Auchinleck Talbot v Neilston


It took Talbot a while to get going but in the end they ran out comfortable winners over Neilston in the South Challenge cup.

It was the visitors who made the early running and they had a chance in the 6th minute when MacKinnon swept a low ball in from the left. It broke into the path of Jones but he didn’t strike it cleanly and Leishman was able to save it by his left post.

In the 11th minute Neilston missed a sitter. Reilly got to the bye line and cut it back to Fletcher who looked certain to score but he bundled his shot wide of the left post from 6 yards out.

Talbot’s first meaningful move came in the 16th minute. A good move ended with Ballantyne on the left squaring the ball across the 6 yard area where it was cut out and cleared by the defence.

Neilston continued to have the upper hand without offering too much in the final third with play confined to the middle third.

In the 35th minute Crawford picked up a caution for a foul on Fletcher.

Thirty nine mins in and Talbot took the lead following their first shot on target. Shankland slipped the ball through for Aiden Wilson whose cut back was met by Graham Wilson 15 yards out. Hay dived to his left to parry his shot but the ball broke off MACKINNON and into the net for an own goal.

Three minutes later Mackinnon found himself in the ref’s notebook following a rugby tackle on Samson. Shankland took the free kick and whipped a dangerous ball over that flew off a defender’s head and went wide of goal for the corner. Shankland’s corner into the near post was headed clear but came out to Taylor who cut in onto his left foot only to see his shot blocked.

Talbot continued to press but Neilston held out and the Bot went in 1-0 up at the interval.

Talbot stepped it up a gear or two after the half-time break and had the visitors under pressure from the off and it paid off in the 51st minute when Talbot doubled their lead.

Taylor burst in off the right and played it into the feet of Samson inside the area. He returned it back and ROSS TAYLOR hammered a low drive past the keeper to make it 2-0.

In the 55th minute Talbot won a free kick in a good area. Crawford was caught late as he took a shot from just outside the box and the ref pulled it back for the free kick. Shankland stepped up but lifted it well over the bar.

A minute later Talbot were back on the attack. Shankland laid it out wide for Taylor and Hay had to claw his dangerous cross behind for the corner. The corner was taken short and Shankland hit an inch perfect cross to the back post but no Bot player was on hand to take advantage.

Moments later Talbot thought they’d grabbed their 3rd of the afternoon. Taylor gathered on the right and flashed it low across the face of goal where Samson turned it home from close range but was flagged for offside.

The goal was coming though and Talbot grabbed their 3rd on the hour mark. Taylor raced onto a ball over the top and raced past Doyle in the area before being hauled down for a stonewaller. MARK SHANKLAND took the spot kick and sent Hay the wrong way to make it 3-0.

Two minutes later Shankland had a half chance to grab another. Samson raced in off the left past Doyle and when he was challenged the ball broke out to Shankland at the edge of the area but he sent his shot well wide.

In the 64th minute Graham Wilson received a caution for a challenge on Halliday.

Neilston now made a double switch with Convery & Jones making way Henry & Haddow. Talbot responded with a double change of their own – Park & Graham Wilson being replaced by Boylan & Wardrope.

With 20 mins remaining Talbot found themselves a man down for the 2nd week in a row. Crawford took a heavy 1st touch and when Smith nipped in to claim it Crawford caught him and the ref produced a 2nd yellow card.

However, it was still Talbot looking the more likely to add to the score line and the Bot came close in the 72nd minute. Boylan robbed Reilly of the ball deep in the Neilston half before carrying it forward and hammering a shot that flew across goal and just wide of the right hand upright.

The Bot were back on the attack in the 76th minute. Wilson’s ball over the top found Samson racing free down the left. He darted into the box and cut it back toward Boylan but it had a shade too much pace on it.

Neilston now made a further change with Adam on for Reilly and Talbot made their final change with Mason replacing Shankland.

Eight minutes from time Talbot won a free kick out on the right touchline – wide of the penalty area. Wardrope fired a good ball over toward Boylan but a defender managed to head it behind for the corner.

In the final minute of regulation time Mason pounced on a loose ball in the Neilston half and slotted an early ball out right to find Boylan in space. He sped free down the wing but overhit his final cross.

Deep into injury time Talbot came close to making it four. A poor attempt at a back pass was intercepted by Samson inside the area but Hay did well at his right post to block the shot behind for a corner. When the corner came in it was only cleared as far as Ballantyne at the edge of the area who sent his shot over the bar in what proved to be the last chance of the match.

A good win for the Bot who travel through to the kingdom of Fife next Saturday to face Raith Rovers in the senior cup.

Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, Park, McCracken, Ballantyne, Taylor, Graham Wilson, Samson, Shankland, Crawford

Subs – Boylan, White, Mason, Wardrope

Neilston – Hay, Halliday, MacKinnon, Doyle, Clark, Gallacher, Convery, Smith, Fletcher, Jones, Reilly

Subs – Henry, Adam, Davis, Haddow, Hamilton

Ali Boyle

BIO: Ali was signed at the beginning of November 2022 from Craigmark Burntonians. The talented youngster can play anywhere in midfield and definitely knows where the goals are. Ali will be another player that manager Tommy Sloan has brought up from the lower leagues and with Tuckers track record no doubt Ali is going to fit in well at Beechwood.

Auchinleck Talbot v Craigmark Burntonians

Nathan Lennox

Auchinleck Talbot v Craigmark Burntonians

Jamie Ballantyne

Sponsor: Cameron Torrance; Isla McCurdy


Jamie initially started his career at Rangers as a youth, prior to a move to Ayr United where he captained their u20’s for two seasons. He would then go on loan to Girvan FC where he won the league, prior to joining Benburb for their championship winning season.
Jamie then made a return to first team league football with Annan Athletic, before again returning to non league football.

Ross Taylor

SPONSOR: Jim McCluskie, Dorethy Lawrence

BIO:  Ross joined Talbot in July 2022 after leaving Morton. He played the previous season on loan to Kilbirnie Ladeside where he became a fans favourite playing at right back. He has been a teenage sensation since joining Talbot and celebrated his Scottish Cup baptism by grabbing a hat-trick against Coldstream

Ally Park

SPONSOR: Billy Blackmore School of Motoring

BIO: This will be Ally’s second spell at Talbot where he first joined them in 2011 from Clyde. He had a productive youth career at Rangers and Hibernian before joining Clyde and carried this on into the then Junior grade. He left Talbot in 2015 playing for Glenafton until 2020 when he joined Beith Juniors. He returned to Talbot at the beginning of this season.

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.