Photographs by Paul Flynn.
Photographs by Paul Flynn.
There was little to get the crowd excited in a drab 1st half, which although dominated by Talbot, saw the Bot fail to test the visiting keeper, largely due to poor final balls into the box.
The 1st close call came in the 18th minute for the visitors. The Bot defence failed to cope with a long punt down the centre & it ended up with Martin on the right edge of the area. He carried it forward before drilling a shot into the side-netting.
A minute later Talbot won a free kick in a decent area following a foul on Faulds. Shankland bent a great ball across to the back post but no Bot player read it & it drifted behind for a goal kick.
Talbot threatened again in the 22nd minute. Shankland swept a dangerous ball in from the left that only required a touch to send it into the net but McIlroy couldn’t quite reach it.
Cassidy had his name taken in the 26th minute for persistent fouling and he was joined in the book by Gow in the 33rd minute for a late challenge on Thomson.
In a rare flash of quality Armstrong found Shankland on the left with a great diagonal pass in the 35th minute. Shankland burst into the area & squared it across goal but El-Zubaidi beat McIlroy to it 6 yards out to clear. The ball came back out to Shankland on the left & he swerved a shot wide of the far post.
Talbot’s next attack saw Pooler latch onto a ball into the left side of the penalty area. He managed to round Hallford but was forced wide & his final ball across was knocked behind for a corner and that was about it for the 1st half.
The home support were hoping for better after the interval & were rewarded with a goal within a minute of the re-start. Pope lifted a ball down the left for McIlroy to chase. Hallford came out hoping to claim it but the ball didn’t come into the box & as the keeper hesitated McIlroy nicked it round him & made for the bye line where he floated a cross over to the far post for KLARK THOMSON to head home from close range.
A few minutes later Talbot came close again. Thomson fed the ball inside to Pooler who showed good feet to create space for himself before firing a shot just wide of the right post.
Carluke made their 1st change in the 58th minute with Vezza replacing Cassidy.
Talbot had a chance to extend their lead a minute later. Pooler played it on to McIlroy on the right of the box & Hallford did well to block his low drive with his feet.
Tucker made a double switch in the 66th minute with Steven Wilson & Pooler making way for Hyslop & Graham Wilson.
The visitors found themselves a man down in the 67th minute when Gow was guilty of a clumsy tackle on G Wilson that resulted in his 2nd yellow & a trip to the clubhouse.
It was all Talbot but as in the 1st half they were toiling to find the final ball & moves were breaking down in the final third.
Shankland was unlucky not to double Talbot’s lead in the 73rd minute when he climbed to meet Thomson’s cross from the right. He steered his header low inside the right post but Hallford made an impressive stop to turn it round the post.
It was 10 men each in the 82nd minute. The ball broke away from McCracken & he lunged into a tackle to retrieve it, catching Haddow, and receiving a straight red. Haddow was unable to continue & was replaced by Lowdon.
Talbot now made their final change with Glasgow coming on for McIlroy.
The closing stages were played out in the Carluke half but Talbot couldn’t get the better of Hallford. With 3 minutes remaining Pope’s diagonal pass found Shankland free on the right but Carluke’s keeper parried his effort away.
The keeper was involved again shortly after when he dived to cut out Fauld’s angled ball across goal.
Talbot had one final chance to grab a goal deep into injury time. El-Zubaidi conceded a free kick 22 yards out after wrestling G Wilson to the deck. Shankland took it but fired the set piece over the bar.
Talbot made hard work of it but got the win & that’s the be all & end all of cup football. Next up for Talbot it’s back to league business when they host an in form Rob Roy side.
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Armour, Pope, McPherson, McCracken, S Wilson, Thomson, Faulds, Pooler, McIlroy, Shankland
Subs – G Wilson, Glasgow, Hyslop, Harvey, White
Carluke Rovers – Hallford, Renwick, Gow, Lambie, El-Zubaidi, Haddow, Martin, Kane, Watt, Cassidy, Biggart
Subs – Lowdon, Vezza, Weir, Haley, Thomson (gk)
Talbot made wholesale changes for this 3rd round West tie but still had enough to see off Maybole & advance to the quarter finals.
The fans basked in the sunshine, enjoying the fine weather, but with little to keep them engaged on the park in a dull 1st half.
Talbot enjoyed the bulk of the ball but the 1st real chance came Maybole’s way in the 18th minute. Scott headed Peacock’s long ball out to the right to find Brown in space inside the area. He drilled a low shot back across goal which Leishman saved comfortably.
Maybole were content to sit in their own half, inviting Talbot onto them and with Talbot struggling to find their feet in the last third, the tactic worked during the 1st half.
In a 1st half of precious few chances Shankland had one of Talbot’s best in the 32nd minute. Pooler hit the bye line & cut it back into the area where Shankland ran onto it but side-footed his effort straight at Masterton.
A minute later Talbot had another opportunity to take the lead. A free kick was shoved short to Stevenson & he whipped a good cross over into the centre where White bulleted a free header over the bar.
Maybole could have been a man down in the 39th minute. Peacock lunged into a reckless tackle & was fortunate the referee only produced a yellow card, and that was about it for a tepid 1st half.
The 2nd half was 4 mins old when Scott picked up Maybole’s 2nd caution for a late challenge on Latta. Before Talbot could take the free kick, the tannoy crackled into life with an announcement that the police were requesting that all cars double parked on a street outside the ground be moved immediately to allow access, or the game would have to be abandoned. In a bizarre turn of events the game was held up for around 15 minutes whilst spectators, the referee & some of the Maybole squad had to leave the ground to shift their motors, before play was able to resume.
The short break didn’t do Talbot any harm and within minutes of the re-start they were threatening the Maybole goal. Shankland gathered on the left & fired a shot at goal that was blocked straight back to him. This time he whipped a cross into the 6-yard box which Peacock deflected over his own bar.
Maybole had barely crossed the halfway line yet they could have taken the lead in the 61st minute. Scott spun away from Latta inside the penalty area before firing a low drive wide of Leishman’s left post.
In the 69th minute another Maybole player found himself in the ref’s book when Connor was cautioned for a late challenge on Stevenson on the right touchline.
Talbot made their 1st change in the 77th minute with Milliken coming on for McCracken and the sub made an immediate impact being involved in the build up to Talbot’s opening goal in the 78th minute.
He gathered the ball on the left & rolled it back to Pope who swung a cross into the centre. The ball carried over Peacock’s head & found SHANKLAND 6 yards out with his back to goal & although he was falling over he still managed to hook the ball over his shoulder & inside Masterton’s left post to put Talbot 1-0 ahead.
A minute later Talbot doubled their lead and effectively ended the game as a contest. Stevenson surged forward down the right before cutting the ball back to SHANKLAND who smashed the ball home from 15 yards out.
This was Stevenson’s last involvement as he made way for Steven Wilson. Maybole also made a change with Allen replacing Caldwell.
With two minutes remaining Maybole were unfortunate not to grab a late consolation. A diagonal ball from left to right found Allen in space inside the penalty area. He angled a shot back across goal that cannoned back off the inside of Leishman’s right post & bounced out before being cleared. Maybole now made two further changes with Bloy & Bell making way for Dunn & McMillan.
As the match moved into injury time McGoldrick picked up a caution for a late challenge.
Never the most entertaining of games but another win under Talbot’s belt before they head east next Saturday to face Linlithgow Rose in the 1st leg of the Scottish semi-final.
Maybole – Masterton, Sloan, Baird, Nicholas, Peacock, Bloy, Connor, Bell, Scott, Brown, Caldwell
Subs – Allen, Dunn, McMillan, Walker, Cruikshanks
Talbot – Leishman, Latta, Pope, McGoldrick, McPherson, McCracken, Stevenson, White, Shankland, Pooler, Thomson
Subs – Milliken, G Wilson, Lyle, S Wilson
Talbot 1 Whitletts 0 (H-T 1-0)
Talbot started the game positively & should have been ahead inside 5 minutes when Pooler squared it across the area for Shankland to run onto but he scuffed his shot well wide from 15 yards.
A minute later Talbot had the Whitletts defence at full stretch. Hyslop released Stevenson down the right & his low ball across the face was heading straight to Shankland until Anderson stuck out a leg to intercept it.
Talbot made all the early running & Doribo came to the visitors rescue in the 17th minute with a crucial save. Shankland whipped a good cross into the centre which Hyslop glanced on target & the keeper did really well to react to block his effort.
Two minutes later Hyslop missed a sitter to put Talbot ahead. He stooped to meet Stevenson’s lofted cross from the right but somehow steered his free header well wide of goal from 4 yards out.
Whitletts hadn’t lacked effort but had lacked any chances although they could have taken the lead in the 23rd minute. A neat ball was knocked over the top of the Bot defence to release Balfour clean through on goal. Luckily for Talbot he lost his footing & although he scrambled back to his feet took a heavy touch & faced with an onrushing Leishman opted to throw himself to the ground looking for a penalty & was booked for his troubles.
A minute later Talbot had the ball in the back of the net but it was rightly ruled out for offside. Pope drilled a low shot on target that Doribo spilled. Shankland turned it home from close range but he was standing in an offside position.
The game’s only goal came on the half hour mark. Hyslop headed the ball on for Shankland who raced clear of the defence. He tried to round Doribo who sent him crashing; resulting in a booking for the keeper & a penalty to Talbot. SHANKLAND made no mistake from the spot sending the keeper the wrong way.
Whitletts were almost gifted a way back into the game in the 34th minute. McPherson miscontrolled a high ball that broke to Cameron in midfield. He chipped a diagonal ball in behind the defence to find Balfour in space but he volleyed a tame effort straight at Leishman.
White doesn’t score many but he came close to doubling Talbot’s lead in the 38th minute. Pooler laid the ball back into his path & he drilled a low shot just wide of Doribo’s right post from 25 yards.
Talbot continued to dominate the remainder of the half & almost doubled their lead two minutes before the interval. Pooler headed the ball into the path of Shankland & his strike partner returned the ball to him on the far corner of the 6-yard box. Pooler fired a shot on target but Doribo made a good save at his near post.
Unfortunately for the paying spectators that was pretty much as it as a spectacle in what proved to be a game of one half.
The referee had more to write in the 2nd half than reporters as he was kept busy with substitutions & cautions. He first had to reach for his notebook to book Black for a professional foul on Pooler & then had to mark down two changes for Whitletts as they brought on Cunningham & Boyle then a triple sub for Talbot as G Wilson, Milliken & Thomson came on as late replacements for Talbot, and a late booking for Talbot’s Boyle.
If ever a game looked like one goal would win it this was the one but Whitletts did have a good chance to equalise 9 minutes from time. Sloan outpaced Pope on the right & fired a ball across the area. Stevenson ought to have cut it out but it somehow eluded him & came through to Boyle who fired a shot straight at Leishman from 15 yards.
Talbot ended the game on the attack, spending the closing stages in the Whitletts half without remotely looking like threatening Doribo’s goal, and the final whistle came as a relief to the chittering support.
Next up for Talbot is another cup tie at Beechwood – this time the Bot will be hosting Luncarty in the last 16 of the Scottish.Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Harvey, Pope, McPherson, Boyle, Latta, Stevenson, White, Pooler, Shankland, HyslopSubs – Thomson, McCracken, G Wilson, S Wilson, Milliken
Whitletts Victoria – Doribo, Anderson, Ewart, Kirkland, Buchanan, Sloan, Cameron, Black, Balfour, Kerr, Kennedy Subs – Cunningham, Boyle, Boyd