Talbot entered the winter break on a low note as they slumped to their 2nd 1-0 defeat in a row; losing narrowly to the Buffs at the Kilwinning Sports Centre.
The 1st half made an excellent case for summer football with little to keep the fans warm on a Baltic day.
The Bot had a half chance early on when Samson burst free on the left but he fired into the side-netting.
Kilwinning had the half’s only real chance in the 8th minute. Ramsay’s cross was blocked behind by Aiden Wilson and when the corner came over from the right it skimmed off Graham Wilson’s head and fell kindly for Wood but the full-back hoofed it over the bar from 8 yards out.
In the 17th minute Samson looked like he was going to race through on goal but a Buffs defender got back to make a timely sliding tackle to knock it back to the keeper.
Kilwinning were slightly edging it on possession but neither side were asking any questions of the opposing goalie and the only other noteworthy incidents of the 1st half were bookings for Shankland for a foul on the touchline and Graham Wilson also had his name taken in the 40th minute.
Kilwinning came out with a bit more intent at the start of the 2nd half and this proved to be the difference on the day. The Buffs forced a corner down the right within a minute of the restart which was cleared at the near post; however the linesman’s flag was raised and after consulting him with the referee awarded a penalty. Hanvey took it and although Leishman guessed right & did well to block it to his left he was helpless to prevent HANVEY bundling home the rebound from close range.
Talbot lifted it after falling behind and Barclay was called into action on 56 minutes when Graham Wilson raced down the left of the penalty area. He tried to square it across the face of goal and it took a deflection off a defender but Barclay was able to turn it behind. The resultant corner was played into the back post area where it bobbled about for a bit before the defence eventually cleared.
With 59 minutes gone Glasgow turned inside the area & drilled a shot on target but it was comfortably held by Barclay.
In the 63rd minute Glasgow received a caution for kicking the ball away after the umpteenth marginal decision went the home side’s way.
The Buffs had went quiet since the goal but threatened to double their lead in the 65th minute. A long shy from the right was cleared at the near post but came back out to Monti and he cut in off the right flank before shooting just over the crossbar.
Talbot won a free kick out wide on the left in the 68th minute when Samson was obstructed. This also resulted in a booking for the Buffs player but who it was I couldn’t say as Kilwinning’s choice of having silhouette’s as opposed to numbers on their shirts made it all but impossible to tell.
Shankland took the free kick and swept it over to the back post where McCracken met it & directed a header for goal that Barclay saved well at his left post. The ball broke loose but didn’t fall Talbot’s way and the defence cleared.
Kilwinning picked up a further caution in the 75th minute when Monti was booked.
11 minutes from time Talbot made their first change with Mason coming on in place of Healy.
A minute later the Buffs almost added a second. A long ball was floated up the left which Collins did well to keep in play. He then surged in off the left touchline into the area and fired a shot across goal and wide of the far post.
After this it was 10 minutes of one-way traffic with Talbot pegging the home side back in their final third looking for an equaliser.
A half chance came Talbot’s way in the 83rd minute when Aiden Wilson picked out Mason on the overlap. His cross to the back post was met by Samson and his header fell to Graham Wilson who hit the target but without the power to trouble the keeper.
With 5 minutes remaining Talbot made another change with Boyd making way for Hyslop.
Talbot’s next chance came via a corner from the right. Shankland’s first ball in was well defended but it came back out wide to him and when he crossed it in a 2nd time Graham Wilson got his head to it but it flew straight at the keeper.
It wasn’t Talbot’s day and this was underlined in the 87th minute. Samson had an effort from 12 yards and his angled drive nearly squirmed through the keeper but he got enough of a deflection on it to send it up and over the crossbar. When the corner came in to the back post Barclay took command of it and punched clear under pressure.
A minute from time Talbot missed another opportunity to level. Glasgow whipped over a great ball from the right that went straight across the face of goal to Aiden Wilson beyond the back post but he lashed it off target from a tight angle.
As the game entered injury time Talbot forced another couple of corners – the first of which Barclay did well to turn over his own bar as the in swinger came in from the right but the Buffs defended the 2nd one well and the ref’s whistle signalled the end.
That’s it for Talbot for 2021 and it’s not until January 8th Talbot are back in action when they travel to Dalmellington to face Craigmark in the Junior cup. Merry Christmas when it comes to all in Talbot land.
Talbot romped to a comfortable win over Benburb at Beechwood with the visitors barely able to muster a threat all afternoon.
The Bot were a little slow to get warmed up but took the lead with a training ground move in the 10th minute. Shankland switched the ball out right to find Boylan wide and he paced up the wing before pulling it back to GRAHAM WILSON who ran onto it to pass it into the net.
Benburb tried for an early response and they forced a corner in the 13th minute when Dawson’s shot from 20 yards was deflected wide off McPherson’s head. When the corner came over Docherty got his head to it but couldn’t generate the power to trouble Leishman.
The next goal threat came in the 18th minute. Shankland was bundled over 22 yards out and Talbot took the free kick quickly catching the Bens defence napping. It was shoved through to Glasgow on the right of the area and he flashed a shot across goal that McLean touched wide.
In the 28th minute Talbot doubled their lead with the visiting defence posted missing. A free kick was worked out to Glasgow in space on the right and he had the time to float a cross beyond the back post where Craig McCracken rose unchallenged to nod it back across goal for GRAHAM WILSON to tap home from close range.
It was all over bar the shouting in the 34th minute when Talbot moved three goals clear. Shankland won a corner down the left that he took quickly – pulling it back to find GRAHAM WILSON rushing to meet it and he thumped a shot into the roof of the net to complete his hat-trick.
Talbot were now on easy street and Benburb were unable to offer any real threat to the Talbot defence with McPherson and McCracken in the centre winning all the battles.
On the stroke of halftime Talbot came close to extending their lead. Healy sent a good pass up the left to release Boylan and he swept a cross over that looked destined to be headed home by Shankland in front of goal but Rough did well to stretch & nick the ball away.
The 2nd half had barely started when Talbot threatened a 4th goal. Shankland sent a great diagonal pass from midway inside his own half to find Boylan racing clear on the left of the area but McLean did well to block his low drive.
In the 53rd minute the visiting keeper produced a top class save to deny Shankland. When Boylan whipped a cross in from the right Shankland looked a certainty to score but McLean acrobatically leapt to his left to touch Shankland’s header wide of the left post.
Benburb made a change in the 56th minute when Dawson made way for McTaggart and a few minutes later Tucker made a double switch with Shankland & Boylan leaving the field to be replaced by Samson & Mason.
Talbot moved 4-0 ahead in the 63rd minute. Mason picked out Graham Wilson on the left and he returned the ball back inside to AARON MASON who placed a good finish beyond McLean and inside his left post.
Benburb made their 2nd change in the 68th minute with Jarvie replacing Aitken and with 72 mins gone Talbot made their final change when McDowall came on for Glasgow and Benburb also completed their changes with Ocholi on for Duncanson.
With 8 minutes remaining Robbie McCracken’s ball down the line found McDowall & he cut into the penalty area but was well-tackled before he could get his shot away; resulting in a Talbot corner. When Mason’s corner came in McDowall met it only to see McLean dive to his left to claw his header away.
There was nothing the Bens keeper could do though to prevent Talbot from grabbing their 5th of the afternoon in the 83rd minute. Mason burst into the area & tried to dribble his way through to goal but the defence managed to crowd him out and put it behind for a corner. When the corner came over GRAHAM WILSON ghosted onto it for a free header to grab his 4th goal of the game.
Talbot kept pushing but Benburb managed to hold out without conceding any further goals as Talbot eased to a win that won’t have done the goal difference any harm.
Next week – weather permitting – Talbot are back on the road and back in cup action as they travel through to Cumbernauld to face Rob Roy in the West of Scotland cup.
Talbot returned to the top of the table with a well-deserved away win over Clydebank.
It didn’t take long for Talbot to settle and the Bot had a good chance to take the lead in the 9th minute. Shankland clipped a pass through to send Glasgow through on goal but his 1st touch was a shade too heavy & Donnelly was able to race off his line and make the block.
The opener was only delayed though by a minute with Talbot grabbing a goal in the 10th minute. Shankland gathered on the left and slid the ball into the path of GRAHAM WILSON who drilled a low shot past Donnelly at his right post to make it 1-0.
In the 12th minute the home side won a free kick out wide on the left that was swept deep toward the back post where Leishman rushed out to punch clear.
Down the other end Talbot won a free kick in a good area after Byrne wrestled back Boylan. Shankland whipped it into the centre where Craig McCracken powered a header on target that was well-saved by Donnelly but the referee had already blown for an infringement.
In the 24th minute Boylan did well up the left to force a corner and when Shankland’s in swinger came over it caused Donnelly problems with the keeper struggling to clear it. The ball only came out as far as Glasgow who volleyed it across the face of goal where Boylan flicked it just wide of the left post but the linesman’s flag went up in any case.
Clydebank hadn’t offered much but in the 26th minute Black did well out on the left – firing a dangerous cross into the near post which the Bot defence managed to clear.
Two minutes later Talbot were on the attack again. A shy from the left found Shankland and he flashed a ball across the face of goal which Glasgow just failed to reach.
The Talbot team & visiting fans were all appealing for a penalty in the 29th minute. Glasgow released Boylan down the right and he made it to the bye line before standing a cross up to the back post where Graham Wilson appeared to be bundled over as he went to meet it but the officials waved away the appeal.
The Bankies produced their most threatening move to date on the half hour mark when Black surged forward from midfield towards the box before releasing it to left to find Mackinlay inside the penalty area. The ball got caught between his feet and Robbie McCracken was quickly across to clear it.
A minute later Talbot raced onto the attack when Graham Wilson sent Glasgow clear on the right and he fired just over from 22 yards.
Talbot were nearly in the 35th minute when Graham Wilson’s ball cut open the defence and found Boylan racing in behind. Donnelly did well though to read the danger & raced out his area to clear it and his clearance ended up sailing over the Bot defence to find McKinlay in space inside the area but he took too long to get his shot away.
The crucial 2nd goal came in the 39th minute. Clydebank had a tame shot at goal that Leishman safely gathered before bowling the ball out quickly to release Glasgow down the right. He sped up the wing & swung a cross to the far post where BRYAN BOYLAN met it and Donnelly was unable to stop his header from crossing the line – with the linesman signalling the goal.
A minute later Talbot had another strong penalty appeal dismissed. Boylan got away on the right and burst into the area but wasn’t able to get his shot away as the ball took a high bounce off the surface. He waited for it come down & drove a ball across goal that looked to be blocked by Bailey’s arms but once again the ref wasn’t interested.
Talbot ended the half strongly and Robbie McCracken’s cross just needed any kind of contact and it would have been three but there were no takers and Talbot went it two goals to the good.
Clydebank made a lively start to the 2nd half; pressing hard to try to find a way back into it. In the 47th minute Gallacher let fly from 25 yards and his shot caught McPherson full in the face with the game having to be halted to allow treatment for Talbot’s centre-half.
The Bot weathered Clydebank’s early pressure and had a chance to move further ahead in the 55th minute. Robbie McCracken won the ball in midfield to set a counter-attack rolling that saw Graham Wilson find Glasgow in space just inside the penalty area but his left foot shot flew just over the bar.
Boylan became the first name in the ref’s notebook in the 62nd minute and Clydebank made a double switch with McPherson & Johnstone coming on in place of Black & Holmes.
Clydebank had the bulk of the ball but weren’t threatening Talbot’s goal and it was the Bot who came close to moving further ahead in the 71st minute when a slick move saw Glasgow run at the defence before releasing it to Shankland on the right edge of the area and his low angled drive sped just wide of the far post.
Tucker now made a change with Samson replacing Boylan.
Talbot nearly put the game out of sight in the 74th minute when the ball was worked from left to right with Glasgow sending the ball onto the overlapping Robbie McCracken and his shot, like Shankland’s shortly before, flew across goal and just wide of the right post.
With quarter on an hour remaining Clydebank made and missed their one clear chance of the afternoon. They won a corner down the right which was delivered right onto the head of Niven but he couldn’t get over it and sent his header just over the bar from 5 yards out.
With 10 minutes remaining Talbot made their 2nd change with White coming on in place of Glasgow.
In the 84th minute Clydebank won a free kick 30 yards out when White clipped Little’s heels with White also receiving a yellow card. McPherson took it and got it up and over the wall but Leishman’s positioning was spot on and he made a comfortable save.
With 5 minutes remaining Talbot made their final change with Mason on for Shankland.
The Bankies huffed and puffed until the final whistle but couldn’t make any in roads and Talbot held out for the win.
Next week it’s back to Beechwood and back to cup duty as Talbot host West Calder United in the South Challenge cup.
Nothing lasts forever and Talbot’s long unbeaten run was ended last night in front of a bumper crowd against Darvel.
Talbot have picked up an unfortunate habit of starting slowly and so it proved again with the visitors grabbing the lead after only 4 minutes.
Darvel won a corner down the right which was delivered at pace and MARR raced onto it to power a free header past Leishman to put Darvel one ahead.
The Bot almost drew level in the 8th minute. Stafford ran onto a shy and raced past Allan before slinging over a cross that cannoned off the face of the bar and away to safety.
Clear cut chances were few & far between in the opening exchanges. Good work down the left saw Graham Wilson send Aiden Wilson away on the overlap and he swept a good across the face of the 6-yard area but there were no Bot players to take advantage.
The next shot on target came in the 24th minute when Darvel’s Kirkpatrick tried an ambitious effort from 35 yards which landed on target but straight at Leishman.
Talbot drew level on the half hour mark. McPherson floated it up the centre where Hyslop won the header on. Boylan jousted for it with a defender inside the area and the ball broke back to KIER SAMSON whose low strike trundled home courtesy of a deflection.
The game had barely re-started when Talbot were caught cold and conceded their 2nd. The ball was switched out to Miller on the right touchline who got away before sliding it across toward the far post where FERGUSON side-footed it home to restore Darvel’s lead.
The goal rattled Talbot and two minutes later they conceded a free kick just outside the penalty area which Miller curled into the defensive wall.
In the 36th minute Meggatt put pressure on his keeper with a short back-pass that Samson chased down but the ball didn’t break for Talbot when Kier blocked Truesdale’s clearance.
With 41 mins gone Ferguson had his name taken for high feet in a challenge with McCracken and two minutes later he was joined in the book by Talbot’s Boylan for a foul on Allan.
In the final minute of the half Talbot won a free kick in a promising area after Graham Wilson was clipped by Marr as he surged towards the penalty area. Hyslop took it but fired his shot well over to end the half.
In similar fashion to Saturday’s clash with Hulford, Talbot came out with more purpose after the interval and made the early running. In the 51st minute Boylan raced clear on the right and slung over a dangerous cross that Meggatt did well to intercept & head over his own bar with Samson lurking in front of goal.
A few minutes later McCracken’s ball out of defence found Graham Wilson breaking clear down the left. His 1st touch took it away from goal but he recovered it and swept a good cross into the centre that was cleared out as far as Hyslop who fired wide of target from 20 yards.
The Bot had another chance in the 56th minute when Aiden Wilson raced in off the left and tried to break into the box. He was baulked but the ball squeezed through to Samson inside the area and his low drive was blocked by Truesdale at his right hand post.
Another half chance came Talbot’s way on the hour mark. Hyslop’s head flick on found Samson in space down the right of the penalty area but he delayed his shot a fraction & a defender was able to get across to block his effort.
A minute later Talbot had an effort on target when the ball fell to Hyslop on the left of the area. He got off a left foot strike but it lacked the power to really test the keeper.
Darvel hadn’t been seen much in the 2nd half but in the 65th minute Miller found himself in space on the right but his cross had too much on it and sailed over Kirkpatrick at the far post.
Talbot now made their 1st change with Shankland coming on for Graham Wilson.
The Bot had a chance to test the Darvel defence in the 69th minute when Darvel were penalised for handball out on the right. Shankland put in a good delivery but Stirling made a good defensive header to clear.
Darvel now made their first change with Thomson replacing Kirkpatrick.
Talbot won a free kick out on the left in the 72nd minute for a hefty challenge on Shankland. He took the set piece & whipped it into the centre. It was cleared out to Boylan at the edge of the area but he lashed his shot well over.
It just wasn’t happening for Talbot in the final third; a fact underlined in the 73rd minute when Samson slid a great ball through to release Boylan down the right of the area but his 1st touch took him too wide and the chance was lost.
A minute later Shankland had a half chance at the edge of the area but blazed it way off target.
The visitors now made their 2nd change with Boland on for Miller.
Darvel could & probably should have sealed it in the 76th minute. Stirling’s ball from the right went straight to Thomson in front of goal but he side-footed it well wide of the far post.
The visitors managed to see the final 10 minutes out without too many alarms. Talbot threw on two late substitutions with Mason on for Boylan & McDowall replacing Armstrong but they had no real time to make an impact. The closing minutes of the game saw a further rush of names into the notebook with Healy cautioned for a foul and Stafford yellow carded for dissent before Marr received a late caution for tripping McPherson.
It wasn’t Talbot’s night but the Bot remain top of the table – 3 points clear of nearest challengers Pollok. Next up for Talbot it’s our inaugural game in the South Challenge cup where Talbot host Forth Wanderers.
Talbot did it the hard way again as they gathered all 3 points at Beechwood against Hurlford despite missing a string of clear cut chances in the 2nd half.
It was Hurlford who settled first and the Bot had a let off in the 6th minute. Whittaker won a free kick out on the right touchline which was bent over to the far corner of the 6-yard box where Magee headed it against the right hand post. Hyslop was on hand to head the rebound behind for a corner.
Talbot’s first threat came in the 11th minute when Stafford did well down the right, carrying it forward before releasing Glasgow down the wing. He tried to cut it back into the path of Shankland but didn’t get enough on it and the defence were able to clear.
The home fans had a nervy moment two minutes later when Bell gathered the ball on the bye line & pulled it back to M McKenzie who hooked a shot at goal that was headed clear.
Leishman was called into action in the 17th minute when Wilson was allowed too much time & space 30 yards from goal & drilled a shot on target that skipped up off the surface on its way through but Leishman managed to push it wide of the right post.
Talbot were struggling at this stage and the visitors threatened again in the 21st minute. Wilson switched play out to the right where Whittaker drilled the ball low across the face towards Bell but he was beaten to it and the ball cleared.
Hurlford’s goalie hadn’t been asked any questions in the opening spell but he did produce a good stop in the 22nd minute. Hyslop squared the ball inside to Boyd who wasn’t closed down & let fly from 25 yards only to see McDonald push it wide of target.
On the half hour mark Lidington had his name taken for a trip on Glasgow.
The Bot support weren’t happy with the stand side linesman as he spent most of the 1st half with his flag in the air every time Talbot crossed the halfway line with numerous offside decisions going against Talbot.
Hurlford won a free kick out on the left in the 37th minute for Stafford’s challenge on M McKenzie. Wilson took it and his ball in was headed clear by McCracken but came straight back to him and he whipped over a dangerous cross that the defence did well to head clear.
In the 42nd minute Hurlford made a change with M McKenzie leaving the field to be replaced by Coogans.
Talbot ended the half on the front foot and won a free kick on the halfway line when Robertson breenged Glasgow over which also saw the centre half pick up a booking.
Right on half time Talbot won a free kick 30 yards out when Wilson fouled Glasgow. Shankland took it and got it up and over the wall but wide of the right post and the sides went in level at the break.
The 2nd half got off to a lively start and both sides received a caution a piece in the opening 5 minutes. Firstly, Boyd was cautioned for studs showing and then a minute later Magee picked up a yellow for a blatant shove resulting in a free kick 30 yards out on the left. Shankland went for goal but it wasn’t one of his better efforts and sailed harmlessly over.
Leishman turned provider in the 51st minute when he launched the ball down the right to find Hyslop breaking into space. He carried it forward before sliding it into the front post area where McDonald was quickly off his line to beat Samson to it.
The crucial breakthrough came in the 55th minute. Hyslop picked up on the right and slid a great pass down the line to find Boyd. He skimmed a low ball across the face in the fun zone between the defence and the keeper and MAGEE bundled it into his own net whilst trying to clear.
The goal energised Talbot and 4 minute later Glasgow skipped inside on the left of the area and tested the keeper with a low drive on target.
Talbot made their first change on the hour mark with Healy coming on for Boyd.
The Bot had a chance to double their lead in the 64th minute. McCracken lifted it up the right to find Samson racing clear and his early ball across the area came to Glasgow 12 yards out but he fired wide of McDonald’s right hand post.
In the 69th minute a ball over the top saw Samson just beaten to it with the defence forced to knock it behind for a corner. Shankland fired it over and Hylsop met it with a diving header that was deflected wide of the right post but not according to the officials who awarded a goal kick.
Next to have a go for Talbot was Shankland who cut in off the right on his left foot & fired for goal but McDonald made a good stop.
It should have been game over in the 74th minute. Shankland’s clever touch released Samson on the left and he squared it across to the far post where Healy looked set to score but he side-footed it wide of the post from 6 yards.
Hurlford had a lucky escape two minutes later. P McKenzie lost his footing inside the Bot half and Talbot were able to break quickly on the counter. There were 2 fouls in the build up with Robertson taking Samson out off the ball but the ref gave the advantage as it broke to Aiden Wilson on the left whose low drive was turned wide by McDonald. The referee could have reduced the visitors to 10 men for the fouls in the build-up but decided to take no further action.
Tucker now made two further changes with Samson & Glasgow making way for Boylan & Graham Wilson.
Boylan was barely on the pitch when he had a glorious chance to put Talbot 2 ahead. Leishman launched it down the centre where Magee slipped allowing Boylan to race onto it; unfortunately with only the keeper to beat he opted for power and lashed a half volley over the bar from 15 yards.
Six minutes from time Talbot came close once again. Shankland’s corner from the left caused chaos in the centre and the defence were only able to scramble it away as far as Aiden Wilson whose low drive from 15 yards was deflected just wide of target.
Talbot kept pushing and the next attack saw Graham Wilson release Boylan down the right and when his cross came over Shankland volleyed over the bar.
It had been all Talbot in the 2nd half but the Bot were given a scare in the 86th minute when Bell gathered the ball 25 yards out and hit a shot that dipped just over the crossbar.
A minute from time Talbot missed another clear opportunity to kill the game off. McCracken hit a great ball over the top of the defence to send Graham Wilson through one on one with the keeper but he opted to hit it early and McDonald blocked it as he advanced off his line.
A thoroughly deserved win for the Bot who recovered from an unconvincing 1st half to dominate the 2nd. Next up for Talbot it is back to Beechwood midweek where they host Darvel under the floodlights.
The fans certainly got their money’s worth with this incident packed top of the table encounter which ended all square after a topsy turvy 90 minutes.
Talbot couldn’t have made a worse start; conceding a cheap goal with only 8 minutes on the clock. There seemed no danger when a hanging cross was swung over from the left touchline but Leishman flapped at it & knocked the ball straight into the path of FORDE who rolled it into the empty net.
The Bot defence was under pressure in the 14th minute when Lyon skipped past Wilson on the right and drilled it low across the face of goal. Armstrong cleared it but only as far as Esplin whose shot was deflected wide for a corner. When the corner came over Talbot couldn’t clear their lines, resulting in pinball inside the 6-yard area, before it was finally scrambled behind.
In the 18th minute the referee produced the 1st of many cards. Pollok’s Horne was cautioned for a crunching tackle on Samson as he broke up the park and moments later McPherson received a yellow card at the other end for obstructing S McCann.
Pollok won a free kick in a good area in the 22nd minute which Forde crossed into the area. Aiden Wilson headed it clear & Talbot raced onto the counter with Glasgow spraying an early pass out to the left where Boylan raced onto it and fired a shot on target that Longmuir did well to turn round his post. When the resultant corner came over beyond the far post it was met by Wilson but his ball back across was cleared.
In the 32nd minute Talbot conceded a penalty following a long shy from the right. Wharton hurled it into the centre & the ref judged McCracken to be holding onto Forde’s shirt and pointed to the spot. MCGREGOR took it and fired it low to Leishman’s left. The Bot keeper got his fingertips to it and pushed it onto the post but it rebounded back out to McGregor who tucked away the rebound.
Two minutes later it could have been curtains for Talbot when they failed to cope with a high cross from the left. The ball broke to Lyon in front of goal but he pulled his shot wide of the left post.
Pollok found themselves a man down in the 36th minute. Horne was already on a yellow card when he clipped Glasgow’s heels to prevent him breaking free and the ref produced a 2nd yellow to send him to the clubhouse.
Two minutes later and the referee awarded the 2nd penalty of the afternoon but this time it was to Talbot. Stafford whipped over a cross from the right and Samson was bundled to the ground off the ball and the ref pointed to the spot. JAMIE GLASGOW took it & kept his cool to send Longmuir the wrong way. Sideserf was then booked for dissent.
The momentum had swung Talbot’s way and in the 40th minute the Bot drew level. Wilson fed the ball to JAMIE GLASGOW inside the penalty area & he bent it beyond the keeper and into the bottom corner to make it 2-2.
A minute from the break Wharton became the latest player booked.
In the closing seconds of the half Longmuir produced an outstanding save to prevent Talbot going in ahead. Boylan did well on the right, skipping past Sideserf before squaring it across to Hyslop, who must have thought his low drive was heading into the back of the net til Longmuir managed to put it wide and so the sides went in level at the break.
Talbot started the 2nd half shakily conceding a few needless free kicks to put themselves under pressure and in the 54th minute conceded a 2nd penalty kick. Once again it came from a long throw in from the right. This time Hyslop was penalised for high feet when making a challenge and MCGREGOR gave Leishman no chance as he buried it into the roof of the net.
The referee’s notepad was filling up and in the 56th minute Esplin joined the crime count when he was cautioned for time wasting when he kicked the ball away.
Talbot now made a change with Shankland coming on in place of Boyd.
In the 59th minute Talbot had a penalty appeal waved away when Glasgow appeared to be held by Sideserf inside the box but the ref dismissed Glasgow’s appeals.
Glasgow won a corner in the 63rd minute when his cross spun behind off Wharton. The corner was taken short by Shankland to Glasgow and he fired into the side-netting.
The home side were reduced to 9 men a minute later. Brownlie keeled over in the Pollok goalmouth and was harangued by the Bot support for time-wasting. He rounded on the support and was shown a straight red for swearing at the visiting fans. A decision that is technically correct but would probably see every league fixture finish 7 a side.
Talbot had a good chance to level in the 66th minute. Samson hit a low ball across the face of goal that Hyslop helped on toward the back post where it fell to Glasgow who blazed it over the bar.
A minute later Pollok found themselves down to 8 men. Bizarrely the referee awarded Pollok a free kick for McCracken’s challenge on Forde and then sent Forde off for elbowing McCracken who had to receive treatment for a cut & leave the field to change into another top.
With Pollok down to 8 men it was now a case of Lok lining up along their 18 yard line and Talbot trying to break them down.
In the 73rd minute Shankland fed it out to Stafford on the right and he swept over a good cross that McGregor headed over his own bar. The corner was pulled back to McPherson who passed it straight back to Shankland who swung over a cross into the centre. McCracken went down in the 6-yard area appealing for a shove but the ref waved away the penalty shout.
The Bot support must have thought it wasn’t to be our day in the 74th minute when Longmuir produced a fantastic stop to prevent the equaliser. McCracken met Shankland’s corner from the left & did everything right only to see Lok’s keeper managed to keep his header out.
With 12 minutes remaining Talbot made their 2nd change with Graham Wilson coming on for Boylan.
In the 82nd minute Stafford pinged a cross into the centre which broke back to Graham Wilson 15 yards out but his shot at goal was blocked away.
With Pollok down to 8 it was nonstop pressure with Lok unable to have any out ball and every time they cleared it the ball coming straight back at them. Talbot were racking up the crosses and corners but Lok were withstanding the pressure.
In the 84th minute Talbot won a corner on the left that Shankland took quickly and played short into the feet of Graham Wilson. He squared it to Samson but once again a shot at goal was blocked away in the crowded 6-yard area.
Just when it appeared as though Talbot were going to be frustrated the Bot drew level in the 89th minute. Glasgow knocked a good ball over from the left and GRAHAM WILSON met it to flick it beyond Longmuir to make it 3-3.
The drama wasn’t over though. In the final minute a shy from the left was only partially cleared and came to Shankland at the edge of the area but he fired over the bar.
As the game entered injury time Talbot had another chance to take all 3 points. Shankland released Stafford on the overlap and he swung over a good cross that Samson headed over.
Deep into injury time Longmuir defied Talbot with two incredible saves. Firstly, he dived low to his left to keep out McCracken’s net bound header and moments later he managed to tip Aiden Wilson’s screamer from 18 yards over his crossbar to ensure Pollok held out for the draw.
A frustrating afternoon for Talbot who would gratefully have settled for a point when 2 down but will be disappointed that they couldn’t force a winner for all their pressure late on.
After a long stretch of away days it is back to Beechwood next Saturday as Talbot take on Hurlford in the league.
Talbot kept their winning streak going, but only just, as they were pushed all the way by Rossvale in this mid-week encounter.
The Bot made a positive start and forced a corner in the 3rd minute when Aiden Wilson cut in off the left & saw his shot deflected behind. Shankland hit the corner deep beyond the far post where it found McDowall in space & he angled a low shot across the face and wide of target.
A defensive blunder from the hosts gifted Talbot a clear chance in the 11th minute. A square ball across the back four was easily intercepted by Graham Wilson who raced forward to the edge of the area but fired his shot wide of the keeper’s right post.
After a shaky start Rossvale began to grow into it and they carved out a decent chance in the 25th minute. Dolan threaded a pass down the right channel to find Torrance inside the Talbot box but his low drive was held by Leishman at his left post.
Two minutes later Talbot had a half chance when Shankland found space on the left. He whipped over a dangerous cross that Morgan headed clear but Talbot retrieved it & worked it back out left to Shankland. This time his cross took a deflection off Torrance & floated beyond the keeper & bounced across the goal mouth where Samson slipped whilst trying to get on the end of it.
The home side were forced into a change in the 40th minute when Rodger couldn’t continue and he was eventually replaced by J Young after a lengthy stoppage. Rossvale ended the half strongly but couldn’t test Leishman and the sides went in goal less at the break.
Rossvale made the early running in the 2nd half and won a free kick in a good area within a minute of the re-start. Kerr took it but opted to go for goal rather than cross it and fired a shot well over the bar.
Talbot had a lucky escape in the 51st minute when a pass out right found Dolan in space beyond the far post. He drilled it low across the face of goal where it hit Kerr rather than the other way round & spun off the striker and went wide of Leishman’s right post.
Having weathered the storm Talbot took the lead against the run of play in the 54th minute. Shankland gathered on the right & swept a cross to the far post where Samson met it & nodded it back across goal to GRAHAM WILSON who rammed it home from inside the 6-yard box.
Two minutes later Talbot had a half chance to give themselves a cushion when they broke via Graham Wilson. He carried it forward before sliding it to the left into the path of Aiden Wilson who ran onto it and drilled a shot just over the crossbar.
Down the other end Rossvale had the Talbot defence at full stretch in the 63rd minute when Dolan gathered the ball near the bye line and hit a low ball across the face of goal. There were no takers in the centre but Lyle was forced to put it behind for the corner.
A 2nd goal for Talbot would have settled it and it nearly came in the 65th minute. McDowall picked up on the right edge of the penalty area before laying it out wide to find Shankland. He squared it across the area where Graham Wilson me it 15 yards out and his shot took a slight deflection as it flew over the bar.
Talbot now made a double change with Samson & McDowall making way for Boyd & Stafford as Talbot switched to a 4-4-2. Rossvale also made a change with Diack replacing Kerr up top.
Rossvale had a chance to level it in the 70th minute. Dolan’s cross from the right wasn’t dealt with in and it broke kindly for Hogg 12 yards out but he didn’t catch it cleanly & his right foot shot drifted wide of the left post.
With quarter of an hour remaining Talbot were forced into a final change when Healy went over on his ankle and had to hobble off to be replaced by Hyslop.
The home side had Talbot pegged back but without really testing Leishman and this was illustrated in the 82nd minute when a poor clearance came out to J Young 25 yards from goal and he ballooned his shot over the bar & nearly out of the stadium.
Talbot were looking to hit on the break and launched a good counter with 5 minutes remaining. Aiden Wilson raced away on the left and whipped over a good early cross towards Graham Wilson that Morgan did well to intercept & head over his own bar. When Shankland’s corner came over from the left it was swung beyond the far post where it found Stafford in space but his header was held at his near post by Gordon.
With 2 minutes remaining Rossvale won a corner when Urquhart’s long diagonal ball was headed behind by Aiden Wilson. When the corner came over it resulted in a scrabble inside the 6-yard box which ended with Leishman palming the ball behind for a 2nd corner but this time it came to nothing.
In the final minute of regulation time Talbot swept up the park on the counter-attack. Shankland fed it out to Graham Wilson on the right and his cross was met in the centre by the on rushing Aiden Wilson who flung himself to direct a diving header on target that was held by Gordon.
Deep into injury time Talbot had one final scare. A long shy from the left was thrown into the near post where it was headed back out to the left wing. Kavanagh gathered and curled a dangerous cross towards the back post but no one could get on the end of it and Talbot held out for the win.
A tough night for Talbot but another clean sheet and another valuable 3 points away from home. Next up for Talbot it is another trip to Glasgow this Saturday as the travel through to Newlandsfield for a top of the table clash with Pollok.
Talbot made it 4 wins on the bounce as they eased past Blantyre to record another 3 points away from home.
From the get go it was all Talbot and the Bot threatened in the 4th minute when Glasgow escaped Marshall down the left & slung a dangerous ball across the face of goal that went begging.
Three minutes later Talbot had another opportunity after Glasgow was shoved to the deck. Shankland took the free kick & curled a good delivery into the area that McCracken just failed to reach.
Talbot kept the pressure up & won a corner in the 10th minute when Boylan rolled the ball back into the path of Hyslop whose shot was deflected behind off Marshall’s head. Shankland fired the corner in low & Campbell made a hash of it – coming to claim it but letting the ball sail right through him – but fortunately for the home side a defender was on hand to clear.
The home side had another let off in the 20th minute. Boylan nicked in to rob Campbell of the ball when the keeper was hesitant & took it wide of him before sliding it across goal. His shot came off the base of the post & came out to Glasgow who slotted it home but was adjudged to have fouled Jones in front of goal.
Shankland came close to firing Talbot ahead in the 22nd minute. Boylan chested the ball down into his path & he fizzed a shot just over the bar from 20 yards.
The pressure was telling & Marshall had his name taken moments later when he impeded Boylan down the left wing. Shankland took the resultant free kick & fired it low into the centre where it broke back to Healy 18 yards out but he fired straight at the keeper.
Talbot’s persistence paid off in the 26th minute when they grabbed the opening goal. Wilson did well out on the left, charging forward before drilling it low across the face of goal where JAMIE GLASGOW stabbed it home from close range.
Blantyre huffed & puffed to no great effect without ever offering any real threat to the Bot defence with Talbot well in control of proceedings. They did win a few free kicks midway inside the Bot half but were unable to trouble the Talbot rearguard.
In the 41st minute Glasgow did well to win the ball out on the left & played it early up the line to Boylan who won a corner off Gibson. Shankland swept it into the near post where GARETH ARMSTRONG headed home to send Talbot in 2-0 ahead at the interval.
The 2nd half followed the same pattern as the 1st with Talbot doing the pressing.
In the 52nd minute Shankland chipped the ball through to find Aiden Wilson breaking into the box & Campbell blocked his fierce drive at his near post at the expense of a corner. When Shankland’s corner came over Campbell managed to punch it clear but the ball came back out to Shankland & when he crossed it back over it fell to BRYAN BOYLAN who slotted a low shot home to make it 3-0 to Talbot.
The Bot had a chance to extend their lead on the hour mark. Glasgow fed it down the left to find Healy racing free & he delivered it across the 6-yard area where Shankland met it but his 1st touch broke away from him & the chance was gone.
Talbot made a double substitution in the 66th minute with Glasgow & Boylan making way for Graham Wilson & Mason.
Two minutes after coming on both subs were involved when Aiden Wilson won the ball & played it down the line to find Mason in space. He placed a cross right on the head of Graham Wilson who was denied a goal by a tremendous stop from Campbell who managed to tip his header over the crossbar.
With quarter of an hour remaining Talbot made their final change when McDowall came on for Hyslop.
Talbot had shifted down a gear or two and for the 1st time in the match Blantyre threatened the Bot goal. In the 76th minute Kearney broke down the left after intercepting Stafford’s pass & fired a shot across goal and wide of the far post. Two minutes later Kearney raced onto a good cut back from the right & lashed a shot at goal that Leishman did well to turn behind.
That was it for the home side and Talbot ended the game ended the game strongly – pushing hard for a further goal in the closing stages. In the 84th minute Graham Wilson swept a great ball over from the left that Mason was inches from converting in the centre. Two minutes a ball over the top found Graham Wilson racing free on the left & he played it back to Shankland whose cross was glanced wide of goal by Mason.
Three points, three goals and a clean sheet for Talbot and in truth the margin of victory flattered the hosts. Next up for Talbot is a tough away day in the senior cup when they travel to face Irvine Meadow next Saturday.
SPONSORED BY: THE WILLIE YOUNG LOYAL SUPPORTERS CLUB, MM OLD CROCKS
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.