MURRAYS MATCH REPORT
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
PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN