Auchinleck Talbot v Bonnyrigg Rose


There’s a new name on the South Challenge cup as Talbot recovered from a shaky start to come from behind to beat Lowland League winners Bonnyrigg Rose at Falkirk.

Talbot found themselves a goal down after only 8 minutes. McCracken conceded a free kick just outside the penalty area after wrestling Hunter to the deck and there was nothing Leishman could do but watch as CURRIE fired it over the wall and into the back of the net via the inside of the left hand post.

Bonnyrigg were guilty of slack play a few minutes later when their defender tried to let a ball run out for a goal kick only for Stafford to nick in & steal it and pull it back for Shankland who fired a volley well over under pressure.

Stafford did well in the 12th minute when he charged forward before releasing it to Boylan on the right wing. He swept a good ball across the face of goal but there were no takers and it ran behind for the goal kick.

In the 25th minute Bonnyrigg caught the Bot defence napping with a good ball up the left wing that found Turner racing free and he swept an early ball into the centre which McPherson intercepted at the near post.

Bonnyrigg missed a good chance to double their lead in the 29th minute. Martyniuk played it down the line to find Turner in space and he pulled it back straight into the path of Hunter who met it 15 yards out but sclaffed his shot well wide of the right post.

The Bot put together a neat move in the 32nd minute as Wilson & Boylan combined down the left before Aiden squared it inside for Shankland but he was well challenged at the edge of the area and the ball broke off him and through for a goal kick.

Talbot drew level in the 35th minute thanks to a bit of luck. A cross from the right was headed back across goal by Shankland where it cannoned off the head of WILSON and past his keeper for an own goal.

The goal energised Talbot who moved onto the front foot for the remainder of the half but without really threatening the Rose goal.

A minute from the interval Bonnyrigg were forced into a change when Martyniuk limped off to be replaced by Young and shortly after the teams trooped off for the half-time break.

The Bot came flying out the traps at the start of the 2nd half and had a chance within a minute of the re-start. Hyslop’s diagonal ball found Healy down the right and his cross into the near post was headed into the side-netting by Samson.

Talbot did have the ball in the back of the net in the 49th minute but it didn’t stand. Healy lifted a ball in behind the defence to find Boylan and he lobbed it past the keeper but the assistant’s flag was already raised for offside.

Within a minute Talbot were back on the attack. Healy fed it out right to Samson and he whipped a dangerous ball across the face of goal that Wilson turned behind for the corner.

Talbot’s pressure was rewarded in the 52nd minute when they took the lead. Hyslop was caught inside the Bonnyrigg half and Talbot took the free kick quickly. Healy released it down the right to find Samson and he cut it back into the path of BRYAN BOYLAN who buried it inside the right hand post.

This sparked a response from Bonnyrigg and Leishman was called into action in the 54th minute when Hyslop’s mishit clearance fell to S Gray 19 yards out. He fired it on target but straight down the centre where Leishman tipped it over the crossbar.

Bonnyrigg made their 2nd change of the afternoon in the 59th minute with McGachie replacing Hall up front.

The game was now flowing from end to end with Talbot threatening down the left through Shankland and moments later Barrett speeding up the wing for Bonnyrigg but on both occasions the final ball was lacking.

Samson became the first player booked when he was cautioned in the 66th minute for a trip on Currie; resulting in a Bonnyrigg free kick 35 yards from goal. Currie took it and curled it over beyond the back post where Hyslop headed it behind. When the corner came over Leishman claimed it confidently.

Talbot now sprang onto the counter – a good early ball finding Samson racing down the right and he slung a great cross into the centre but unfortunately there was no one on hand for Talbot.

Bonnyrigg now made their final change with Brett replacing Turner.

In Talbot’s next attack Shankland fed the ball down the left toward Boylan. He managed to rob Rose’s right-back of it before angling a ball across the box that Samson just failed to reach.

Tucker made his first change in the 71st minute with Graham Wilson coming on for Boyd.

Talbot were caught daydreaming in the 74th minute at a Bonnyrigg shy. The ball was thrown into the unmarked Horne who slid a pass through for Barrett down the left of the penalty area but Stafford recovered quickly to get across and block the cross.

With 76 mins gone Talbot made their 2nd change with Glasgow on for Shankland.

As the clock ticked down Bonnyrigg pressed forward in search of an equaliser with Talbot looking to hit them on the break.

In the 84th minute a ball flighted up the right came off the top of Hyslop’s head and was heading toward McGachie on the right of the penalty area but McPherson read it and was quickly across to clear the danger.

A minute later McGachie met a ball into the box and laid it outside the area for Young to hit but he blazed his shot over.

Talbot won a free kick in a promising area in the 86th minute when Boylan was caught 18 yards out wide on the right but Glasgow’s ball in was cleared at the near post.

Play then switched to the other end where a high, hanging cross from the right touchline saw Leishman come to claim it beyond his back post but unluckily he collided with Stafford and it went behind for the corner.

The Bot now turned defence to attack as they successfully fielded the corner and broke swiftly to the other end where JAMIE GLASGOW pounced on a weak back pass to race through on goal, round the keeper and roll the ball into the empty net to put Talbot 3-1 ahead.

Tucker now made a final change with Robbie McCracken coming on for Healy.

Talbot saw the closing stages out without any problems to secure the win to the delight of the travelling fans.

An impressive display by Talbot against the side who won the Lowland League and will play in the SFL next season after breezing past Cowdenbeath in the play offs.

Next for Talbot is the season’s finale where they will take on Yoker Athletic a week on Saturday at Rugby Park looking to clinch their 14th Scottish Junior cup title and end the season with a cup double.

Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic – Andrews, S Gray, Wilson, Horne, Martyniuk, Barrett, Currie, Turner, Connolly, Hall, Hunter

Subs – Weir, Brett, Young, Stewart, McGachie, R Gray, Evans

Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Craig McCracken, Boyd, Healy, Hyslop, Shankland, Samson, Boylan

Subs – Mason, Graham Wilson, Glasgow, Robbie McCracken, Heaney, Hewitt

The players gather round ‘Tucker’ for a pre-match team talk.


Some happy looking Talbot lads and lassies before kick-off.


Is that thumbs up for the game or for the pre-match pie?


Its Moe, Larry and Curly!!!


The Auchinleck Young Team out in force.


Some very ‘weel kent’ Talbot faces here.


These chaps are all ready for the big kick-off!


The players and officials walk out onto the field of play.


Big Andy is at full stretch in order to pluck the ball out of the air.


Bonnyrigg look to go on the attack but ‘Shankers’ sticks closely to his man.


Wilson and McCracken make sure there is no way through.


GOOOAAALLL!!! Bonnyrigg take an early lead in the final, as Currie fires a free-kick over the Talbot wall and…


…into the back of the net via the inside of the post. 1-0.


Currie and his team-mates race off to celebrate and silence the Black ‘n’ Gold faithful.


The Bonnyrigg players continue to go wild after opening the scoring.


If Big Neilly tells you to do something, you just do it!


With a break in the game, there’s always time to share a joke and a smile.


Healy really tries to get another Talbot attack started.


HOW DID HE NOT SCORE!!! Bonnyrigg miss a golden chance to double their lead but they can only fire the ball wide from very close range.


TALBOT PULL LEVEL!!! Shankland puts Talbot back in the game, as his header gets a helping ‘head’ from…


…the Bonnyrigg defence en route to the back of the net. 1-1.


‘Shanks’ jumps for joy after levelling the match.


Erm…I don’t think ‘Pee-wee’ and Healy are too impressed with your speech ‘Shankers’.


WIT-A-CHANCE!!! With your backside barely back in the seat for the second half, Samson goes extremely close to scoring but his close range low header can only hit the side netting.


Although it was a difficult angle and under pressure, Hyslop still manages to fire off a header but fails to find the back of the net.


TALBOT TAKE THE LEAD!!! The Bonnyrigg ‘keeper and defence are rooted to the spot, as they can only watch Boylan’s strike squeeze past them and into the back of the net. 1-2.


Shankland and Stafford go berserk but I think it got too much for Boylan after scoring Talbot’s second.


Victorious roars and smiles all round for Talbot after Boylan’s goal.


The players continue celebrating, as Boylan rightly receives the praise from his team-mates.


Has that player got a leg for an arm?


After going on a blistering run, Stafford brilliantly threads the ball through the Rose defence.


McCracken in an aerial battle…there’s only going to be one winner.


Boyd gets involved in a tussle for possession.


‘Gee’ goes racing up the park, while being roared on by Boylan.


Bonnyrigg scream for a penalty but their shouts are only in vain.


A little bit of ‘man-handling’, as the players battle for the ball.


Samson acrobatically flicks the ball on during an attack.


Who’s going to get to the ball first during this Matrix style moment in the game.


He’s behind you Keiran!


Steely eyed Glasgow pounces on a mistake by the Bonnyrigg defence and…


…rounds the ‘keeper and fires the ball into an empty net. GAME, SET AND MATCH!!! 1-3.


Glasgow points the way to the Black ‘n’ Gold faithful’s hearts, as he wheels away after scoring.




Nothing quite like celebrating the goal that seals the game!


Win or lose, the players still show respect for each other after the final whistle.


A victory wave from Healy.


McPherson applauds the travelling supporters.


Stafford shows his appreciation to the Talbot fans in the stand.


These types of moments should always be shared with your family.


Wait for it…wait-for-it….


…Big Andy raises the South Challenge Cup, as Talbot win the trophy at the first attempt.


The ‘Mauchline Maradona’ raises the trophy for all the fans to see.


Chris Stafford gets his hands on the trophy.




Graham Wilson poses with the trophy with his family.


The men that won it for Talbot – Jamie Glasgow, Bryan Boylan and Mark Shankland.


Oscar proudly holds the trophy along with his dad Andy Leishman.


Cheshire cat grins all round, as Healy and McPherson pose for the camera.


Hold on…Wilson should be on the left and Stafford on the right. I knew I got it wrong. 😊


It’s a family affair, as both McCracken’s get their hands on the trophy.




Utter mayhem! 😂


Healy…watch what your doing with Samson! We need him in two weeks time!


Talbot physio, Jamie Monaghan, gets his paws on the trophy too.


Mason and Stafford with the South Challenge Cup.


The Dynamic Duo! ‘Tucker’ and Allan show off the trophy to the camera, as they guided Talbot to yet another victorious cup final.


Auchinleck Talbot v Sauchie Juniors

Talbot were down to the bare bones for this semi final due to injuries, suspensions and cup tied players which forced Tucker into putting Steven White and Under20 player Greg Smith on the bench. With Craig McCracken still injured Gareth Armstong teamed up with Neil McPherson in the centre of defence while there was a starting place for Dwayne Hyslop in the middle of the park.

The visitors were quick off the mark forcing two corners which the Talbot defence dealt with, while in the fifth minute Hyslop tried his luck from 20 yards out but sliced the ball well over the bar. Minutes later the big man proved to be more deadly when Aiden Wilson’s quick throw in found Glasgow who put in a pin point cross that HYSLOP headed into the net via the clawing fingers of keeper Clark.

Talbot were finding space down the left side and on 14 minutes Aiden Wilson flung in a dangerous cross that forced Clark to touch the ball into the path of Boylan who smashed a shot from a few yards but Tully somehow headed the ball off his crossbar before it was cleared by Comrie for a corner. On the 17th minute Talbot doubled their lead when after collecting a Glasgow throw in Stafford burst into the box leaving at least three Sauchie defenders in his wake before picking out GRAHAM WILSON who slammed the ball past Clark from 12 yards.

If it wasn’t bad enough that Talbot were short of players, worse was to come when Boylan was injured on the 20th minute after Carroll naughtily body checked the striker into the hoardings where he suffered injuries to his head and knee. The player didn’t recover after a visit from the physio and was replaced by Robbie McCracken.

The youngster was soon involved in the match when he picked up a Glasgow pass and threaded a superb ball through to Graham Wilson whose shot was parried by the feet of Clark before being cleared by Docherty.

Beechwood was silenced on the half hour mark when Comrie cut out a Glasgow pass which fell to Smith who found out he had options either side of him as the Talbot players try to get to him and he played in Ross Kavanagh who beat Armstrong to the ball and slid a shot under the onrushing Leishman.

Minutes later Talbot should have restored their two goal cushion when the impressive Stafford again caused havoc in the Sauchie defence picking out Healy who faltered to get a shot away but got the ball to Hyslop whose pass was knocked into the path of Samson by Comrie but the striker was robbed of a goal when Clark made a superb one handed save with Columbine clearing the loose ball for a corner.

The remainder of the first half saw both sides cancelling out each other as Sauchie chased an equalizer while Talbot were happy to hit on the break.

The second half was hardly started when a Robbie McCracken clearance was headed on by G.Wilson which landed at the feet of Glasgow who outstripped Tully but Clark did well to block his first time shot. The game started to see a bit of niggle creep in that saw Kavanagh carded for going straight through the back of Hyslop. Morgan followed his team mate into referee Curran’s book for constant mouthing.

Talbot had a good penalty claim turned down when a corner was cleared into the path of Armstrong whose volley came off the arm of Scott Davidson, but was waved aside by referee Curran who had a great view of the infringement.

Talbot were now in the ascendency as they started to pick holes in the Sauchie defence. Robbie McCracken was unlucky not to get on the score sheet when he thundered a Graham Wilson back heeled pass from 18 yards but it was well parried by Clark. Graham Wilson became the first Talbot player in the book after a theatrical head injury by Comrie.

The game was over as a competition with 15 minutes to go when Aiden Wilson fired a long ball into the edge of the box where Glasgow turned Tully and as Clark advanced to avert the danger the Talbot midfielder lobbed the ball over his head and into the net.

The visitors seemed to run out of ideas and stamina after Glasgow’s goal and the player had another chance before the final whistle when Healy’s pass into the box gave Glasgow a clear run at goals but his shot slipped past the post.

This was a workmanlike performance by Talbot which was peppered by some sheer brilliance from the players. Sauchie were a tough outfit and good opponents but rarely bothered the Talbot defence. Next up a do or die match with Rob Roy on Wednesday night.

TALBOT: Leishman, Stafford, A.Wilson, McPherson, Armstrong, Hyslop, Healy (Boyd), G.Wilson, Boylan (R.McCracken), Samson, Glasgow(Smith). Subs: R.McCracken, Boyd, Smith, White, Hewitt GK.

SAUCHIE: Clark, Scott Davidson, Tully, Columbine(Kelly), Comrie, Smith, Sam Davidson(Dickie), Kavanagh(Crawford), Docherty, Carroll, Morgan SUBS: Greenhorn, Dickie, Crawford, Fisher, Syme, Kelly, Columbine GK.

Some Sauchie fans out singing in the rain before kick-off.


Erm…not too sure that’s a clever idea.


EARLY GOAL!!! Talbot take an early lead in the game, as ‘Pee-wee’ does what he does best and smashes home a great header. 1-0.


It’s all smiles from Dwayne Hyslop, as he gets congratulated by his team-mates after scoring.


Boylan gets his point across to the linesman.


TALBOT DOUBLE THEIR LEAD!!! Graham Wilson slams home a great low strike that leaves the ‘keeper rooted to the spot. 2-0.


‘Gee’ gets all the plaudits after doubling Talbot’s lead.


After crashing into the advertising boards, Boylan’s game comes to an abrupt end, as he receives treatment after sustaining a very nasty head wound.


Sauchie try their luck from distance but fail to find the back of the net.


WHAT-A-CHANCE!!! ‘Gee’ goes very close to scoring again but the Sauchie ‘keeper pulls off a great save to stop him from scoring.


GAME ON!!! Sauchie pull a goal back, as Ross Kavanagh slides the ball past Leishman and into the back of the net. 2-1.


Glasgow goes on a great run but gets stopped in his tracks by the opposition.


The crowd shelter from the elements, as they watch Healy winning the ball back for Talbot.


CLOSE!!! Samson goes very close to scoring but the ‘keeper manages to keep out his powerful strike.


I wouldn’t like to be on the receiving end of his shouting.


‘Gee’ goes all ‘Usain Bolt’, as he races down the wing.


Robbie McCracken tries to state his case to the man in the middle.


Captions please folks for this one!


Both Healy and ‘Tucker’ vent their frustration to the referee.


OUCH!!! ‘Big Neily’ takes a sore one, as he blocks this Sauchie strike.


GAME, SET & MATCH!!! Talbot seal the win through a sensational strike from Jamie Glasgow. 3-1.


Glasgow races away to celebrate with the Talbot faithful after scoring, as Sauchie feel deflated.


Glasgow gets swamped by his team-mates after scoring his wonder goal.


Jamie Glasgow vents his frustration after getting bundled over.


CHANCE!!! Talbot go close to extending their lead but Glasgow fails to find the back of the net with his shot.


Talbot try to go on one final attack, as Boyd offloads the ball in the middle of the park.


As the final whistle gets blown, Armstrong and ‘Gee’ are all smiles after helping to put Talbot into their first final of the South Challenge Cup.


Healy and ‘Pee-wee’ applaud the fans as they walk off the park.


It’s a celebratory thumbs up from Talbot Captain Andy Leishman, as the Talbot faithful applaud their heroes off the park.


Sauchie Juniors

Auchinleck Talbot v Pollok

Healy makes his presence known, as he goes in with a hefty challenge in order to win the ball back.


Come on lads! Is it left or right the ball is going?


While trying to go on the attack, Glasgow loses possession.


CHANCE!!! Pollok go very close to opening the scoring via a close range header but although Big Andy makes sure, the ball goes over crossbar.


Stafford and McCracken team up and make sure they make Pollok go in the wrong direction.


TALBOT CHANCE!!! ‘Pee-wee’ some how squeezes his shot through a crowded box but gets thwarted by a great save from the ‘keeper.


HOW DID THAT NOT GO IN!!! Pollok find themselves with space right in front of goal and send a downward header towards goal but…


…they can only rue a missed opportunity, as Leishman gathers up the ball.


Robbie McCracken tries to muscle his way past his opponent.


Although the ball is heading out of play, Samson still gives his all to chase after it.


Glasgow has got this licked, as he threads the pass through.


Hyslop helps out McCracken by clearing the danger.


While under pressure, Jamie Glasgow still manages to win the aerial battle.


SO CLOSE!!! Samson tries to squeeze the ball home from a very tight angle but the ‘keeper manages to block the way through.


After being penalised by the referee, ‘Pee-wee’ vents his frustration.


POLLOK GOAL!!! Pollok make the breakthrough, as they send the corner in and head the ball home from very close range. 0-1.


It’s joy all round for the boys in red, as they celebrate taking the lead.


Talbot walk back to the centre circle for the re-start, while Pollok continue celebrating.


A double aerial attack for Talbot.


There’s got to be a LOT of caption ideas for this one!


‘Shankers’ goes on the attack and fires the cross in.


TALBOT PULL LEVEL!!! Samson gets on the end of Shankland’s low cross and fires the ball home. 1-1.


Keir Samson wheels away to celebrate his goal.


WHAT-A-CHANCE!!! Talbot go very…VERY close to taking the lead, as Samson lobs the ball towards goal but…


…with the ‘keeper rooted to the spot, the ball goes AGONISINGLY over the crossbar.


OFFSIDE!!! Samson gets on the end of Boylan’s pass and slots the ball home, however, the flag goes up for someone being offside.


All eyes on the ball here for ‘Gee’.


The ball gets lobbed forward and Samson manages to muscle past his opponent where…


…GOOOAAALLL!!!! Samson keeps a very calm head and slots the ball home past the ‘keeper. 2-1.


Keir gets swamped by his team-mates, as they all celebrate his and Talbot’s second goal.


Cheshire cat grins all round!


Pollok get awarded a very late free-kick and one last chance, while the Talbot players let their feelings known to the man in the middle.


‘Shankers’ still protests his innocence but he still receives a yellow card for the foul.


A winning smile for a winning team.



Talbot’s never say die attitude saw the Bot come from behind to dump Pollok out the South Challenge cup in an entertaining quarter-final clash.

Talbot had an early chance to test Lok’s defence when Brownlie conceded a free kick just wide of the area following a barge on Samson. Glasgow swept a good ball over that Stafford managed to get his head onto but he headed it back across goal where it was cleared.

Pollok’s liveliest player, Grant, caused Talbot’s defence problems in the 7th minute when he charged down Aiden Wilson’s attempted clearance & burst down the right wing before slinging a dangerous ball across goal but fortunately there was no one on the end of it.

The visitors came close in the 15th minute when Wharton’s long throw from the left was headed on inside the penalty area and came to McCann who glanced a header just over.

Pollok were on top at this stage and threatened again when Lyon cut in off the left & curled a ball toward the far post which was headed behind for a corner.

Pollok’s next attack saw a ball out of defence find McGregor down the left. He fired it across the face of goal but there was no one in the centre to take advantage.

Despite Pollok making the early running it was Talbot who came closest to breaking the deadlock. In the 24th minute Mason won a corner down the left and when Glasgow delivered it into the centre the Lok defence failed to clear their lines. It came to Stafford 15 yards out and his low drive was heading in but was cleared off the line inside the right hand post. It came out to Hyslop and his effort on target was turned round the post by Longmuir.

Two minutes later Pollok threatened via one of Wharton’s long throws. He hurled it into the area where it flicked off Aiden Wilson’s head and came to Fraser inside the 6-yard box but he made a poor contact with his head and it was easily saved by Leishman.

On the half hour mark Fraser fed it out to Grant on the right and he went for goal from a tight angle but drilled his shot over the bar.

In the 35th minute Brownlie picked up a caution when he bowled over Samson.

The half then meandered to a close with neither side looking like breaking the deadlock.

Pollok made a change at the start of the 2nd half with Horne being replaced by Forde.

It was Talbot who started the 2nd half the brighter and the Bot threatened in the 51st minute when Samson whipped a great ball over from the left that was just taken off the head of Glasgow as he lurked at the back post.

Two minute later Samson was involved again when his low drive from the left of the area was blocked by Longmuir. The rebound came back to him and the Lok keeper did well to recover and save his follow-up effort at his right hand post.

Talbot kept the pressure on and Robbie McCracken played a good ball into the near post from the right touchline toward Samson but his effort was blocked behind for a corner.

Hyslop received what appeared to be a harsh yellow card in the 56th minute when he slid in and won the ball in midfield but the referee thought otherwise and gave Lok the free kick. The free kick was lifted up the right where Grant raced to the bye line before cutting it back and Healy blocked it behind for the corner. When the corner came into the near post GRANT nicked in to bullet a header into the roof of the net to put Pollok a goal ahead.

In the 61st minute Pollok came close to doubling their lead. Once again it was a long throw-in that caused the problem. The ball came to Forde whose overhead kick sailed just wide of the left post.

Mason picked up a caution in the 66th minute for a foul on Sideserf.

In the 69th minute Hyslop found Samson on the left & he darted into the area past Sideserf but his ball across was blocked behind for a corner. Before the corner could be taken Talbot made a triple substitution with Shankland, Boylan and Graham Wilson coming on for Glasgow, Robbie McCracken and Mason.

Shankland was involved in the 71st minute when McPherson found him in space on the left. He hit a good early ball across the face of goal that Brownlie sliced behind for a corner.

With quarter of an hour remaining Talbot drew level with a well-worked move. Boylan gathered on the right before squaring it across to Graham Wilson outside the area. He flighted it behind Sideserf to find Shankland racing free on the left of the area and his low ball across goal was turned home by KIER SAMSON from close range.

A minute later Talbot nearly moved in front. Samson won a free kick 35 yards out when he turned Brownlie who flattened him with a clumsy challenge. Shankland shaped up to hit it but instead angled it to the left to free Aiden Wilson on the overlap. He fizzed a ball across the face of goal which Samson met in the centre but his flick flew just over the crossbar.

In the 80th minute Boylan had his name taken for a foul on Lyon out on the left touchline. When the free kick came over it broke to Wharton 15 yards out. He hooked a shot towards target but it was blocked in the crowded box.

Two minutes later Talbot had the ball in the back of the net but the goal didn’t stand. Boylan slipped the ball through to Samson on the right of the area and he slid it past Longmuir but the assistant’s flag went up and it was chalked off.

However, 3 minutes from time Talbot again found the back of the net and this time it counted. Graham Wilson lifted a ball down the left in behind the defence to find KIER SAMSON running through and he coolly slotted it past the keeper to put Talbot 2-1 ahead.

In the final minute of regulation time Talbot threatened again. Boylan played it into Shankland who laid it off into the path of Samson whose low drive was held by Longmuir at the 2nd attempt.

As the game moved into added time Pollok won a free kick 30 yards from goal following a handball by Graham Wilson. Forde managed to get it up and over the wall but Leishman was well positioned to pluck it out the air.

Deep into injury time Shankland picked up a ludicrous yellow card for winning a header against Grant and shortly after the final whistle sounded and the celebrations began. Talbot will now face Sauchie in the semi-final.

Next up for Talbot it’s a midweek trip to face Darvel in a match which could go some way to deciding the outcome of the league title.

Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Craig McCracken, Healy, Hyslop, Robbie McCracken, Samson, Mason, Glasgow

Subs – Shankland, Boylan, Graham Wilson, Armstrong, White, Halliday

Pollok – Longmuir, Grant, Sideserf, Wharton, Brownlie, Horne, Fraser, Esplin, S McCann, McGregor, Lyon

Subs – Forde, Bradley, Braonan, Krol, Shelvey, Evans, Lumsden

Lewis Crawford

The 22 year old 6ft right or left back joins as a free transfer from Lowland side Broomhill and has been training with Talbot for the last three weeks, which gave Tucker the chance to run the rule over the player before offering him a contract.

Lewis has had experience in the SPFL and the lower leagues starting his career at Dumbarton U17’s and Clyde U20’s. He was released by Clyde in July 2018 and spent a season at Petershill before making the move to the SPFL with Dumbarton.  He spent over a year with the “Sons” which included a loan spell at Rossvale and an appearance at Pittodrie in 2020 when Dumbarton narrowly lost out to Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup.

In September 2020 he left Dumbarton to play with Linlithgow Rose for a season and then Broomhill who were managed by former Talbot legend Davie Gormley.

Michael Wardrope

Auchinleck Talbot v Caledonian Braves

Both sides played their part in an entertaining, end to end cup clash played out against a backdrop of unrelenting rain but it was Talbot who proved the more clinical in the final third to beat a young Braves side and advance in the South Challenge cup.

Talbot were given an early warning it wouldn’t be an easy night when Stafford conceded a free kick 25 yards from goal out wide on the left. Lindsay delivered a dangerous ball across the face of goal toward the back post but no one read it & Talbot were able to clear.

The Bot’s first attack exposed defensive frailties when Stafford did well down the wing before slinging a cross into the centre. Henry made a meal of it, flapping it into the path of Graham Wilson 10 yards out but he was closed down just before getting his shot away.

The opening goal came Talbot’s way in the 16th minute. Aiden Wilson won a corner down the left which Glasgow swept into the near post where GRAHAM WILSON met it to head home.

This proved to be a short-lived lead as within 2 minutes the visitors had won a penalty down the other end. Main turned smartly inside the box and when he was clipped the ref pointed straight to the spot & KELLY gave Leishman no chance with a coolly taken spot kick to level it.

A few minutes later Talbot had a half chance to regain the lead. Leishman launched a ball down field that deflected into the path of Samson just outside the penalty area but he fired wide of the left post.

The visitors very nearly took the lead in the 22nd minute. They broke down the right and when the ball was cut back into the path of McLear he steered a low shot on target that Leishman saved at full stretch – tipping it wide of his left post.

It was then Talbot’s turn to threaten as they broke down the left. Glasgow found Aiden Wilson on the overlap and when his cross came over Graham Wilson powered a header on target that Henry parried away.

In the 26th minute it was Talbot’s turn to win a penalty. Glasgow dropped his shoulder & went past a defender and when he was bowled over the ref pointed to the spot. Glasgow took it but Henry guessed correctly and threw himself to his right to make the save. The visitors now sprang onto the counter and won a free kick 25 yards out which Lindsay hit into the wall.

Talbot’s next attack saw Healy go close in the 32nd minute. Robbie McCracken won a corner down the right which Glasgow took. It was slightly overhit but retrieved wide left by Healy who played a one-two with Aiden Wilson before attempting a curling shot that went just wide of the far post.

A moment of slackness from Main gifted Talbot the lead in the 35th minute. He inexplicably attempted to pass it back toward his own box from midway inside his own half and KIER SAMSON pounced on it to rifle a low shot past the keeper to put Talbot 2-1 ahead.

In the 39th minute Talbot extended their lead. A low ball up to the edge of the penalty area was dummied leaving the defence flat-footed and DWAYNE HYSLOP raced in behind to fire it across the keeper to make it 3-1 and give Talbot a two goal cushion going into the break.

The first chance of the 2nd period went to the visitors in the 51st minute when they swiftly countered following a Talbot corner. They broke up the left & Craig McCracken had to turn it behind for the corner. When the corner came in it was only partially cleared and fell to Kelly 16 yards out and he tested Leishman with a low drive that Andy saved to his left.

A 4th goal would have ended it and Talbot came very close in the 55th minute. Graham Wilson met a floated ball & head flicked it on. Samson was offside but coming back & left it & as the defence hesitated Graham Wilson ran onto his own head flick and fired a shot just wide of the right post.

On the hour mark Talbot caught the Braves on the counter surging up field towards the box. The ball broke to Hyslop 25 yards out & he slipped a pass through to find Samson inside the area but his low drive was smothered by the keeper.

Two minutes later Glasgow had a half chance to kill the tie off. Leishman’s long ball cleared the defence and found him racing in behind down the left. He looked favourite but pulled out of the challenge allowing the defender to knock it clear.

Tucker made his 1st change on 65 mins with Armstrong on for Healy.

Talbot’s next attack saw the front two combine with Wilson flicking it out wide left to Samson and he tried to find Wilson in front of goal but his cut back went behind him.

With 20 minutes remaining Talbot made a 2nd change with Mason coming on for Graham Wilson and 2 minutes later the visitors made their 1st substitution with Gouvenou on for Lindsay.

Aiden Wilson became the 1st booking of the night in the 76th minute when he conceded a free kick 22 yards out. Before it could be taken both sides made a further change – McDowall replacing Glasgow for Talbot and Guthrie on for Brown for the visitors.

Walker took the free kick but hit it straight into the wall and then lashed the rebound well off target.

In the 82nd minute Talbot raced down the left through Mason who got to the bye line before pulling it back to the edge of the area where Hyslop’s low drive at goal was blocked by a defender.

Play then immediately switched to the other end where Stafford conceded a free kick outside the area. Braves now made their final change with Testa on for McLeary. The free kick came into the near post where Armstrong cleared it away.

With 4 minutes remaining McDowall became the 2nd Bot player in the book when he was penalised for a challenge out on the right. The free kick was delivered into the centre where Leishman came for it amidst a crowd of players but couldn’t claim it. The ball came to Forrester who steered a header goal ward but Leishman reacted to clutch it.

Two minutes from time Talbot almost grabbed a 4th. Stafford switched play out to the left to find Aiden Wilson bursting into the box and his shot took a slight deflection with Henry doing well to tip it onto the bar.

The visitors kept pushing and in the final minute Walker’s shot from the edge of the area took a deflection and looped toward goal forcing Leishman to turn it over the bar.

Deep into injury time there was one final piece of drama. McDowall clipped Guthrie at the right edge of the area and the ref initially awarded a penalty but the stand side linesman flagged him over & after consulting him he gave a free kick just outside the box which Talbot cleared when it came over and soon after the ref blew for full time.

A good win for Talbot over lively opponents who made Talbot work hard for it. Next up the Bot are back on cup duty – this time in the Scottish Junior cup where they travel east to face Shotts Bon Accord.

Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Craig McCracken, Hyslop, Robbie McCracken, Healy, Graham Wilson, Samson, Glasgow

Subs – Mason, Boylan, Armstrong, Boyd, McDowall, White, Hewitt

Caledonian Braves – Henry, Brown, Walker, Duncan, McDowall, Forrester, Main, Lindsay, McLear, Armstrong, Kelly

Subs – Miller, Guthrie, Gouvenou, Testa, Duffy

Irvine Meadow v Auchinleck Talbot

Boyd races out wide with the ball while looking where to send in the cross.


GOOOOAAAALLLL!!! Talbot take a very early lead, as Gareth Armstrong gets on the end of Boylan’s cross and fires home a strong header. 0-1.


Armstrong gets all the plaudits from his team-mates after heading Talbot into an early lead.


Stafford’s deadly cross gets blocked by Medda out on the wing.


CLOSE!!! Glasgow is about to have a go at goal but the defender nicks the ball off him just before he was about to pull the trigger.


GREAT SAVE!!! Talbot go searching for a second but the Medda ‘keeper makes sure there is no way through for them.


Big Neily gets his team-mates fired up for the next attack.


We’re shooting this way, right?


The Talbot bench look on, as Jamie Glasgow threads the ball through.


You won’t like me when I’m angry.


Wax on, wax off Daniel son.


PENALTY SHOUT!!! Boylan gets bundled over inside the box, as Meadow clear the danger.


Tucker closely watches from the dugout, as Wilson heads the ball up the wing.


GAME ON!!! Meadow pull level just before the half-time whistle, as they head the ball home from a corner kick. 1-1.


Young Aaron Mason does his best to muscle his way up the middle of the park.


McCracken and Armstrong double team their opponent in order to win back the ball.


This time it’s Healy that teams up with McCracken in order to keep hold of the ball.


HAD-TO-BE!!! Aiden screams blue murder for the pass but Glasgow goes it alone and has a dig but fails to find the back of the net.


VAR REF!!! Wilson races in on goal and fires a powerful shot at goal where…


…although the ‘keeper does his best to keep the ball out, the officials award Talbot the goal. If only we had x-ray vision to see through the ‘keeper here! 1-2.


With the goal given, Aiden Wilson gets all the high fives from his team-mates.


Mason goes on the attack again for Talbot.


Aiden Wilson makes sure he sticks closely to his opponent.


OH SO CLOSE!!! Boylan goes very close to scoring but his header gets brilliantly saved by the Medda ‘keeper.


Everybody here is closely watching Healy head the ball back up the park, except for the one Talbot fan looking at his phone. Come on Dan!




Steely eyed Glasgow zips through the blue walled defence and goes on the attack.


Mason scratches his head after missing a great chance to score, while Meadow vent their frustration at allowing Talbot to have the chance.


Medda shout for a foul but ‘Pee-wee’ plays on and threads the ball through for…


…Jamie Glasgow to chase and go one-on-one with the ‘keeper, where he calmly slots the ball home and makes sure of the win for Talbot. 1-3.


Jamie wheels away to celebrate, as the Talbot pensioners on the hill show their delight too.


Come on lads…don’t leave Dwayne hanging, as he’s looking for a couple of backward high-fives!



Talbot progressed to the 5th round of the Challenge Cup after a decent win at Meadow Park. This match would have had the supporters looking forward to a real humdinger but with the two teams meeting each other the week previous the hunger seemed to be missing in this tie.

Talbot came out the traps in determined fashion and as little as 4 minutes severe Talbot pressure paid off when they forced corner which Waters palmed into the path of Boylan who looped a cross onto the head of Armstrong to give the visitors a dream start.

Minutes later Talbot should have doubled their lead when Stafford slotted a pass into the edge of the box which the home defence were favourites to clear but for some reason the ball ping ponged around the area which Glasgow pounced onto and after getting a decent shot on target the ball cannoned off Findlay and squirmed past the post.

On the 10th minute the Meadow midfield was caught out after mounting a rare attack when Shankland picked out the unmarked Glasgow who swung the ball across the park onto the path of Boylan who homed in on the goal area but his well struck shot from an acute angle was well parried by Waters

It took until the 16th minute for the hosts to mount an attack on the Talbot goal, this coming from a Wardrope free kick which was easily dealt with at the expense of a corner which came to nothing.

The game settled down with Talbot on the ascendency as they probed constantly at the home defence with the Meadow attack coming by way of long balls up the pitch which was easily dealt with by the Talbot back line.

On the 36th minute Talbot were dealt a blow when Shankland was badly injured when he jumped with two Meadow defenders trying to win a high cross that actually looked to be going well over their heads. The striker who had not started a full match since just before Christmas seemed to twist his ankle as he landed awkwardly near the hoardings.

After a few minutes it looked as he was in considerable pain and hobbled off to be replaced by Mason.

On 40 minutes Martin Findlay became the first player in Mr McDonald’s book after he deliberately pulled Glasgow back as the player outstripped him on the left wing.

After such domination in the game Talbot were to rue their missed chances when a ball over the Talbot defence was hoofed out the park by McCracken at the expense of a corner three minutes added on for the Shankland injury. The resultant set piece proved to be a lifeline as Wardrope sent over a pinpoint cross that was met by Gow who produced an explosive header that flew Leishman who had no chance to react.

The second half had just started when McLennan  was booked for a late tackle on Healy, and shortly after Talbot should have been back in the lead when Armstrong split the Meadow defence with a pinpoint pass into the path of Boylan who after a short burst towards the goals laced a tantalising ball across the front of goals that was just missed by Mason.

Talbot continued to press and a Glasgow cross was swung onto the head of Boyd whose weak attempt seemed to deceive Waters and he fumbled the ball out his grasp which was swept away by Whyte for a corner.  With so much pressure on the home goal Talbot were reminded that Meadow were still in the game when Slooves tried his luck from 20 yards but the ball fizzed past the post with Leishman in attendance.

Waters gave his defence another round of palpitations when an Armstrong cross was dropped in front of Glasgow but the keeper made up for his mistake with a fine save to deny Glasgow the goal.

Talbot were to take the lead on the hour mark thanks to the relentless work of Bryan Boylan who’s pace was giving the home defenders a torrid time. This time the striker weaved his way into the box before placing a shot that Waters did well to palm away, unfortunately for the Meadow the loose ball fell into the path of Aiden Wilson who shot was powerful enough to squirm over the line with Waters just not getting enough of his body behind the ball to keep it from going over the line.

Meadow change of personnel in the 65th minute with G.Boyd coming on for Martin  while Hyslop replaced the hard working Boyd moments later. On the 73rd minute Talbot won a corner which Glasgow took. The corner count was now in double figures but in most occasions they were poorly hit but this time Glasgow found the head of Boylan but unfortunately for him the keeper had sensed the danger and was well positioned to parry the ball which was then cleared from danger

With the game going into the last quarter Talbot replace Boylan with Samson as they strove to put this game to bed. Aaron Mason became the Talbot’s only yellow card after he flicked a sly kick in the way of Findlay but it was spotted by the referee who had no option but to caution the youngster.

With Meadow now committing players to the attack they were nearly two down when Glasgow threaded a ball through to Samson into the path of the onrushing striker. With only the keeper to beat he managed to round the keeper but somehow Waters got his positions correct and got his body in front of Samson’s shot.

With minutes remaining Talbot finally got the goal they were desperate for when like the Samson chance the ball came off a defender into the path of Glasgow who made no mistake by rounding the keeper and slotting the ball into the empty.

This killed the game as a competition and the remaining few minutes went by with little incident. Talbot had beaten Meadow an amazing five times this season putting them out of three cups into the bargain. It was a great feat but you got the sense that the players and the supporters of both teams were fed up looking at each other.

MEADOW: Waters,  Findlay, Willet, Slooves, Gow, Whyte, McLennan, Wardrope, C.Boyd, Martin, McCloy. SUBS: G.Boyd, Sivewright, Long, McKie, Angus, Latta, McLean(GK)

TALBOT: Leishman, Stafford, A.Wilson, McPherson, C.McCracken,  Armstrong, Healy, Boyd, Glasgow, Shankland, Boylan. SUBS: Hyslop, Mason, Samson, McDowall, R.McCracken, G.Wilson, White, Hewitt(GK)

Irvine Meadow v Auchinleck Talbot

Auchinleck Talbot v West Calder United


Talbot made a number of changes to their starting line-up but still ran out comfortable winners in this South Challenge cup tie.

The first chance of the afternoon came in the 5th minute when Samson’s cross from the right was met beyond the back post by Hyslop who steered a half-volley over the bar.

Ten minutes in and the referee produced the first card of the afternoon when cautioned Baird for a late challenge on Hyslop.

A minute later Talbot had the first effort on target. Craig McCracken’s long pass found Samson on the left & he controlled it before turning his man & drilling a shot at goal from 20 yards that flew straight at McDougall.

The Bot took the lead in the 14th minute & it was a cracking goal. Hyslop found Robbie McCracken in space down the right & he carried it forward before feeding it on to Glasgow. He rolled the ball back into the path of JACK MCDOWALL who hammered a right foot drive inside the right post with the keeper spectating.

In the 22nd minute Talbot opened up the visiting defence when Wilson found Samson on the left and his ball across the face of goal fell just behind Glasgow as he raced in to tap it home.

Shanks became the 2nd West Calder player in the book when he was cautioned for dissent after 28 minutes.

Talbot appeared on easy street but a defensive fubar gifted West Calder an unlikely equaliser in the 31st minute. A high crossfield ball from the right saw ROBBIE MCCRACKEN try to head it back but with Leishman stranded off his line the header sailed inside the right post to level the score.

Two minutes later only a great stop from Leishman prevented West Calder from taking the lead. A ball in from the right found Shanks inside the area & he turned smartly before firing a shot which Leishman stretched low to his left to turn round the post.

After this wobble Talbot were back on the attack and the lead was restored in the 36th minute. Boyd retrieved an over-hit cross and teed it up for Aiden Wilson. His low drive was blocked by McDougall but KIER SAMSON was on hand to lash the rebound into the roof of the net to put Talbot 2-1 ahead.

Two minutes later Talbot added a third. AARON MASON met a ball in from the left to steer it into the far corner to make it 3-1.

Three minutes before the interval Talbot came within a whisker of grabbing their fourth. Mason got away on the right but pulled his shot across the face of goal. Boyd retrieved it on the far side & passed to Wilson whose ball across goal was met by Mason who struck it against the base of the right hand post. Talbot kept pressing but the visitors held out without conceding any further goals.

The 2nd half got off to a fairly slow start with neither side offering much of a threat. The first real opportunity came the way of West Calder in the 56th minute when Craig McCracken conceded a free kick just outside the penalty area resulting in a booking for Talbot’s centre-half. Shanks too it but his shot hit a Bot player and went behind for the corner.

Talbot then turned defence into attack as they broke away on the counter from the corner through Mason who was up-ended by Gillespie who was booked for his challenge. Mason took the resultant free kick and swept a good ball in from the right which McDowall headed just past the left post.

The game was over as a contest on the hour mark when Talbot got their fourth of the afternoon. WILLIE BOYD cut in off the left wing & passed it toward goal where it trundled past the keeper with the aid of a slight deflection off Livingstone.

Tucker now made a change with Shankland coming on for Glasgow.

In the 61st minute Talbot won a penalty and the visitors were reduced to ten men. Mason got free down the right & his ball across goal was blocked by the arm of Gillespie. He’d already been booked so made the short walk to the clubhouse after his 2nd yellow and AARON MASON gave the keeper no chance from the spot – burying his penalty inside the right post to make it 5-1 to Talbot.

Mason nearly had his hat-trick in the 65th minute. Boyd came in on off the left & curled over a right foot cross that Mason glanced off the left hand post.

Two minutes later Talbot did move further ahead. A deep cross found Craig McCracken beyond the far post and he headed it back across goal where KIER SAMSON ran onto it to nod home from close range.

The scoring was completed in the 69th minute. Shankland delivered an inch perfect cross from the left and DWAYNE HYSLOP guided a header back across goal and inside the right post to put Talbot 7-1 ahead.

In the 74th minute Talbot made their 2nd change with Healy on in midfield in place of Boyd.

Talbot had a chance soon after to extend their lead when Samson raced away on the right before laying it inside to Mason. He touched it on to McDowall whose shot flew across goal and wide of the right post.

With 10 minutes remaining Talbot made their final change with McDowall making way for White.

In the closing minutes Talbot came close on two occasions. Firstly, Shankland met Wilson’s cross only to see his header come back off the crossbar and a minute later a short corner from the right saw Robbie McCracken cross it into the centre where Healy directed a free header over the bar.

A convincing win for Talbot who will face a totally different challenge next Saturday when they host Hamilton Accies in the senior cup.

Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Robbie McCracken, Wilson, Armstrong, Craig McCracken, McDowall, Boyd, Hyslop, Samson, Mason, Glasgow

Subs – Boylan, Shankland, Healy, Lyle, White, Hewitt

West Calder United – McDougall, Gillespie, Wilson, Shanks, Taylor, Livingstone, Baird, Easton, Macauley, Fallon, Stevenson

Subs – Hay, Johnston, Kennedy, Miller, Wilkins


Dwayne Hyslop stands his ground and keeps hold of the ball.


West Calder win a free-kick but show their frustration, as they feel the referee could have played on.


The danger gets cleared, as ‘Pee-wee’ wins the aerial battle.


A fight for the ball just outside the West Calder box.


BREAKTHROUGH!!! Talbot open the scoring via a thunderbolt from Jack McDowell outside the box, which leaves the ‘keeper rooted to the spot. 1-0.


Samson gets stopped in his tracks, as he was racing in on goal.


Aaron Mason tries to get to the ball before it gets cleared by the defender.


Both benches closely watch the action, as Glasgow battles for possession.


CALDER PULL LEVEL!!! The ball hits the back of the net after a wayward header from Talbot. 1-1.


Care to tell us what was funny, Dwayne?


GOAL!!! Talbot regain the lead, as the ball falls kindly at the feet of Samson who smashes the ball home from close range. 2-1.


It’s ‘high fives’ for Talbot but devastation for the opposition.


Blink and you’ll miss it! Talbot make it three in double quick time, as Mason manages to loop the ball past the ‘keeper and into the back of the net. 3-1.


It sure feels good scoring for the ‘Bot…eh Aaron!


SO CLOSE!!! Aaron Mason finds space right in front of goal but he can only watch the ball hit the post instead.


Samson goes for the spectacular but is deemed to be offside.


Keir Samson gets stopped by a great tackle from the Calder defender.


McDowell releases the ball just in time.


TALBOT MAKE IT FOUR!!! Wullie Boyd finds the back of the net after seeing the ball take a deflection off the defender. 4-1.


Robbie McCracken is certainly all smiles after Boyd’s goal.


RED CARD!!! West Calder are reduced to ten men and Talbot are awarded a penalty, after a handball inside the box.


Captions on a postcard please folks!


SPOT ON FOR TALBOT!!! Aaron finds the back of the net, as he fires the ball home from the spot. 5-1.


Samson thinks what could have been after being flagged for offside.


Mason hits the woodwork again with this looping header.


Keir gets double teamed, as it takes two players to stop his run.


Craig McCracken pops up at the back post and heads the ball back across for…


…Samson to calmly nod the ball home into an empty net for Talbot’s sixth. 6-1.


The scoring is rounded off by ‘Pee-wee’ who heads the ball home from the six yard line. 7-1.


Aiden Wilson gets the ball taken off him via a great tackle.


The old maestro shows he’s still got it, as ‘Whitey’ has a dig at goal from distance.


WOODWORK AGAIN!!! Talbot hit the crossbar via a looping header from ‘Shankers’.


CLOSE!!! Healy goes agonisingly close to scoring but his header goes wide of the post.


Kieran Healy gets brought down, as he goes on a great run down the middle of the park.


These young Talbot fans were certainly left with smiles on their faces after seeing a good win for the boys in Black and Gold.