Preston Athletic

Irvine Meadow v Auchinleck Talbot

An early chance for Talbot but Boylan can only send his close range header over the bar.


The Talbot bench look on, as ‘Pee-wee’ tries to win the ball back.


WHAT-A-SAVE!!! Big Andy proves he’s still one of the best ‘keepers around, as he manages to stop a certain Meadow goal by clawing the ball away from right on the line. BRILLIANT!!!


Samson goes chasing in order to try and get the ball back.


FIRST BLOOD TO MEDDA!!! Irvine Meadow take the lead via a penalty. 1-0.


I think he’s happy at scoring that penalty.


The celebrations continue for Medda after taking an early lead in the game.


McPherson does his best to keep his Talbot team-mates motivated after going behind via that penalty.


The Talbot faithful watch the action, as Glasgow fires the ball down the park.


Another Talbot attack gets started, as Big Andy launches the ball forward.


WHAT-A-CHANCE!!! Glasgow slips the ball to Samson who fires a hard low strike towards goal, where the Medda ‘keeper pulls off a great save to stop him from scoring.


Keir manages to get to the rebound but before he could strike again, the Medda defender slides in to send the ball out for a Talbot corner instead.


McCracken stays close to his man in order to make sure he goes away from goal.


‘Tucker’ and ‘Whitey’ look on, while Kieran Healy tries to get another attack started.


LEISHMAN DOES IT AGAIN!!! Kyle Faulds races through on goal but his low strike gets stopped by the foot of Andy Leishman, who pulls off another brilliant save to keep Talbot in the game.


Ex-Talbot man, Sean McIlroy, tries to take the ball away from danger, while being put under pressure from Aiden Wilson.


TALBOT PULL LEVEL!!! Armstrong fires a low strike across goal and although Samson tries to get on the end of it, he needn’t have bothered because Gareth’s strike manages to find the back of the net anyway. 1-1.


The Talbot players and fans celebrate Armstrong’s leveler.


‘Shankers’ watches, as Healy tries to muscle the ball back off his opponent.


The Talbot drums get belted out but I can’t help but feel sorry for the drummers pal at having to hold the drum for him.


Although under pressure, Craig McCracken still manages to fire the ball up the park.


GOOOOOOAL!!! Talbot take the lead, as Mark Shankland’s strike from the edge of the box takes a wee deflection up and over into the back of the net. 1-2.


Mark wheels away to celebrate his goal in front of the jubilant fans.


The Meadow captain is left feeling dejected, while ‘Shankers’ and the Talbot faithful continue celebrating.


No amount of money can buy you the feeling of celebrating a Talbot goal in the ‘Big Scottish’. EEKA PEEKA PUKKA PO!!!


GAME, SET AND MATCH!!! Samson makes sure of the victory, as his low strike from inside the box finds the back of the net. 1-3.


I think Kieran is rather happy with your goal there Keir.


The Talbot players continue to celebrate Samson’s goal, while James Latta and Colin Spence look deflated at witnessing Talbot’s comeback.


The Talbot flags are out in force, as Hyslop wins the aerial battle in the middle of the park.


Although under pressure from two Medda players, Big Neily still manages to head the ball away from danger.



Talbot earned their place in the 2nd round of the Scottish cup the hard way – having to come from a goal down to claim another away day win.

The Bot started the game reasonably well & did most of the early pressing. The first chance of the afternoon came Talbot’s way in the 6th minute when Glasgow whipped a great cross over from the left that Boylan nodded over at the back post.

Slooves picked up an early caution when he was penalised for going straight through the back of Hyslop in the 8th minute.

The Bot were on the attack again in the 10th minute when Boylan raced across the pitch from right to left leaving McKie in his wake before sliding it back into the path of Healy who curled a shot wide of target from the edge of the area.

Up til now it had been pretty comfortable for Talbot but the 1st warning sign came in the 13th minute. Willett swung over a dangerous cross form the touchline that Boyd met at the back post. He headed it back across goal where Pooler met it for what looked a certain goal but somehow Leishman threw himself to his right to claw it away to safety.

Four minutes later and Talbot were caught out by a long diagonal ball down the right. Faulds burst forward into the Talbot box and as he headed for the bye line Wilson slid in to make the challenge. The visiting support thought it had went for a corner but the referee pointed to the spot and MCLENNAN gave Leishman no chance as he thumped it inside the left post to put Meadow 1-0 ahead.

Talbot tried to pick themselves up and Healy tested the keeper from 30 yards when he drilled a shot on target after being set up by Glasgow.

Leishman was called into action in the 27th minute when Boyd gathered the ball on the left of the penalty area & fired a low shot at goal that Leishman held by his right post.

Meadow now had their best spell of the match, with Talbot finding themselves being pinned back in their own half, and conceding a number of free kicks and corners, all of which were resolutely defended.

In the 39th minute Talbot were guilty of hesitancy at the edge of the Meadow area following a corner kick, allowing Martin to nick in & carry it up the centre before Boylan sent him crashing, resulting in a booking for Talbot’s striker.

The home side were in control but Talbot had a great chance to level in the 40th minute on the counter-attack. Glasgow broke swiftly through the centre, carrying the ball up to the Meadow area before slipping the ball wide to release Samson through on goal. He raced through on the keeper but couldn’t beat Winters who managed to block his shot behind for the corner and Talbot went in a goal adrift at the interval.

Just as they had at the start of the match, Talbot made a positive start to the 2nd half. In the 47th minute Glasgow hooked the ball up the line to release Boylan down the right. He charged forward before pulling it back where Healy ran onto it but sent his low drive wide of target from 16 yards.

Two minutes later Talbot were back on the attack when Armstrong got the better of Faulds in the centre before sliding a pass up the right to Boylan. He whipped a dangerous cross over to the far post where McKie did well to head it behind.

The home side made the 1st change of the afternoon in the 52nd minute when they replaced one ex-Bot forward with another with Pooler making way for McIlroy.

A minute later Hyslop had his name taken for a late challenge on Slooves.

The pivotal moment of the match arrived in the 56th minute. Stafford underhit a square pass to Armstrong allowing Faulds the chance to intercept midway inside the Talbot half. Faulds raced clean through on Leishman & looked a certainty to put Meadow 2 ahead but Leishman raced off his line & made a crucial save with his outstretched leg to turn Faulds shot away.

This spurred Talbot into life and within two minutes the Bot were level. Hyslop laid the ball out to GARETH ARMSTRONG on the right edge of the penalty area & he drilled it back across goal and into the opposite corner to make it 1-1.

Meadow were fortunate not to be a man down in the 59th minute when Faulds reacted angrily after a tangle with Stafford. He clearly raised his hands but the referee bottled the decision and booked both players.

Talbot made their first change in the 62nd minute when Shankland came on in place of Boylan.

It was now all Talbot and Meadow’s keeper had to pull off an impressive stop in the 66th minute to prevent Armstrong from grabbing his 2nd of the afternoon. Glasgow’s ball from the right wasn’t dealt with by the Meadow defence and it broke for Armstrong whose low strike was heading into the bottom corner but for Winters save.

The keeper was involved again a minute later. Talbot won a free kick out on the left that Shankland swept toward the back post where the keeper punched clear under pressure from Hyslop.

Meadow now made a further change with Carnwath on for Martin.

Samson very nearly put Talbot ahead in the 71st minute. A shy into the penalty area wasn’t dealt with & it broke to Samson who fired a left foot shot off the inside of Winters’ left post. The ball spun across the face of goal where Glasgow just couldn’t reach it to tap it home.

The goal wasn’t long delayed though and a minute later Talbot moved in front. A cross from the left was headed down by Hyslop and came to MARK SHANKLAND who met it on the half volley to send a shot sailing inside the right post.

The large travelling support had barely stopped celebrating when Talbot grabbed their 3rd of the afternoon in the 74th minute.

Talbot were awarded a free kick 35 yards out that Shankland flighted into the centre. Once again the defence failed to clear their lines and the ball fell to KIER SAMSON who drilled a low strike inside the right post to put Talbot 3-1 ahead.

With 12 minutes to go Talbot made their 2nd change with Graham Wilson coming on for the tiring Glasgow.

Meadow looked shell shocked by Talbot’s comeback and offered little threat in the closing stages.

In the 83rd minute Talbot made their final change when Boyd came on to replace Samson.

As the game moved into added time Talbot almost added a fourth. Boyd won the ball in midfield before swiftly releasing it to Healy on the right. He stroked the ball across the 6-yard area where Shankland was waiting in front of goal but he couldn’t sort his feet out and he failed to connect with it.

Deep into added time Findlay received a yellow card after he up-ended Graham Wilson when he cut in past him off the left wing.

Another thrilling comeback from Talbot who again produced the goods when the chips were down. It’s back to cup duty and back to the road for Talbot next Saturday as they travel to face Carluke Rovers in the Scottish Junior cup.

Irvine Meadow – Winters, McKie, Willett, Findlay, Whyte, McLennan, Faulds, Slooves, Pooler, Boyd, Martin

Subs – McIlroy, Carnwath, Bilham, McLoy

Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Craig McCracken, Healy, Armstrong, Hyslop, Boylan, Glasgow, Samson

Subs –    Graham Wilson, Shankland, Boyd, McDowall, Robbie McCracken, Lyle

Chris Stafford


Chris is currently on loan from Greenock Morton FC until the end of the season. He started his career at Johnstone Boys Club before moving to Morton. He recently had loan spells at Johnstone Burgh and Cumnock.

Own Goal

Aaron Mason



SIGNED: July 2021


Willie Boyd


DOB:  04/10/1984

This will be Willie’s second spell at Talbot after leaving us in 2016 due to work commitments down in England. He was a regular in the Talbot side winning a few medals including a Scottish Cup badge. When down in the Preston area he frequently turned out for Lostock St Gerards FC in the Lancashire Premier League.

Robbie McCracken


POSITION: Defender

JOINED TALBOT: September 2020

D.O.B: tba


Robbie is a former St Mirren and Kilmarnock youth player who can play at right back or centre of defence.

Arbroath v Auchinleck Talbot

Auchinleck Talbot v Arbroath

Rab Douglas puts the Arbroath ‘keeper through his paces before kick-off.


The Talbot boys gather round to listen to McLuckie’s team talk.


Samson fires the ball back up the wing.


‘Gee’ gets fouled and the Arbroath player airs his view to the linesman.


Boylan gets beaten to the ball by the ‘Lichties’ defender.


While running through on goal, Keir Samson gets bundled over but no penalty was given.


Big Nielly looks shocked after being deemed to have fouled the Arbroath player.


The Talbot wall does it’s job and blocks the way through for this Arbroath free-kick.


WHAT A STRIKE!!! Talbot open the scoring as ‘Pee-wee’ curls in a beauty of a shot from the edge of the box. 1-0.


The Arbroath ‘keeper does his best but there was NO-WAY he was stopping Dwayne’s shot.


Everybody associated with Black ‘n’ Gold goes wild and celebrates Talbot’s opener.


Craig and Stephen make sure there is little room for manoeuvre for this Arbroath player.


‘Tucker’ roars out the orders from the sidelines.


No-one is gonna beat McCracken to the ball here.


The Talbot players stand their ground, as they try to block this Arbroath strike.


McPherson does his job, as the bumper crowd watch from the terraces.


Samson gets tripped in front of the Talbot dugout while racing up the park.


The large crowd look on, as Keir tries to keep hold of the ball inside the box.


Graham shows great foot work, as he coolly controls the ball in the air.


Another free-kick for Arbroath and Stephen Wilson shouts out the instructions.


In front of the away dugout, Kieran Healy chases after the ball.


Bryan Boylan uses his strength to fend off this challenge and keep hold of the ball.


Healy launches the ball back down the middle of the park.


Dick Campbell and Rab Douglas point out where they want the ball to go.


‘Gee’ takes a hefty challenge in front of ‘Tucker’ and the Talbot bench.


Glasgow goes on the attack and races into the Arbroath box.


‘Shankers’ closely marks his man in the hope of getting the ball back.


Talbot’s heart gets broken, as Arbroath pull level via a late penalty. 1-1.


The Arbroath fans go absolutely beserk (and rightly so) after seeing their team equalise from the spot.


Mark tries to get one final attack motoring for Talbot before the final whistle.



Talbot came oh so close to claiming another SPL scalp in the Scottish Cup but a soft late penalty saw Arbroath live to fight another day.

The Bot nearly made a dream start when Pope let fly from distance inside the first minute & Gaston was forced to turn it wide of the post.

The home support loudly appealed for a spot kick in the 8th minute when Samson appeared to be barged over from behind inside the area but the officials waved it away. The ball was then swept to the other end where Spence was nudged over 30 yards out & this time the ref gave the free kick. Linn took it but drilled it straight into the wall.

With 11 minutes on the clock Talbot took the lead via a special finish. Graham Wilson showed good control out on the left before laying the ball down the line to Boylan. He switched it inside to DWAYNE HYSLOP who curled a peach of a shot beyond Gaston & inside the far left post to put Talbot ahead.

Two minutes later Boylan won Talbot a corner down the left. It was taken short to Stephen Wilson & he whipped a good cross into the centre that O’Brien headed clear.

Arbroath now had a decent spell of pressure but nothing to show for it. Linn gathered on the left & squared it inside to Donnelly whose shot from 20 yards was blocked. The visitors next attack saw McKenna play it into Spence on the right of the area but McCracken was quickly across to snuff out the danger.

The referee wasn’t winning any friends at Beechwood and didn’t win any new admirers when two decisions in quick succession went against the Bot. He awarded Arbroath a free kick just outside the Talbot box when an Arbroath player went down. Hamilton took it but slipped as ran up to to the ball & hit it tamely into the wall.

At the opposite end Stephen Wilson fed the ball out right to find Samson & he looked to be impeded by Hamilton as he cut inside him but the referee saw nothing amiss.

Leishman produced a top class save to keep Talbot ahead in the 28th minute. A ball from the right found its way to Murphy 16 yards out & his shot skipped off the turf & was heading inside the right post until Leishman pushed it wide.

Talbot’s keeper produced an equally impressive stop four minutes later. The Bot defence failed to cut out a diagonal ball over from the left & O’Brien ran onto it on the right of the area. He hammered a shot at goal but Leishman had flew off his line to narrow the angle & make the block.

A minute later Talbot won a free kick inside the Arbroath half when Samson was caught. Pope lifted it beyond the back post where Hyslop headed it back across toward Samson but he was crowded out.

The Bot had another half chance minutes later. Hyslop was bundled over in midfield & Pope arrowhead the free kick out to Graham Wilson on the left. He instantly controlled it & slipped a pass into Boylan inside the area but he took a heavy first touch & the chance was lost.

In the 37th minute Graham Wilson latched onto a ball up the right & knocked it inside to Samson who burst into the right of the penalty area. He hit a tempting ball across the face of goal that went a begging as there was no one running in at the far post to supply the finish.
Five minutes before the interval a long throw from the right broke to McKenna 16 yards out; however, he was quickly closed down & had to take it first time, firing well over the bar.

The half ended with a Talbot attack fizzling out and an Arbroath counterattack. Pope lifted it up the line to find Graham Wilson who held the ball up before switching play to the other wing to find Samson breaking into the area but the ball broke away from him. Hamilton now played it quickly into the Bot half where Hyslop bundled Murphy over resulting in a free kick 30 yards out. Linn took it short, squaring it for O’Brien to hit but he blasted it well wide and Talbot trooped off one ahead.

The visitors made a change at half-time with Murphy remaining in the clubhouse & Stewart on in his stead.

Both sides were playing at hammer & tongs pace and the 2nd half started evenly with neither side giving any quarter and neither side making any headway in the final third.

The first opening of the 2nd period came Talbot’s way in the 58th minute. Samson picked up on the right & angled a great early ball over to find Graham Wilson in space on the left. He tried to play in Hyslop on the right of the box but there was too much on his pass.

A minute later Arbroath threatened when Gold got free on the right & whipped a great cross over to the back post but there were no runners at the far post.

On the hour mark Gold was on defensive duties when he did well to cut out Samson’s ball in from the right that was heading for Boylan til he managed to cut it out & slide it out for the shy.

Arbroath were becoming frustrated & this showed when O’Brien carried it forward & tried a wildly ambitious effort from 35 yards that sailed harmlessly over the bar.

The visitors now made a further change with Campbell on in place of Spence.

In the 64th minute Linn raced up the right before firing a low ball into the near post. It was cut out and came to Gold who sprawled over looking for a penalty but the ref wasn’t interested.

A minute later Talbot had a good chance on the break. Space opened up for Boylan as he ran towards the box down the left; he had Graham Wilson in space to his right but failed to pick him out and the move came to nothing.

Donnelly ought to have levelled it in the 66th minute. A good ball over from the left found him stretching to get on the end of it in front of goal. He made contact but somehow lifted it over the bar from inside the 6-yard area.

Tucker now made a double switch with Glasgow & Shankland replacing Boylan & Samson.

Arbroath threatened again soon after when a ball from the left broke kindly for Stewart 20 yards out. He rifled a fierce shot at goal which Pope headed clear.

The game was becoming stretched & Talbot put together a decent move when McCracken flighted a ball down the right to find Glasgow just outside the area. He lifted an early cross in that Wheatley headed clear. Talbot kept the pressure on though & were awarded with a free kick 20 yards out when Graham Wilson was wrestled down out on the right. Shankland delivered it into the danger zone where Stephen Wilson just failed to connect in front of goal but it wouldn’t have counted anyway as the linesman’s flag went up.

Shankland was involved again in the 73rd minute. He slid a pass through toward Glasgow that would have sent him clean through on goal but O’Brien did well to intercept.

A second goal for Talbot would have finished it and the Bot had a half chance with 12 minutes remaining. Leishman launched a free kick down field which Hyslop nodded on to Glasgow on the right. He played it across the area where it fell to Graham Wilson 15 yards out but he sliced his shot wide of target.

With nine minutes remaining Arbroath made their final change when Kader came on for Linn.

Six minutes from time Talbot conceded a soft penalty. A ball from the right came into the area & Graham Wilson went to challenge Stewart. There didn’t appear to be any contact but the ref judged that his boot had been raised and pointed to the spot. MCKENNA stepped up to the plate & although Leishman guessed right he had no chance as he drilled it low inside the left post.

Talbot now made their last change with McDowall coming on for Healy.

Right at the end Arbroath had a late chance to sneak the win. Stewart got away on the right & delivered a dangerous cross into the centre that Leishman stretched to punch away. It came out to McKenna 15 yards out but his shot was charged down by McPherson.

The final whistle saw the Bot fans with mixed feelings, pride at the display warring with disappointment the Bot hadn’t held out for the win and so now Talbot make the trek north to Arbroath this Wednesday coming for the replay at Gayfield.

Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, McPherson, McCracken, Healy, Hyslop, Stephen Wilson, Graham Wilson, Boylan, Samson

Subs – Glasgow, Shankland, McDowall, Young, White, Aiden Wilson, Hewitt

Arbroath – Gaston, Hamilton, Little, O’Brien, Wheatley, Gold, McKenna, Murphy, Spence, Donnelly, Linn

Subs – Doris, Swankie, Kader, Stewart, Stirling, Campbell, Jamieson

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Auchinleck Talbot v Cove Rangers

Pre-kick-off team talk for the Cove players.


Gordon shouts for a foul, as Mark tries to get the ball back.


‘Gee’ closely marks his man.


Mark goes racing up the wing, as Paul Hartley roars at his players.


‘Shankers’ fires a low cross into the box.


The bumper crowd watch the action unfold.


‘Pee-wee’ goes chasing after the ball.


Graham Wilson puts pressure on his opponent.


Big Andy makes his presence known and clears the danger.


‘Popey’ sends the ball back up the park.


Shankland tries his luck from inside the box.


Samson races in and tries to win the ball.


The Talbot wall stands firm and blocks the Cove free-kick.


Gareth Armstrong wins this aerial midfield battle.


The Cove ‘keeper bravely gathers the ball at the feet of McCracken.


Big Neily makes sure he blocks this Cove shot.


Acrobatic stuff from Keir Samson.


Stephen Wilson vents his frustration after being fouled.


Lyle tries to evade this challenge.


Craig looks to where he wants to clear the ball to.


Samson chases after the ball.


Talbot and ‘Gee’ come inches away from scoring, as he just misses connecting with Samson’s cross.


Gareth keeps the attack going for Talbot.


‘Tucker’ roars out the orders from the dugout.


All eyes on the ball for Graham Wilson.


Boylan fires in a cross into the Cove box.


Gareth heads the ball away from danger.


Bryan and Graham try to double the pressure on this Cove player.


The moment every Talbot fan will ALWAYS remember. Dwayne Hyslop bullets the ball into the back of the net and sends the ‘Bot into the next round. 1-0.


‘Pee-wee’ laps up the applauds from the Talbot faithful.


The Talbot army continue to go beserk.


I think ‘Gee’ is happy with Dwayne’s goal.


‘Pee-wee’s team-mates race to congratulate him.


Is there a better feeling than seeing your team score a very late winner……I don’t think so.


The Talbot bench erupts at hearing the Full-Time whistle.


The players celebrate yet another famous win.


The camera is this way, Jim.


Indecent exposure after seeing a decent win for this Talbot fan.


A picture that sums up what this type of win means to El Capitano, Wullie Lyle.


The victorious smiles keep getting wider for the Talbot boys.


As always…these types of occasions are always best celebrated with your family.




Talbot defied the odds and proved the bookies wrong yet again as the Bot secured a narrow win over high-flying & big spending Cove Rangers to book a place in the 3rd round draw of the senior cup.

Cove started slickly and had Talbot on the back foot with some neat passing. The visitors tested Leishman in the 3rd minute when they worked a short corner on the right. When it was crossed in the Bot defence headed clear but it came to Scully 15 yards out & he volleyed it into the turf. It was heading inside the left post til Leishman dived across to turn it wide.

The Bot’s first glimpse at goal came in the 8th minute. Shankland lifted it up the left where Graham Wilson headed it back toward Shankland who fired well over the bar from 25 yards.

The visitors were dominating possession but had little to show for it other than a few corners which the Bot defence successfully defended.

On the quarter hour mark Talbot tested McKenzie. Armstrong found Shankland on the left of the area & he drilled a low shot on target that McKenzie blocked with his legs at his right hand post.

Fyvie was impressing for Cove & he dinked a dangerous ball down the centre that McCracken did well to intercept & head it back to Leishman.

In the 26th minute Fyvie popped up on the right & fired a dangerous ball across the face of goal that sped behind for what everyone in the ground thought was a goal kick but the referee pointed for a corner. When the corner came over it was cleared out to Scully who blazed a wild shot over.

Talbot nearly got in on the half hour mark. Hyslop slid a well-weighted pass up the right toward Samson but Milne did well to slide in to intercept it.

The Bot had a good shout for an indirect free in the Cove box when Samson got the better of Milne and cut a low ball across the box. A defender knocked it back to the keeper who picked it up but the ref waved away Talbot’s appeals.

Cove stretched the Bot defence in the 38th minute. Smith whipped a cross over from the right that found Scully racing in on the left of the area but before he could get a shot away Lyle got across to knock it behind for the corner.

When the corner came over Leishman took it & launched it down the centre straight into the opposition box. Graham Wilson challenged McKenzie in the air & the keeper failed to claim it; however the loose ball didn’t fall for Samson & the defence were able to clear.

Scott squandered a golden chance to give Cove the lead in the 40th minute. Smith’s cross found him unmarked in front of goal but he steered his header over the bar.

Two minutes later Cove won a free kick 25 yards out for a foul on Megginson. Higgins took it but blasted his shot straight into the wall.

Talbot ended the half on the front foot, winning a free kick out on the left when Graham Wilson was shoved over. Shankland curled it into the box where Ross headed it clear. It came to Pope on the right & he fired it into the centre where McKenzie spilled it but was able to clutch onto it at the 2nd attempt and so the sides went in level at the break.

The opening effort of the 2nd half came in the 48th minute. Scully tried his luck from 35 yards out, striking it well enough, but it flew straight at Leishman.

Two minutes later Talbot nearly paid for slack play when they lost the ball deep in their own half. Aird fired over an early cross & Smith glanced a header just wide of Leishman’s left post.

Down the other end Talbot had a half chance when Pope’s ball found Graham Wilson on the left of the area. He hit it 1st time but saw his volley deflected behind for the corner. Shankland hit the corner deep where it was retrieved beyond the back post by Samson. He knocked it back across goal where Pope met it to hook a shot over the bar.

In the 52nd minute Cove passed up a decent chance to take the lead. Megginson gathered out on the right & cut it back to find Aird running onto it in the centre of the area but he passed it wide of Leishman’s left hand post.

Stephen Wilson became the first name in the ref’s notebook when he was cautioned for clipping the heels of Megginson as he burst forward.

In the 56th minute Graham Wilson lifted a good early ball down the right to find Samson racing clear on the right side of the box but he blazed over from a tight angle.

A minute later Fyvie received a caution when he tripped Stephen Wilson resulting in a Bot free kick 25 yards out. Shankland whipped it over the wall but it didn’t dip in time & flew just over the bar.

In the 61st minute the action switched from end to end. Smith flicked the ball out right to release Megginson and he delivered a good cross that forced Leishman to dive to punch it away. Talbot now launched a swift counter through Stephen Wilson who raced forward before sliding it right to Samson. He played a great ball across the goal mouth but Graham Wilson just couldn’t reach it at the back post.

Cove gave Talbot a helping hand soon after. They had a shy midway inside their own half which they threw straight into the feet of Shankland. He duly accepted the gift & surged forward & passed it to Armstrong who released it out right to Samson. He cut it back across goal but it sped just behind Graham Wilson & Shankland in the centre.

The home support loudly appealed for a free kick in the 64th minute when a free kick from Talbot’s half was flighted up toward Hyslop who was nudged in the back just outside the area but the ref gave nothing.

Cove made the first change in the 69th minute when Masson came on in place of Smith.

McPherson came to Talbot’s aid in the 71st minute when Aird’s cross from the right eluded Leishman but McPherson headed it clear at the back post.

A minute later Scott came as close as Cove were to come to breaking the deadlock. He turned just inside the box & lobbed it for goal & his shot clipped the top of the bar on its way over.

Tucker made his first change in the 73rd minute with Glasgow coming on for Shankland.

Cove’s next attack saw them win a corner on the right which Fyvie took short to find Masson. He tried to curl it on target but his effort sailed over the bar.
Talbot won a free kick 35 yards from goal when Masson shoved Hyslop in the back & Pope hit it but suffice to say it wasn’t one of his better efforts and flew well over the bar.

Tucker now made a double switch with Healy & Boylan replacing Stephen Wilson & Samson.

With five minutes remaining Pope went from distance only to see his shot loop over the bar off the head of Yule. Glasgow took the corner & aimed for Hyslop beyond the back post but there was too much on it & although he got a touch it skidded off the top of his head & behind for the goal kick.

Just when it looked as though we were heading for a replay Talbot grabbed a late winner. Graham Wilson latched onto a ball down the right channel, holding off his man, before laying it wide to Boylan. He carried it forward before floating over a cross that DWAYNE HYSLOP bulleted beyond the keeper, sparking wild celebrations amongst the crowd.

Cove now piled bodies forward and Talbot had one last anxious moment deep in injury time. Milne raced down the left before back-heeling it into the path of Higgins who swung over a dangerous cross that Leishman touched away. It came to Glasgow who headed it out toward Aird who controlled it with his arm to take the pressure off.

The referee kept the Bot fans waiting, finding 4 minutes of injury time from somewhere but when the whistle finally sounded the celebrations began in earnest.

A hard fought win for the Bot who now return to their defence of the Scottish Junior cup next Saturday when they face Forfar West End at Beechwood.

Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, McPherson, McCracken, Armstrong, Hyslop, Stephen Wilson, Graham Wilson, Samson, Shankland

Subs – Glasgow, Boylan, Healy, Young, McDowall, White, Hewitt

Cove Rangers – McKenzie, Milne, Scully, Ross, Yule, Megginson, Scott, Higgins, Aird, Smith, Fyvie

Subs – Masson, Redford, Redman, Brown, Robertson, Demus

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