PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.
Talbot lost their spot at the top of the table after a frustrating afternoon at New Tinto park which ended all square.
The first half was a bit of a non-event with Talbot struggling to cope against a stiff breeze and Benburb constantly going long and overhitting it.
The first of very chances in the 1st half came Talbot’s way in the 12th minute. A shy from the right wasn’t cleared by the home defence and came to Graham Wilson 16 yards out but he fired wide of the left hand post.
Benburb’s first attack came in the 23rd minute when Black sent a good square pass out to Lovering on the left wing and his cross into the near post was well cleared by Stafford.
In the 33rd minute Docherty picked up a caution for petulantly kicking the ball away after conceding a free kick for a foul on Stafford.
The Bot had a half chance in the 40th minute when Wardope played a good ball in behind the Bens defence for Boylan to race onto. He burst down the left side of the penalty area but the ball wouldn’t sit down for him and he drilled a left foot shot across goal and wide of the far post.
In the final minute of the half McPherson was caught late in an aerial challenge by Lovering but the ref took no further action and the sides went in goal less at the break.
The 2nd half got off to a much livelier start than the insipid first and both sides threatened within a minute of the restart. The ball broke to Duncanson on the right of Talbot’s penalty area and he played a dangerous ball across goal towards McDonald but he lost his footing and the chance was lost. Play then immediately switched to the other end where Wardrope’s ball up the right found Boylan racing down the wing and he whipped a great ball into the centre but there were no takers.
Black had his name taken in the 48th minute for a late challenge on McCracken as he cleared the ball.
A minute later he ought to have given Bens the lead. McDonald knocked the ball into his path but with time and space he snatched at it and blazed a shot off target.
With 54 mins gone Talbot made their 1st change with Shankland coming on for Mason.
One minute later Talbot took the lead. Shankland laid the ball off to Graham Wilson and his pass up the left wing found BRYAN BOYLAN who swung a cross over to the back post that deceived the keeper and landed in the net.
Benburb now made a change with McDonald making way for Meechan.
Talbot had a let off in the 59th minute. A shy from the left was only partially cleared and fell to Taylor whose shot was deflected just past the left hand post.
In the 61st minute Talbot might have wrapped it up. Shankland’s short pass found Graham Wilson and he rolled it into the path of Aiden Wilson whose fierce drive was saved at his near post by McCready. The ball came across the face of goal to Samson who saw his effort cleared off the line.
A minute later Samson had his name taken for what looked like a fairly innocuous challenge.
It was all level after 63 minutes as the Bens scored a controversial equaliser. McCracken hit a poor clearance that was intercepted and played out to BLACK on the right. He got past McPherson and lobbed it home only for the assistant to raise his flag and call the ref over to advise it had hit his hand in the build-up. It looked like the goal was going to be chalked off but the referee over-ruled his assistant and the goal stood.
Talbot now made a defensive re-shuffle with McCracken who appeared to be suffering a knock making way for Crawford who went to right-back with Stafford going into the centre.
Benburb’s tails were up and they should have taken the lead in the 66th minute. A long shy from the left was head flicked on by Meechan toward the back post where it hit off Black and went just wide of the post.
In the 73rd minute Talbot regained the lead. Crawford did well on the right; surging forward before firing a cross into the near post. His cross took a slight deflection and Samson pounced on it only for McCready to make a good stop at his left post. The ball came out to KIERAN HEALY on the 18 yard line and he drilled a low left foot shot inside the left post.
Tucker now made a further change with Armstrong coming on for Boylan and Benburb were forced into a defensive change with Bow limping off to be replaced by McTaggart.
Talbot’s next attack saw Crawford hare up the right and win a corner when his cross was blocked. Wardrope played the corner into the near post where Samson tried to turn it home but failed to make contact.
The home side were reduced to 10 men with 10 minutes remaining when Docherty picked up a 2nd yellow card for a late challenge on Shankland.
Two minutes later the referee again infuriated the travelling support and Talbot bench when he turned down what appeared a stonewall penalty. Crawford raced up the right and swung a ball into the near post where the Bens defender controlled it with his arm before clearing but the referee waved away Talbot’s appeals.
Two minutes later Talbot conceded a soft 2nd goal and it was all level again. Benburb had looked threatening from throw ins and it was a shy from the left that led to the equaliser. It was hurled into the near post where Meechan head flicked it on across goal where it came off a Bot defender and crept into the far corner to make it 2-2.
As the game moved into injury time Benburb came close to grabbing all 3 points. They won a free kick out on the left that was crossed into the centre where Meechan met it but his header came back off the left post.
Talbot threw men forward in added time and had plenty of pressure but all they had to show for it was a late chance when Wardope was caught outside the box. The ball broke to Healy and the ref gave the advantage but his shot flew over the bar and the game ended 2-2.
Next up for Talbot it’s back to Beechwood for a midweek league encounter with Rossvale where the Bot will look to get back to winning ways.
Benburb – McCready, O’Hear, Leadbetter, Bow, Docherty, Taylor, Duncanson, Livingston, McDonald, Black, Lovering
Subs – McCrone, Langan, Brennan, McTaggart, Miller, Meechan
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, McCracken, Healy, Wardrope, Graham Wilson, Boylan, Mason, Samson
Subs – Shankland, Glasgow, Armstrong, Hyslop, Crawford, Hewitt
Talbot came from behind twice to secure a valuable point and maintain their lead at the top after an end to end battle at Darvel played out in front of a bumper crowd.
As the rain and hail lashed down Talbot got off to a strong start winning in a free kick in a good area within the 1st minute after Boylan was sent tumbling. Wardrope took it and his shot clipped the wall & flew just wide of the right post.
It was the Bot making the early running and Talbot had another chance in the 3rd minute. Boylan whipped over a good cross from the right that Hyslop headed just wide of target.
Darvel showed their attacking intent in the 5th minute when a ball down the left found Mackenzie running in behind McPherson. He squared it across to the far side of the area where Miller drove a low shot on target which Leishman saved well with his feet.
Leishman came to Talbot’s rescue again in the 13th minute. McCracken’s pass from the back was intercepted and Darvel broke forward through Morrison whose shot from 22 yards was turned round the right post by Leishman.
The Bot then had a half chance down the other end when the Darvel defence failed to clear their lines as the ball zipped around their area. It eventually broke out to Aiden Wilson who blasted his shot well over the bar.
The opening goal came Darvel’s way with 21 mins gone. A ball through the centre caught the Bot defence square and MACKENZIE beat the offside trap to run through on goal and take it round Leishman before passing it into the net.
Darvel’s lead though proved to be short lived and Talbot drew level in their next attack in the 24th minute. Wardrope found space on the left and crossed it into the area. It took a deflection and sailed to the back post where KIER SAMSON turned it home – taking a head knock in the process.
Talbot had the ball in the net again in the 27th minute but the goal didn’t stand. Hyslop slipped the ball out to Boylan on the right and his cross hit off Caldwell and spun high in the air. Graham Wilson jumped with the keeper and forced it home but the ref awarded Darvel a free kick.
Two minutes later Talbot were denied the lead by the woodwork. Boylan gathered on the right and fed it down the line to the overlapping Samson. He swung a cross to the far post where Graham Wilson powered a header off the post with the keeper beaten.
The Bot were having a good spell and next to try his luck was Healy when he volleyed over the bar when he met a cross from the right.
The large travelling support & Talbot bench were enraged in the 32nd minute when Miller raced onto a ball down the right. He looked about 10 yards offside but the linesman was way off the pace and kept his flag down. Fortunately, no harm came of it as Miller drove the ball across the face of goal but there was no one in the centre. The referee then came across to book Tucker for his protests and moments later McPherson was yellow carded for a challenge on the far side.
In the 37th minute McCracken tried his luck from the edge of the area only to see his shot blocked and spin high toward goal. Graham Wilson pursued it in and challenged the keeper but he was booked for his trouble.
Healy almost gave Talbot the lead in the 38th minute when he drilled a left foot shoot just past the left post.
Darvel now swept up the other end and regained the lead with a well-worked goal. A quick series of one-twos ended with MCSHANE rifling an unstoppable shot past Leishman from 18 yards to make it 2-1.
Talbot looked for an early response and won a free kick just outside the area when Graham Wilson was downed. Wardrope took it but got underneath it and lifted it well over the bar.
A minute from the interval Samson got a sore one when Caldwell went right through him resulting in a booking for Darvel’s full-back and soon after the whistle sounded and Darvel went in with a narrow lead at the interval.
When the teams re-emerged for the 2nd half Darvel had made a change between the sticks with Avci coming on in place of Truesdale.
Just as they had from kick off Talbot made a positive start to the 2nd half and threatened the Darvel goal within a minute of the restart. Boylan gathered on the left and skipped past Darvel’s right-back before floating a cross onto the head of Healy who nodded it over the bar.
Talbot missed a golden opportunity to level on 50 minutes. Boylan drove forward through the centre before releasing it left to find Wardrope. He cut it back across goal where the defence failed to clear and it came to Graham Wilson who fired past the post from 15 yards.
Wardrope was next to have a go for Talbot. Boylan’s early ball found him breaking down the left. He cut inside onto his right foot but his shot lacked the power to test Avci.
In the 56th minute Meggatt received a caution for impeding Samson as he made to get onto a through ball. Wardrope took the free kick and aimed it in toward McCracken but it was just a shade too far in front of him in the centre.
The Bot had another good chance in the 59th minute when Boylan was sent free on the left. He raced into the area and knocked it wide of the keeper but went over in the box and was booked for simulation.
It was Talbot doing the pressing and the Bot had another glimpse at goal on the hour mark. Another ball threaded through the defence found Boylan on the left. He drove to the edge of the area and let fly for goal but a defender dived in to block his shot behind for the corner.
The heavy rain was making life difficult for the players and Avci nearly fell victim to it in the 63rd minute when he slipped when going to make a routine clearance. He managed to recover and partially cleared it but only as far as Graham Wilson who bent a cross over from the left but there were no takers at the back post.
Darvel hadn’t offered much in the 2nd half but they won a free kick in shooting range when McShane was brought down by Healy’s sliding tackle. Healy received a booking for the challenge and McShane took the set piece but it was easily held by Leishman.
In the 66th minute Mackenzie had an opportunity to tie it up for Darvel when the ball broke kindly to him inside the penalty area but his low drive was brilliantly saved by Leishman low to his left.
Tucker made his first change of the evening in the 71st minute when the tiring Samson made way for Glasgow and the change paid off immediately with Talbot levelling within a minute.
Wardrope cut in off the left and flighted a cross to the far side where Glasgow guided a header back across goal for DWAYNE HYSLOP to steer a header beyond the keeper.
Talbot were dealt a blow in the 74th minute – firstly when they conceded a free kick just wide of the penalty area – but also as McPherson picked up a knock and had to limp off with Crawford coming on in his place. The free kick was flashed across the goal mouth and flew behind for the goal kick.
With 10 minutes remaining Talbot came agonisingly close to taking the lead. Wardrope’s cross from the left was only cleared out as far as Healy on the 18 yard line and his low drive took a slight deflection before sliding inches wide of the left post.
Talbot made their final change in the 82nd minute with Shankland coming on for Boylan.
Both sides were tiring and Darvel’s no 10 and Glasgow both picked up cautions for fouls in the closing stages.
In the 87th minute Talbot had a late chance when Shankland laid the ball off toward Graham Wilson on the right of the area. He burst through on goal but Avci was quickly off his line to slide it clear. The ball came to Glasgow 16 yards out but his shot was blocked by a defender.
In the final minute of regulation time Wardrope split the Darvel defence with a ball out to the left to find Shankland breaking in behind but he lost his footing on the slippy surface and the chance was lost.
As the game moved into added time Darvel pushed forward looking for a late winner but couldn’t find a way through and the game ended all square.
A good away point for Talbot who now face an equally tricky midweek visit to Blair Park to face Hurlford as the Bot look to maintain their lead at the top of the table.
Darvel – Truesdale, Allan, Caldwell, Eadie, Mackenzie, McShane, Meggatt, Miller, Morrison, Stirling, Thomson
Subs – Avci, Boland, Galt, Kirkpatrick, Little, Reid, Moore
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Craig McCracken, Healy, Hyslop, Wardrope, Boylan, Samson, Graham Wilson
Subs – Shankland, Glasgow, Crawford, Armstrong, Robbie McCracken, Hewitt
PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.
Talbot hit top gear to cruise past Rutherglen and move 5 points clear at the top after recording their biggest win of the season; knocking 6 past the visitors to no reply.
The Bot were in the ascendancy from the off and nearly opened the scoring in the 7th minute. Wardrope found Wilson out on the left & he fizzed a great ball across the face of goal that both Healy then Glasgow just failed to connect with.
11 mins in Talbot won a free kick just outside the penalty area for a foul on Boylan. Shankland took it and his shot clipped off the wall and behind for the corner. Glasgow’s corner was fired into the near post where it broke back to MARK SHANKLAND who turned and lashed a left foot shot home to put Talbot 1-0 ahead.
Two minutes later Talbot were back on the attack – Shankland’s ball through the centre nearly finding Wardope’s run.
The visitors had a rare foray into the Talbot half in the 14th minute when the ball was pulled back from the right wing into the feet of Lone and he drilled a low shot straight at Leishman.
Any hopes Glencairn harboured were effectively ended in the 16th minute. O’Byrne won a 50/50 with Hyslop but when the ball broke away from him he lunged into a straight legged lunge on McCracken – leaving the ref no option but to show him a straight red.
It didn’t take Talbot long to take advantage of their extra man and the Bot doubled their lead in the 19th minute. A ball up the left found Wardrope racing free and he cut it back into the path of AIDEN WILSON whose powerful drive squeezed past McGinley at his right post.
Two minutes later it was déjà vu as once again Wardrope headed for the bye line down the left before pulling it back for Wilson to hit but this time his shot was blocked.
The chances kept coming and moments later Healy found Stafford in space on the right. He swept a dangerous cross beyond the far post where Wilson met it but McGinley managed to parry his effort.
In the 26th minute Glencairn put together a good counter as they moved the ball swiftly from right to left to send Schoneville scurrying free. He fired it across the 6-yard area where Wilson managed to bundle it clear.
Talbot looked certain to grab their 3rd in the 33rd minute. Shankland charged down an attempted clearance and the ball broke to Boylan on the right of the area. He swept it across goal to the far post where Glasgow looked set to prod it home but he got his feet tangled and the ball hit off him and deflected clear.
The goal wasn’t long in coming though and Talbot moved 3rd ahead in the 38th minute. Wardope’s first attempted cross was headed back out to him and he released Wilson on the overlap. He hit the bye line before pulling it back for MARK SHANKLAND to fire a low drive inside the right post.
The Bot moved 4-0 ahead in the 42nd minute. McCracken swung over an inch perfect cross from the right to find MARK SHANKLAND beyond the far post and he guided a header back across goal to complete his hat-trick.
A minute before the interval Shankland came close to adding another. Healy got free on the right and swept over an early cross that broke into the path of Shankland who was only denied his 4th by a fingertip save from McGinley who turned it past his left post. When the corner came over Boylan met it but his glancing header was held by the keeper and Talbot trooped off 4 goals to the good.
The visitors made a change at the start of the 2nd half with Lone making way for Murray.
Talbot started as they’d left off – piling forward in numbers and soon after the restart Shankland tested the defence with a dangerous ball in from the right that was turned behind for a corner. Shortly after, Glasgow had a half chance when Stafford laid the ball off into his path but he blazed his shot well over from the edge of the area.
In the 51st minute Healy clipped the ball down the left to find Boylan racing forward. He lifted a cross into the centre where Shankland thumped a header against the crossbar from 6 yards out.
Within a minute Talbot won a free kick out on the left as the pressure told on the visitors. Shankland swept it to the back post where it was only half cleared. The ball came to McCracken who was impeded and the ref pointed to the spot. MARK SHANKLAND stepped up to take it and drilled the penalty beyond McGinley and inside the right post to put Talbot 5-0 ahead.
With the game long since won Tucker now made a double switch with Shankland & Hyslop making way for Mason and Crawford who came on for his debut.
Talbot’s next effort at goal came in the 56th minute when they were awarded a free kick inside the Glencairn half for Leitch’s late challenge on Mason. It was taken short to Wardrope and he carried it forward before firing narrowly past the right post from 30+ yards.
Rutherglen now made a further change with Maley coming on for Leitch.
Talbot completed their changes in the 62nd minute when Robbie McCracken replaced Boylan.
In the 64th minute Mason gathered the ball on the left of the area and traversed a couple of challenges before finally being brought down by Coleman just outside the area. Mason took the resultant free kick but fired it low into the wall.
McGinley did well to deny Talbot a 6th in the 72nd minute. Wilson’s chip into the area found the head of Glasgow who glanced it across the area to pick out Crawford on the right. He rolled it back to Mason whose shot was well saved by the keeper.
Glencairn now made their final change with Cummins replacing McIlveen.
The sub had a decent chance to grab a consolation in the 76th minute when he met Schoneville’s corner from the right but he glanced his header beyond the far post.
Talbot completed the scoring with 6 minutes remaining. A Rutherglen player went through the back of Mason resulting in a booking and a free kick to Talbot 30 yards from goal. Wardrope took it and clipped a great ball through the centre where LEWIS CRAWFORD steered a diving header past McGinley to make it 6-0.
The Bot kept pressing but couldn’t add to their tally.
A great performance and good confidence booster as next up for Talbot it’s a Scottish Junior semi-final against in form Rob Roy at Meadow Park.
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Craig McCracken, Wardrope, Healy, Boylan, Shankland, Glasgow
Subs – Armstrong, Samson, Mason, Robbie McCracken, Crawford, Hewitt
Rutherglen Glencairn – McGinley, Coleman, Schoneville, Shields, O’Byrne, Leitch, Lone, McGuire, McIlveen, Pearson, Mitchell
Subs – Cummins, Murray, Maley, McNeill, Imrie, McLellan
PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.
Talbot had to settle for a share of the spoils at Largs but it ended up a point gained rather than two lost as both their title rivals went down to defeat.
There was plenty of commitment from both sides but little excitement with goal mouth incidents being few and far between.
The first effort of the match came in the 14th minute when Glasgow laid the ball back to Armstrong and he fired over the bar from 22 yards.
Five minutes later Graham Wilson gathered on the right before squaring it inside to Glasgow. He in turn fed it on to Aiden Wilson who drilled a shot wide of the right hand post from the edge of the area.
The opening goal came in the 28th minute and it was Talbot who broke the deadlock. Wardrope was fouled out near the right touchline and he took the resultant free kick – sweeping a cross over which CRAIG MCCRACKEN headed beyond the keeper.
Talbot couldn’t build on their lead but weren’t under any pressure either from the home side.
In the 38th minute McMaster was cautioned for a scything challenge on Graham Wilson.
Largs levelled in the 41st minute and there was a hint of controversy over it. Thistle won a corner down the left that was lifted deep beyond the far post. Graham Wilson miscued a header back into the centre where WILLIAM SEWELL guided a header home. Talbot vehemently protested that Leishman had been impeded when the corner came over but the officials ignored the protests and the goal stood and the half finished all square.
Talbot started the 2nd half positively and Graham Wilson almost found Samson with a cushioned header but it just eluded him and the keeper was able to gather.
Talbot’s next attack saw Glasgow turn his man and burst down the left. He was impeded but the ref gave the advantage and he was able to fire a cross into the near post which the defence managed to knock behind for the corner.
In the 56th minute Wardrope tested the defence with a dangerous low cross from the right that they just managed to scramble to safety.
George Sewell had his name taken in the 58th minute for a shirt tug on Glasgow as he raced forward.
Talbot had a good chance to retake the lead on the hour mark. Armstrong lifted a ball down the left that Graham Wilson won in the air. He nodded it into the path of Samson inside the box but Farrell blocked his shot at his right hand post. The rebound came out to Graham Wilson but he failed to connect with an attempted scissors kick.
The Bot’s next attack saw Wardrope bend a good ball in from the right that McGoldrick dived to head behind for the corner. When the corner came in Farrell punched it clear but it only came out to Armstrong on the right. He fired it low across the 6-yard area where it skipped up off a defender and Graham Wilson looped a header back across goal that just dropped over the bar.
Largs had an opportunity to test Leishman in the 74th minute when McPherson conceded a free kick 30 yards out for handball. William Sewell got it up and over the wall but Leishman had read it and made a comfortable save.
Two minutes later Talbot should have had a free kick just outside the Largs box. Healy lifted it down the right where McMaster clearly controlled it with his hand but somehow the assistant ref failed to spot it.
Talbot now made a double switch with Boylan & Shankland on for Glasgow & Wardrope.
The subs were involved soon after coming on when Boylan gathered on the left and pulled it back to Shankland inside the area but his attempted shot was blocked.
In the 81st minute Samson’s long throw wasn’t dealt with by the home defence and it fell to Stafford 15 yards out but his shot was blocked and ran through to Farrell.
Down the other end Talbot had a scare when a defensive lapse saw George Sewell race clear on the right. He slid it across the area to find his brother but William Sewell scooped his shot over the bar from 6 yards out though it wouldn’t have counted anyway as the linesman’s flag had went up.
Talbot were looking leggy and it was the home side who finished the stronger.
Largs had a good chance to claim all 3 points in the 84th minute when a free kick flighted into the area broke off McCracken and fell kindly for William Sewell but he blasted his shot over the bar.
Tucker made one final change in the closing stages with Mason on for Healy.
The final effort at goal came from Largs when Forbes raced forward but he lost his balance as he was shooting and his right footed effort was easily smothered by Leishman and Talbot held out to claim the point.
Next up for Talbot it is back to Beechwood where they host Rutherglen in midweek as the Bot will look to extend their lead at the top of the table.
Largs Thistle – Farrell, Hughes, McMaster, McGoldrick, Ballantyne, Faulds, George Sewell, McBryde, William Sewell, Adam, Forbes
Subs – Duff, McLeod, Docherty, Love, Gray, Zadarnowaki
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Craig McCracken, Healy, Wardrope, Armstrong, Samson, Graham Wilson, Glasgow
Subs – Shankland, Mason, Crawford, Hyslop, Boylan, Hewitt
SPONSORs: Loons Supporters Club
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.
SPONSORS: Stephen Ferroll, Loons Supporters Club.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.
MURRAYS MATCH REPORT
Talbot climbed to the top of the table after defeating Bonnyton Thistle at a sunny Beechwood with results elsewhere going Talbot’s way.
The Bot nearly got off to a flying start when Graham Wilson’s shot just cleared the crossbar in the 2nd minute.
Down the other end Gilroy had a half chance for the visitors when he got in behind the defence but took a heavy 1st touch and could only fire well wide of goal.
Four minutes in and Talbot came close again. Samson hit the bye line on the right of the area before pulling it back for Wardrope whose shot slid just wide of the right post.
The visitors had to make an early change in the 7th minute when Gilroy limped off to be replaced by Abhorh.
Talbot’s next effort came in the 10th minute. A loose clearance cannoned off Glasgow who burst through the defence but stabbed his shot past the left post.
Bonnyton put together a nice move in the 21st minute as they worked it right to left to find Gardiner haring down the left of the penalty area. He tried to square it across goal but it was blocked behind for the corner.
Three minutes later the visitors had a half chance when Leitch’s long ball was headed on into the path of McColm and he hit it first time into the side-netting.
Bonnyton were having a good spell and had a chance to test Leishman in the 26th minute when Davidson was fouled just outside the area. Davidson took the free kick himself but lifted it way over the bar.
Bonnyton were now forced into a 2nd injury related substitution with Wilson coming on for Smith.
Talbot did have the ball in the net on the 29th minute but the goal didn’t stand. Glasgow cut in off the left and his curling shot was parried by the keeper. The rebound came to Wardrope who rifled a shot off the right hand post and when it came back out Graham Wilson turned it home but the assistant ref had his flag raised.
Leishman didn’t have the busiest of afternoons but was called upon in the 31st minute when Davidson found the target from 25 yards forcing Andy to dive to his right to smother it.
In the 39th minute Talbot won a free kick in a dangerous area after Samson had his heels clipped outside the box. Wardrope’s low drive was parried away at his right post by Leitch and the ball came out to Aiden Wilson whose ball back across the face was turned behind for a corner.
Talbot ended the half on the front foot. As it moved into added time Samson gathered on the left of the area and tested the keeper with a shot from a tight angle that Leitch saved with his outstretched leg. It came out to Graham Wilson who hooked a good shot on target that Leitch turned past his right post. Talbot forced a flurry of consecutive corners but couldn’t make them count and the sides went in goal less at the interval.
From the outset Talbot looked to have stepped it up a gear for the 2nd half. Within a minute Wardrope dummied Armstrong’s through ball to create space for Stafford on the overlap and his low ball in was held by Leitch at his near post.
In the 50th minute a ball down the right found Graham Wilson and he crossed it early into the centre where Samson just failed to connect with an attempted scissors kick.
A minute later Glasgow burst forward before releasing it wide to find Healy who lifted a good cross into the centre that Walsh managed to head to safety.
It was all Talbot and the next chance came in the 55th minute when Glasgow sent Aiden Wilson free on the overlap and his cross was met by Samson who saw his header tipped over the bar.
From the resultant corner Graham Wilson’s head flick was cleared off the line by Kelly.
Talbot looked to be denied a stonewall penalty in the 59th minute. Armstrong headed the ball on down the right to find Glasgow inside the penalty area. He was taken out by a clumsy challenge but the referee waved away Talbot’s appeals and McCracken ended up in the book for dissent.
In the 62nd minute Talbot’s pressure paid off though the opener had a slice of fortune about it. Leishman sent the ball out to Aiden Wilson who pinged it down the line to find JAMIE GLASGOW who cut back onto his right foot and curled over a cross from the left touchline that deceived Leitch and curled into the far corner of the net.
Four minutes later Talbot came close again with an action replay of the 1st goal. This time the Bot were awarded a free kick out wide on the left which Wardrope bent just wide of the far post.
Talbot now made their 1st change with Boylan on in place of Glasgow.
In the 70th minute Talbot won a free kick just outside the penalty area when Walsh upended Samson for which he received a caution. Wardrope lifted it beyond the far post where McCracken headed it back across goal and Graham Wilson fired a shot off the bar but the linesman’s flag was raised for offside.
The visitors now made their final change with Allan on for Jenkins.
The game was over as a contest in the 74th minute when Talbot doubled their lead. Wardrope fired on target from 20 yards, Leitch failed to hold it and GRAHAM WILSON pounced to turn the rebound home.
Tucker now immediately made a double switch with Samson and Graham Wilson making way for Shankland and Mason.
The two subs were involved in Talbot’s 3rd goal in the 79th minute. Mason did well to close down Wallace inside his own area and block his clearance. It spun up high in the air and when it dropped down Mason cut it back into the path of MARK SHANKLAND who buried it low inside the right hand post.
In the 82nd minute Talbot won a free kick at the left edge of the penalty area following a foul on Boylan. Shankland curled it over the wall but it flew just wide of the right post into the side-netting.
With 4 minutes remaining Armstrong found Boylan breaking down the right. He lifted it over Gardiner and ran round him before firing it just over the bar on the half volley.
In the final minute of regulation time Robertson almost nabbed a consolation effort when he gathered on the left of the area and tried to curl it inside the far post but his effort went just wide.
Just as they had in the 1st half Talbot ended strongly and nearly added a fourth when Wardrope’s deep cross from the left looked to be heading in but Leitch just managed to tip it over and despite piling on late pressure Talbot couldn’t add to their tally.
A strong 2nd half performance from Talbot who now have a week off from league duties as next Saturday they host Pollok in the South Challenge cup.
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Craig McCracken, Armstrong, Healy, Wardrope, Graham Wilson, Samson, Glasgow
Subs – Boylan, Mason, Hyslop, Shankland, Robbie McCracken, Crawford
Bonnyton Thistle – Leitch, Wallace, Gardiner, Robertson, Walsh, Smith, Jenkins, Kelly, Gilroy, Davidson, McColm
Subs – Allan, Abhorh, Walker, Hannah, Wilson