on the park when Talbot made it 7-1. Healy’s ball up the left found Samson running clear in the box. He knocked it past Johnstone but Paterson got a foot in to block his effort; however it fell nicely for HAMISH MCKINLAY who slotted it home.
Tucker now made his final change with McDowall coming on for Stephen Wilson.
The officials decided to have mercy on Troon and denied Talbot what looked an obvious goal in the 72nd minute. McKinlay won the ball & knocked it inside to Samson who let fly from 25 yards. His shot flew off the underside of the bar & appeared to bounce well behind the goal line before spinning out but the stand side assistant wasn’t up with play & the goal wasn’t given.
A minute later McKinlay looked set for his second of the evening when he ran unmarked onto a cross from the right but Johnstone managed to block his header.
Shankland was then denied another entry on the score sheet when Hyslop found him breaking through the centre of the defence only for his shot to be deflected just over the bar.
With 6 minutes remaining Talbot tested Troon’s keeper again. Shankland’s cross field pass released McDowall on the right & he fired a low shot back across goal that Johnstone parried away at his right post.
Talbot completed the scoring in the 86th minute. Talbot moved the ball around well deep in the Troon half before it was switched out left to Shankland who played it across the face of goal where HAMISH MCKINLAY passed it into the net from close range to make the final score 8-1.
With the light fading the referee put Troon out their misery and blew up without adding any time.
A great win for Talbot which will have done wonders for confidence and no harm at all to the goal difference column. Next up for the Bot it is back to cup duty as they host Whitletts Vics in the quarter-final of the Sectional cup.
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, McPherson, Young, Healy, Armstrong, Stephen Wilson, Graham Wilson, Samson, Shankland
Subs – McKinlay, McDowall, Pearson, Hyslop, Aiden Wilson
Troon Juniors – Johnstone, Henderson, Gilmour, Keenan, McGregor, Kieran Paterson, Fulton, Chatham, Stevenson, Pooler, Maley
Subs – McCreadie, Reid, McCloy, Ewing, Jack Paterson