Auchinleck Talbot v Largs Thistle

Photographs by Paul Flynn.


Talbot are becoming specialists at 1-0 wins as they beat Largs by the only goal of the game at Beechwood to narrow the gap to Hurlford to 4 points.
There was little goal mouth action to keep the fans occupied with the first chance of the game coming Largs way after ten minutes. A corner from the right was headed clear by Hyslop and came out to Muir at the left edge of the box where he steered a volley just wide of Leishman’s left post.
Talbot’s first threatening attack came in the 19th minute. Armstrong & Lyle worked a one-two down the right that sent Lyle racing through on the right side of the penalty area. He cut it back across goal to McIlroy 15 yards out but he took a touch rather than hitting it 1st time was quickly closed down & the chance was gone.
The visitors won a corner in the 24th minute when Pope headed Sewell’s cross behind. Once again Talbot managed to head it clear but again it came to Muir whose shot from 18 yards was deflected wide. When the corner was lifted across the face Leishman came to claim it but misjudged it and the ball sailed beyond him but was booted clear at the back post.
The remainder of the half was forgettable fare & it wasn’t until the closing minutes of the half that Talbot upped their game & began to exert some pressure. In the 43rd minute Lyle’s pass found Armstrong breaking forward & he slid it out right to Samson who fired it low across goal and just wide of the right post and so the half ended without either keeper being tested.
The 2nd half could only be an improvement & Talbot did look sharper after the break. In the 52nd minute Talbot won a corner down the right when Sewell headed Leishman’s kick behind. The corner was delivered right across the area and came to Pope who drilled a low ball back across goal. It landed at McIlroy 6 yards out but he couldn’t get it out his feet in time and his effort was blocked. The ball spun back to Armstrong who drilled a low shot on target that Lundy held at his left post.
Largs made a change after 54 minutes with Struthers on in place of Adam.
Orr had his name taken in the 59th minute when he swiped the feet from Samson after he’d side-stepped him resulting in a free kick 30 yards out. Pope took it & fired around the wall but wide of Lundy’s left hand post.
Talbot’s next chance came in the 64th minute. Armstrong’s header sailed over the defence to find McIlroy racing forward. He might have kept going but instead opted to hit it early and fired over the bar on the half volley from 20 yards.
Tucker made his first change in the 67th minute when Shankland came on for McDowall.
There were loud penalty appeals in the 71st minute when Sewell appeared to use his arm to control the ball whilst trying to carry the ball forward inside his penalty area but the referee blanked them out.
The turning point came in the 78th minute. Orr barged into the back of Samson and the ref produced a 2nd yellow card and Orr made the short trip to the clubhouse. Shankland took the resultant free kick and swung it beyond the far post where Pope headed it back across goal for SEAN MCILROY to prod home from close range.
With 5 minutes remaining Shankland played it into the feet of McIlroy in the centre. He did well to roll his marker but blasted his shot well over from 18 yards.
Talbot now made a further change with Kemp coming on for Samson.
Struthers now had his name taken for a foul on McCracken.
Leishman had very little to do all afternoon but was called into action in the 87th minute. Muir fed it out wide right to find Carter on the overlap and he drilled a low ball in that Leishman gathered inside his near post.
In the final minute of regulation time Talbot had two efforts at goal in quick succession. Firstly, McIlroy hooked the ball out right to find Armstrong racing through and Lundy parried his shot away. Talbot kept the pressure on and Shankland gathered on the left of the area before firing a shot on goal that Lundy blocked.
Talbot now made their final change with Waite on for McIlroy.
As the game moved deep into injury time Largs had one final chance to snatch a share of the points. A long diagonal ball found Black in space out on the left and he cut it back into the path of Struthers 20 yards out but he ballooned his shot.
A case of job done for Talbot who whilst nowhere near their best will be happy with another clean sheet and 3 points. Next up for Talbot it’s a Monday night visit to Cambuslang Rangers followed by a mid-week trip to Troon as the league games come thick & fast.

Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, McPherson, McCracken, Armstrong, White, Hyslop, McIlroy, Samson, McDowall

Subs – Shankland, Glasgow, Kemp, Waite, Harvey

Largs Thistle – Lundy, Faulds, Sewell, Orr, Little, Fleming, McKie, Muir, Adam, Carter, Black

Subs – Struthers, George, Besley, Jameson, McGowan (gk)

Kilwinning Rangers v Auchinleck Talbot


Talbot recovered from Saturday’s disappointment to record a hard fought & well deserved win away at Kilwinning in the last competitive match at Abbey Park.
It felt more like mid-winter than May & Talbot had to weather the storm early on as a wind assisted Buffs side pushed Talbot back.
Leishman had to be on his toes in the 4th minute when a long ball in behind McPherson was chased down by Curragh but Leishman read it & was quickly off his line to beat him to the ball.
The home side blew a great chance to take the lead in the 7th minute. When a cross came over from the left Lyle sliced his clearance straight to Fleming 12 yards out but he ballooned his shot way over the bar.
Leishman took a knock in the 10th min when caught by Fleming as he cleared from the edge of the area but fortunately he was ok after treatment.
Talbot were struggling to make headway against the breeze and it took until the 21st minute before the Bot put together a threatening attack. Stephen Wilson latched onto a weak clearance & fed it to Samson on the right and his driven ball across the face of goal was well cleared by Syme.
The home side received two bookings in quick succession in the 25th minute. McCloskey was cautioned for a late tackle on Stephen Wilson and then Syme was shown a yellow for dissent. Glasgow took the set piece & aimed it beyond the far post where Hyslop climbed to head it back across goal but it floated to Strain at his right post.
A simple move nearly paid off for Talbot in the 28th minute. Leishman bowled the ball out to Glasgow on the left & he chipped it up the wing to find Samson outside the area. He cut in past Whyte & drilled a low shot on target but Strain was right behind it.
Kilwinning had faded after their strong opening but they were keeping the referee busy with their ill discipline and Fleming received a yellow card for persistent fouling in the 39th minute when he clipped Stephen Wilson’s heels as he broke down the right. Boylan then joined him in the book for dissent. This proved to be an expensive foul for the Buffs as Glasgow whipped in a great delivery from the set piece & ROSS HARVEY met it a few yards out to glance a header home to send Talbot in a goal ahead at the interval.
Talbot started the 2nd half in fine fettle and had a decent opportunity to double their lead within two minutes of the re-start. Armstrong challenged for a loose ball outside the penalty box & and it broke to Graham Wilson. He slid a pass through to find Glasgow in space on the left of the area & he fired it low across goal but wide of Strain’s left post.
It was now Talbot making the running & the Bot had another chance after 51 minutes. A ball from the left came to Stephen Wilson just outside the area & he took a good 1st touch before drilling a shot on target that flew straight at Strain.
A minute later Talbot were back on the attack. A Bot free kick midway inside the Buffs half was angled out to the right where Samson controlled it before flashing a cross cum shot across goal.
Kilwinning were struggling & frustration got the better of Monti who picked up a caution for a niggly foul on Armstrong.
The Wilson brothers combined in the 58th minute in Talbot’s next attack. Stephen Wilson lifted a ball down the right over the defence to send Graham through on goal. He blasted a shot from 15 yards that Strain did well to parry away.
Maitland became the umpteenth Buffs player to be booked when he took umbrage at the Bot’s support vocal view of his Lazarus like recovery and paid the price for squaring up to the support.
Whyte produced a perfectly timed tackle in the 69th minute to prevent Glasgow bursting clean through the defence just as it looked like he was getting on the end of Graham Wilson’s flick.
Next to have a go for Talbot was Samson who out-paced Whyte before firing in a shot from a tight angle that Strain turned behind for a corner.
It was all Talbot and the Buffs had a lucky escape in the 74th minute. Harvey’s ball over the top caught out the defence & as Strain rushed out Samson beat him to it. He knocked it past the keeper but the ball ran away from him & by the time he gathered it near the bye line the chance was gone.
Tucker now made his first change with Shankland coming on for Glasgow.
Shankland was involved soon after joining the fray; whipping over a dangerous cross from the left that Maitland was forced to head behind. Shankland took the corner & went for an in swinger that just cleared the bar & ended up on the roof of the net.
With 7 mins remaining Talbot made a further change with Kemp coming on for Samson.
It’s always nerve wracking when there’s only a goal in it but in truth Talbot saw the game out confidently keeping the ball in the Buffs half for most of the closing stages. As the game moved into injury time Monti had a lucky escape when he cut in off the left and blatantly dived but although he was already on a booking the ref stuck to awarding Talbot the free kick. With seconds remaining McDowall came on for Graham Wilson but didn’t have a chance to touch the ball before the final whistle.
A very good away win for Talbot who now return to Beechwood where they face Largs Thistle this Saturday in a dress rehearsal for the Junior Cup final.

Kilwinning Rangers – Strain, Whyte, McCloskey, Pettigrew, Syme, Fleming, Monti, Maitland, Curragh, Lewis, Boylan

Subs – Hogarth, Grier, Wilson, Nesbit

Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Harvey, McPherson, McCracken, Armstrong, Hyslop, Stephen Wilson, Graham Wilson, Samson, Glasgow

Subs – McIlroy, Shankland, McDowall, Kemp, White

Auchinleck Talbot v Kirkintilloch Rob Roy

Photographs by Paul Flynn.

Auchinleck Talbot v Petershill


Last time round Talbot knocked seven past Petershill but at this stage of the season any win will do & Talbot ground out a 1-0 win to claim all 3 points.
The first chance of the evening came Talbot’s way in the 9th minute. Armstrong played it up the left to find Samson & he sped past Crawford before crossing it into the centre where Waite headed it down into the turf & it bounced up & over the bar.
The same two players were involved in the 15th minute. Once again Samson outpaced Crawford before crossing it to the back post but this time Waite misjudged it & fluffed his header from 6 yards out.
Talbot’s next effort came shortly after when Hyslop got on the end of Stephen Wilson’s cross but his header drifted wide of target.
Some of the Bot support thought Talbot had taken the lead after 20 mins. Talbot were awarded a free kick 22 yards out for handball which Hyslop fired past the wall. From a certain angle it looked like it had nestled into the bottom corner but had flew just wide of the left post & got tangled in the net behind the goal.
The referee turned down a strong Talbot penalty appeal in the 25th min. Waite’s cross into the area was allowed to bounce by the Peasies defence & when it came up off the surface it came off a defender’s arm but the ref waved away the appeals.
Muir had his name taken in the 27th minute for a foul on Hyslop.
Quinn produced a good stop on the half hour mark to prevent Talbot taking the lead. Armstrong threaded a ball through to McIlroy who let it run past him to Samson and his effor t from the left of the area was well saved by Quinn who turned it past for the corner.
The goal however was only slightly delayed as Waite whipped over a good delivery from the left & SEAN MCILROY nodded it home from close range.
The visitors barely crossed the halfway line all evening but they did have a decent effort in the 37th minute. A corner on the left was taken short to McMullin whose first shot at goal was blocked. It came back out to him and he sent a curling right foot effort just over the bar from 18 yards.
Muir became the 2nd Peasies player in the book when he received a caution for a lunging challenge on Armstrong and that was it for the 1st half.
The 2nd period followed the pattern of the 1st with untidy spells of play and frequent stoppages when Talbot were caught offside.
McMullin looked the liveliest for the Peasies and he forced Leishman into his 1st save of the evening in the 52nd minute. Talbot conceded a free kick 25 yards out that McMullin hit round the wall but Leishman got across to turn it wide of his left post.
The game was growing scrappier and Hyslop found himself in the notebook in the 64th minute for a late challege on Hamilton.
Tucker now made his first change with Shankland coming on for Waite.
With 68 mins gone Quinn prevented Talbot from doubling their lead. Samson raced clear on the right into the area & fired on target only for Quinn to block his shot. The ball spun in front of goal before Crawford knocked it behind for the corner.
Talbot were back on top but still unable to produce in the final third and with 74 mins gone Tucker made a further change with Graham Wilson on for McIlroy.
The referee took centre stage in the 77th minute. Shankland’s ball over the top found Samson racing through toward goal. Ketterer took him out but to the disbelief of the Bot players and support the referee only booked him; despite the fact Samson had a clear run through on the keeper. Shankland took the free kick and curled it over the wall but just over the crossbar.
Two minutes later McDowall had a good chance to make Talbot’s lead safe. Shankland lifted a great ball over from the left to find him bursting through on goal but he didn’t get enough on it to knock it past the advancing keeper.
With 8 mins remaining Quinn made an impressive stop to deny Shankland. Stephen Wilson found Shankland out on the left & he cut inside into the area on his right foot & curled it for the far corner only for Quinn to throw himself to his left to turn it away.
Talbot now made their final change when Glasgow came on for McDowall.
In the 85th minute only a reaction save from Quinn stopped from Graham Wilson from putting Talbot two ahead. Samson whipped a great low ball into the area which Wilson side-footed on target from 6 yards out but the keeper’s left leg prevented the goal.
In the closing stages Petershill threw a few more bodies forward in an attempt to snatch a draw but without creating anything of note and Talbot held out comfortably enough.
In truth Talbot should have won by a few more but the 3 points was the main thing so mission acomplished. Next up for Talbot it is this Saturday’s West of Scotland semi when Rob Roy visit Beechwood.

Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Armstrong, McPherson, McCracken, Stephen Wilson, Hyslop, McDowall, McIlroy, Samson, Waite
Subs – Graham Wilson, Glasgow, Shankland, Kemp, White

Petershill – Quinn, Crawford, McMullin, McCallum, Ketterer, Kennedy, Muir, Pearson, Cameron, Hamilton, Scott

Auchinleck Talbot v Hurlford United

Photographs by Paul Flynn.

Auchinleck Talbot v Kilbirnie Ladeside


Talbot dug deep to grind out a win in a match where the Bot struggled to find their touch.

The first half was more or less a nonevent. Nine minutes in and Talbot had one of the half’s rare chances. A corner from the right was met by Hyslop at the back post but his header bounced wide of the right post.

In the 20th minute Stephen Wilson whipped a great cross over from the right touchline but Hyslop just failed to connect in the centre.

Kilbirnie had a chance on the counter in the 36th minute. Stephen Wilson lost the ball cheaply allowing the Blasties to break down the left. Play was switched to Finlay on the right of the penalty area but he fell over in the box; the 1st of Kilbirnie’s two cautions for woeful dives.

The closest either side came to a goal in the 1st half was Armstrong’s mis-hit cross that sailed just over Wilton’s bar in the 39th minute.

Both sides looked a bit livelier after the break and it was the visitors who carried the early threat. Ramsay threatened to burst through the defence in the 48th minute but Lyle read the danger & got across in time to clear the danger.

A minute later the Blasties squandered a decent opening. McGill lifted in a good cross from the left to find Ramsay unmarked 8 yards out but he mis-timed his jump and thee ball skited off the top of his head.

Talbot put together a good move in the 53rd minute. Armstrong found Glasgow & he slid it out right to Stephen Wilson as he burst inside the box but his shot sailed high & wide.

Finally Talbot had come to life & a minute later Glasgow skipped past a couple of challenges before releasing the ball to McIlroy on the left of the area; however his shot failed to test the keeper.

An error at the back almost proved costly soon after. McCracken sclaffed a clearance that ended up spinning to Finlay on the left of the box. He laid it back to Scullion whose lob clipped the top of the bar on the way over.

Talbot now began to exert some concerted pressure & pegged Kilbirnie back for the first time. In the 64th minute Hyslop directed a header wide of target and two minutes later Samson cut in off the left into the box and fired over the bar.

Tucker made a change on 67 mins with Graham Wilson on in place of McIlroy.

A minute later Wilton produced a fine save to keep out Glasgow’s 20 yard half volley at the expense of a corner. When the corner came over Pope met it at the back stick & laid it back into the path of McCracken who mis-hit his shot from 8 yards out.

The crucial goal came in the 72 minute. Graham Wilson’s persistence paid off as he chased what looked to be a lost cause to force a corner off Wood down the left. Glasgow delivered a quality ball over to the back post where DWAYNE HYSLOP decisively headed it home.

Two minutes after taking the lead Talbot faced a free kick in a dangerous area. Armstrong hauled McGill down 25 yards out allowing Scullion the chance from the set play. He hit it well enough but his shot clattered into the top of the wall & Talbot were able to clear.
In the 78th minute McGill had his name taken after he indulged in a spot of wrestling with Lyle.

Talbot now made a further change with McDowall coming on for Glasgow.

Wilton was called into action again in the 82nd minute. The Blasties failed to clear a Talbot corner & the Bot were able to work it to Lyle on the overlap. He whipped in a dangerous cross that Wilton did well to punch clear under pressure from Samson. The ball came out to Graham Wilson at the edge and his volley was blocked by a defender.

Talbot were on top but unable to grab the 2nd goal needed to seal the win and as time ran out Kilbirnie threw bodies forward and went route one in an attempt to salvage a point.

In the final minute of regulation time a free kick was lumped into the Talbot goal mouth where Leishman punched it clear. It came out to Anderson who dinked it back into the box where Talbot made a meal of clearing their lines. The ball eventually broke to Ramsay on the left 15 yards out but he collapsed like a pack of cards with no one near him & rightly received a yellow card for simulation.

Soon after the final whistle sounded and it was job done and another 3 points to Talbot in their quest to claim the league title. Next up for Talbot it is a table topping clash as the Bot entertain a resurgent Hurlford at Beechwood with Talbot looking to narrow the gap the top.

Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, McPherson, McCracken, Stephen Wilson, Hyslop, Glasgow, McIlroy, Samson, Armstrong

Subs – McDowall, Graham Wilson, Waite, Kemp, White

Kilbirnie Ladeside – Wilton, Wood, Mitchell, Juskowiak, Hughes, McGuinness, Finlay, Anderson, Ramsay, Scullion, McGill

Subs – McVey, Rafferty, Gray, O’Byrne

Auchinleck Talbot v Carluke Rovers

Photographs by Paul Flynn.


Talbot shone in the sunshine as they swept past Carluke into the last 4 of the West; racking up six goals along the way.
This tally looked unlikely in the opening exchanges as both sides struggled to find any pattern to their play with the ball being lumped up & down the park to no effect.
There had been little to report on until Talbot took the lead in the 10th minute. The Bot won a free kick out on the right that was knocked short to Waite. He whipped a good early cross over where Kemp powered a header on target. Brown made the save but GRAHAM WILSON followed up to knock in the rebound.
Four minutes later Talbot had a half chance to add to their lead. Waite made for the bye line before cutting it back into the path of Lyle but he hoisted his shot well over the bar.
Play now grew increasingly scrappy, giving the visitors a glimmer of hope. In the 23rd min Chiedu launched a howitzer of a throw into the centre of the Bot goalmouth. The ball broke to Lafferty 15 yards out but he slid his shot a few yards wide of Leishman’s left post.
A few minutes later Lafferty had another opportunity. McPherson’s clearance came to him just outside the area & he drilled a low shot past the left post.
Talbot were having a ropy spell but Carluke lacked the cutting edge to take advantage.
In the 36th minute McAllister picked up the game’s 1st caution for a late tackle on Kemp on the half-way line.
There had been a goalmouth action but Talbot tested the visiting keeper in the 39th minute. Kemp got on the ball out on the left touchline & hooked it inside to find Wilson racing into the area. He shot on target but Brown parried it away.
A minute later though Talbot got the crucial 2nd goal. White let fly from the edge of the area & although Brown dived low to make the save he was helpless to prevent GRAHAM WILSON tucking away the rebound.
In the 42nd minute Talbot added a third. McDowall surged through the centre before releasing it to his right to find DAVID WAITE & he slotted a low shot back across goal & under Brown to give Talbot a 3-0 lead to take in at the interval.
Talbot started the 2nd half positively and the pressure resulted in a booking for Lindsay who impeded Graham Wilson after the Bot striker had robbed him of the ball.
It had been all Talbot since the re-start but a moment of sloppiness almost cost the Bot in the 52nd minute. Armstrong lost the ball just outside his own penalty box & Carluke worked the ball to Lafferty on the right of the box who fired a shot on goal that Leishman blocked at his near post.
Both sides now made a double substitution. Tucker bringing McIlroy & Glasgow on for Graham Wilson & White and then the visitors replaced Biggart & Weir with McDonald & Mitchell.
Talbot put together a slick move on the hour mark. McDowall turned his man out on the touchline before passing it on to Kemp. They played a one-two that ended with McDowall teeing it up for Kemp who fired a shot across goal & just past Brown’s left post.
Carluke now made their final change with Lambie on for Grierson.
McKenna became the 3rd Carluke player in the book soon after for a blatant body-check on McDowall just wide of the box. Waite took the set piece & floated it beyond the far post where Kemp fired it back across goal. The defence cleared it but only out to Armstrong who blazed a shot just wide of the right post from 20 yards.
Brown produced a great reaction save to deny Talbot a further goal in the 64th minute. Pope hit a long diagonal free kick to find McDowall out on the right. He hit it 1st time across goal where McIlroy side-footed it on target only for Brown to block with his feet.
Talbot made their final change in the 66th minute when Samson came on for Kemp and it didn’t take the sub long to make his mark.
With 68 mins gone it was 4-0 to Talbot. Armstrong played it down the right for McIlroy & he hit an early ball inside to find KEIR SAMSON pacing away from the defence into the box where he rounded Brown before slotting it into the empty net.
The Bot’s next chance came when Waite sent it out left to find Samson’s run. He hit the bye line before cutting it back to 6 yards out where McDowall volleyed it over the bar.
McDowall had a good chance to add to Talbot’s lead with quarter of an hour remaining. Leishman launched the ball up the park where Samson headed the ball on to McIlroy on the left. He held off the challenge of Chiedu & slotted it back to Samson who released a pass to find McDowall in space on the left of the area but he pulled his shot across goal and wide of the left post.
Brown came to the visitors rescue in the 79th minute with another fine stop to deny McIlroy. Samson headed Leishman’s ball down into McIlroy’s path & he looked favourite to score but again Brown saved McIlroy’s low drive with his feet. The ball came out to Waite 25 yards from goal & he powered a shot on target that the keeper parried away.
Carluke’s keeper was doing well, despite the score line, and he was in action again in the 80th minute. Armstrong went on a mazy run inside the box before firing on target from 8 yards but Brown was equal to it. The rebound came out to Samson whose low drive was heading for target until blocked by a defender.
Eventually, the pressure told and Talbot grabbed their 5th in the 83rd minute. Samson attempted to wind his way through the defence down the left and the ball broke back out to Waite. His shot was blocked but fell nicely for JACK MCDOWALL on the left of the area & he curled it away into the opposite corner.
With 3 minutes remaining Talbot completed the scoring. Chiedu brought down Samson just inside the area resulting in a booking for the full-back & a penalty to Talbot. GORDON POPE took it & coolly sent the keeper the wrong way to make the final score 6-0 to Talbot.
A good win for Talbot and a welcome confidence boost going into a league double header at Beechwood where Talbot face Kilbirnie and then Hurlford in the coming week.

Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, McPherson, McCracken, Armstrong, White, Waite, Graham Wilson, Kemp, McDowall
Subs – McIlroy, Glasgow, Samson, Stephen Wilson, Hyslop

Carluke Rovers – Brown, Chiedu, Watson, Lindsay, McAllister, Weir, Biggart, Grierson, Lafferty, McKenna, Kane
Subs – McDonald, Lambie, Mitchell, Neill

Auchinleck Talbot v Irvine Meadow


A failure to turn pressure into goals came back to haunt Talbot as they were held to a draw at Beechwood by Irvine Meadow.

The visitors made very few chances overall but did have the first one of the night. They won a free kick out on the right after 6 mins that Willet crossed into the centre where Sharpe headed well over the bar from 6 yards out.

Talbot’s first dangerous attack came in the 9th minute. Hyslop headed on to send Samson free on the right. He raced past Willet & drilled it across the area but McLennan did well to cut it out.

McCracken had a chance to put Talbot ahead in the 20th minute when he met Kemp’s corner from the right but sent his header wide of Newman’s left post.

Two minutes later and Talbot’s next chance also fell McCracken’s way. Pope found Samson out on the wing & his cut back broke to McCracken who saw his shot blocked behind by Newman.

Talbot took the lead in the 25th minute. Hyslop climbed well to meet a ball up the left & head it on into the area where Keir Samson surged clear. He prodded a shot at the advancing keeper that Newman blocked but it cannoned off one of his own defenders and trundled in for an own goal to put Talbot 1-0 ahead.

It was Talbot doing all the pressing but without really looking like scoring. In the 37th minute Lyle burst into the area and hit a decent effort at goal that Carson deflected behind for a corner.

Two minutes later Hyslop had a chance to double Talbot’s lead. Samson won a corner on the left and when Kemp’s cross came over Hyslop glanced a header wide of Newman’s left post.

The Bot had one final chance right on the cusp of half time. Kemp out muscled Latta on the left of the area and made it to the bye line before cutting the ball back across goal but McIlroy just failed to connect in front of goal and Talbot went in one up at the interval.

The first chance of the 2nd half came Talbot’s way after 54 minutes when Samson made a strong run down the left. As the defence backed off he raced into the penalty area but pulled his shot well wide of the far post.

Two minutes later Talbot won a free kick out on the left following Pearson’s clumsy challenge on Samson. The ball was crossed into the box where Armstrong headed it back across the area. It fell for McCracken who drilled a low shot on goal that Newman spilled; however, the defence reacted 1st to scramble it away.

Around the hour mark both sides made changes. Firstly Meadow brought Paterson on for Spence and then Tucker made a switch with McDowall replacing Samson.

McDowall nearly made an immediate impact. When Stephen Wilson lifted a cross in from the right he beat Newman to it in the air but lifted his header over the crossbar.

Leishman hadn’t been involved up to this point but was called into action in the 63rd minute. Meadow were awarded a free kick just inside the Bot half that Willet swept into the goal mouth where Leishman met it to punch it to safety.

McGurk had his name taken in the 65th minute when he clipped McPherson’s heels as the Bot defender raced forward.

In the 69th minute Talbot made a further change when Glasgow came on for Kemp.

The sub was involved in Talbot’s next attack when Pope slid a pass through to him down the left. Glasgow’s pace took him past Carson before he fired a cross cum shot from a tight angle that clipped the top of the bar on its way over.

Meadow had a half chance in the 74th minute. Hyslop lost the ball 30 yards out & the visitors played it quickly to Pearson on the right. He laid it inside to McGurk who steered a tame shot straight at Leishman.

With quarter of an hour remaining Talbot passed up a golden chance to kill the game off. Hyslop rose to meet a hanging cross and his header floated into the path of Glasgow 4 yards out but he hit Newman from point blank range.

Meadow now made a further change with Jones replacing Woods.

In the 79th minute Newman produced a good stop at one end before Meadow went straight up the other and grabbed an unlikely equaliser. Glasgow’s shot from the left of the area was swinging away from the Meadow keeper who did well to make the stop. Play then switched up to the other end where Sharpe’s ball sent JONES racing through on the left and he slotted it past Leishman to make it 1-1.

Talbot pushed forward and Pope tested the keeper in the 81st minute when he drilled a shot from 25 yards. It took a slight deflection en route and Newman parried it behind for the corner. When the corner came over to the back post it hit off McCracken & went just wide of the left post.

For the remainder of the match Talbot huffed & puffed, piling men forward looking for a winner but couldn’t find a way past a resolute Meadow defence.

Next up for Talbot is Saturday’s West of Scotland quarter-final where they host Carluke.

Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, McPherson, McCracken, Armstrong, Stephen Wilson, Hyslop, McIlroy, Kemp, Samson

Subs – McDowall, Graham Wilson, Glasgow, Waite, White

Irvine Meadow – Newman, Latta, Willet, McLennan, Groves, Spence, Pearson, Carson, Sharpe, McGurk, Woods

Subs – Paterson, Jones, Wells, McFarlane, Bannister

Kilbirnie Ladeside v Auchinleck Talbot

Photographs by Paul Flynn.


Talbot turned in a below par performance but did enough to secure the win at a blustery Valefield park in a dour encounter.
The Bot started well enough without really threatening the Ladeside goal. The first dangerous attack came in the 7th minute when Samson fired a low ball across the face of goal that Wilton spilled in the goal mouth but the defence were able to scramble it clear.
Twelve minutes in Talbot had a half chance from a long throw. Samson hurled it into the area where Graham Wilson beat Wilton to the ball near the bye line but unfortunately he couldn’t take advantage of it; hitting a tame ball across goal that didn’t trouble the keeper.
The conditions weren’t helping either side & the ball was zipping about from end to end with little in the way of football.
Both keepers had been underworked but Leishman was called upon in the 24th minute. McPherson misplaced a back pass to give Ladeside a corner down the left. When it came over McCracken headed it out but it came straight to McGill. He guided a header on target that Leishman did well to hold inside his left post.
Having survived a scare at one end Talbot went straight down the other and took the lead. Glasgow slipped a neat pass down the left to find KEIR SAMSON racing forward & he carried on into the box & cut inside his man before bending a right foot shot into the bottom corner.
Samson had a half chance to extend Talbot’s lead four minutes later. Graham Wilson did well to control Leishman’s long ball down the centre before sliding it out right to Samson who burst into the box but lashed his shot well over.
A minute later Talbot tested the Ladeside keeper. The Bot won a corner on the left that the defence only cleared out as far as Stephen Wilson. He played it down the right to Armstrong who whipped a dangerous low ball across that Wilton did well to cut out.
Leishman kept Talbot ahead in the 32nd minute when he produced a top stop to deny Scullion the equaliser. Finlay’s cross from the left was headed clear by McCracken but it fell to Scullion at the edge of the area who met it on the volley. He couldn’t have caught it any sweeter but Leishman was well positioned and held it inside the right post.
In the last minute of the half Graham Wilson went on a mazy run that saw him speed past several players. He burst into the box between two Ladeside defenders & went flying. The away fans were expecting a penalty but instead the ref booked the Talbot man for diving and that was it for the 1st half.
Talbot had a chance to put the game to bed three minutes after the re-start. Pope swept a cross over to find Armstrong in space 8 yards out but he chose the wrong option; going with his foot rather than the header and steered a tame shot at the keeper.
In the 51st min Glasgow had a decent effort at goal. The ball broke to him on the right of the area & he angled a shot across goal and just wide of Wilton’s right post.
With only a goal in it Kilbirnie weren’t out of it but were doing very little in the final third. Scullion showed quick feet in the 58th minute to create an opening but then blazed his shot way over.
Tucker made his 1st change in the 59th min when McIlroy replaced Graham Wilson.
Kilbirnie had a promising break in the 65th min when Scullion switched play quickly out to the right to free Finlay but his shot from 20 yards was blocked just inside the area.
Talbot now made a 2nd change with Kemp coming on for Samson.
There had been little to write home about but Glasgow nearly produced a wonder finish in the 71st minute. The ball came to him just inside the Kilbirnie half and spotting Wilton way off his line he went for goal & his shot sailed just wide of the left post with the relieved keeper scrambling back.
Kemp came close to sealing it for Talbot in the 74th minute. He cut in off the right wing into the area & hammered a left foot effort just over the crossbar.
With quarter of an hour remaining Mitchell had his name taken for a shove on Stephen Wilson. Talbot now completed their changes with McDowall replacing White.
Talbot were making most of the running but lacked the composure in the final third to turn pressure into clear chances.
The home side, although only a goal adrift, were toothless up front and giving Talbot few, if any problems defensively.
The home support were aggrieved 4 minutes from time when Ramsay appeared to be fouled by Glasgow 30 yards from goal but the referee waved play on.
As the game meandered to an end Talbot saw it out comfortably enough & had one final opportunity to grab a second. Pope sent a ball over the top to McIlroy on the left of the area. He drilled a low shot on goal from a tight angle that Wilton initially spilled but gathered at the 2nd time of asking.
Not much of a spectacle for the paying punters but the Talbot fans left content with another 3 points gathered on the road. Talbot are back in league action this Wednesday when they host Irvine Meadow at Beechwood.

Kilbirnie Ladeside – Wilton, Wood, Mitchell, Juskovice, O’Byrne, McGuinness, Finlay, Anderson, Ramsay, Scullion, McGill

Subs – Brown, Gray, McVey, Lafferty

Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, McPherson, McCracken, White, Stephen Wilson, Armstrong, Glasgow, Graham Wilson, Samson

Subs – Kemp, McIlroy, McDowall

Clydebank v Auchinleck Talbot


Talbot almost paid the penalty for some woeful officating but showed character to bounce back from losing a two goal lead to secure a 3-2 win away to Clydebank.
The travelling support had plenty to cheer early on as Talbot dominated the 1st half. With only 2 mins gone Talbot tested the home defence. Graham Wilson gathered at the edge of the box & laid it out to Pope whose dangerous low cross was cleared by Duncanson.
The opener came after 12 mins and was worth the admission money alone. Hyslop squared the ball to MARK SHANKLAND and from 30 yards he hammered a shot that flew past Waters to his right to put Talbot 1-0 ahead.
Two minutes later Talbot were back on the attack. Hyslop passed it inside to Graham Wilson who burst forward toward the penalty area. He had Shankland spare to his left but opted to go for goal & his drive was blocked by Vezza.
With quarter of an hour gone Talbot doubled their lead. McIlroy won a corner down the left which Shankland lifted beyond the far post where GORDON POPE met it to head it back down & across and into the opposite corner.
At this stage it looked to be a question of how many Talbot were going to score & the Bot came close again in the 17th minute when McDowall cut in off the right & fired a left foot drive just over the bar.
Two minutes later Talbot were denied by the woodwork. Shankland lifted a corner in from the left to the near post where McIlroy glanced a header off the crossbar with Waters beaten.
The chances kept coming and Shankland had an opportunity to grab his 2nd on 21st minute. Pope lifted a ball down the left where McIlroy held off Duncanson before rolling it back into the path of Shankland who burst into the area but curled his shot over the bar.
The game settled down with Talbot still well in control & the Bankies unable to muster anything resembling a chance.
In the 34th minute Talbot tested Waters again. Graham Wilson met a shy from the left & chested it down into the path of Shankland whose low drive was held by the keeper to his right.
Waters came to the Bankies rescue in the 39th minute when a good Bot move ended with Graham Wilson slinging a cross over that looked to be drifting in until the keeper clawed it away to safety.
Talbot were back on the front foot two mins later. Stephen Wilson pinged a ball over the defence to find Graham Wilson speeding free on the left & he hit the bye line before cutting it across the face of goal but unfortunately it went just behind McIlroy in front of goal.
Up til now it had been a fairly routine evening but the officials took centre stage in the final minute of the half. Clydebank won a free kick 20 yards out when McCracken collided with Shelvey.
McClair took the free kick & drove it straight into the wall. The ball spun out to Hyslop who was blatantly barged over. The only 3 people in the park who didn’t see it were the match officials but to rub salt into the wounds play went on with the Bankies down the left of the penalty area & the referee then awarded them a soft penalty when he penalised Lyle for the ball hitting off him.
LITTLE took full advantage of the referee’s generosity sending Leishman the wrong way from the spot to pull a goal back for the Bankies.
The 2nd half was only 3 minutes old when the referee pointed to the spot for the 2nd time. Alexander found McClair out on the right & when his ball came across Shelvey looked certain to score. Leishman raced out to make it difficult & Shelvey scooped his shot way over but Leishman collided with the Bankies man after he’d shot. The ball was lost in the shrubbery behind the goal long before Leishman collided with him but once again the ref pointed to the spot & once again LITTLE gave Leishman no chance to level the score.
Talbot reacted positively to the setback and threatened to regain the lead in the 50th minute. Stephen Wilson’s ball up the right found McIlroy inside the box & he hit it on the half-volley back across goal where Waters tipped it over the bar.
Shortly after Talbot had another opportunity. A cross from the right broke to Shankland inside the penalty area but his low drive flew straight at the keeper.
The Bot support could have been forgiven for thinking it wasn’t their night when the ref awarded the Bankies their 3rd penalty on the hour mark. McClair raced down the left & into the box where he went sprawling to the deck and the ref again pointed to the spot. Little was again on penalty duties but this time Leishman made the stop.
Tucker made a change with 62 mins gone bringing on Kemp in place of Graham Wilson.
The sub was involved 5 mins later when he raced down the left before lifting a cross into the centre where McDowall headed just over the bar from 6 yards out.
This was to be McDowall’s last contribution of the evening as Tucker made a double switch with Shankland & McDowall making way for Samson & Glasgow.
It was now Talbot back in control with the Bot pressing for the winner.
Lyle forced a corner down the right in the 71st minute which Glasgow delivered low into the near post. Kemp tried to force it home but it was scrambled behind for a 2nd corner which the defence cleared.
A few minutes later Talbot won another corner down the right. This time Glasgow played it back to Lyle who crossed it toward the back post. The defence failed to clear their lines & it came to McIlroy 12 yards out but he couldn’t get any purchase behind his shot & Waters saved easily.
With quarter of an hour remaining Talbot had another chance. A ball over the top found Kemp in behind the defence. He beat the keeper to the ball 30 yards from goal but was unable to knock it round him & Waters cleared.
Having awarded the home side 3 pens the referee shocked the visiting fans by awarding one to Talbot with 11 minutes remaining. Samson met a cross from the right & side-footed it wide of the left post before being clattered to the ground by the onrushing keeper. The ref booked the keeper and awarded the spot kick which GORDON POPE dispatched low inside the left post to restore Talbot’s lead.
The closing 10 minutes were surprisingly tame with Talbot able to see the game out without any further alarms to earn a deserved victory.
Talbot are back on their travels this Saturday when they travel through to Valefield to face Kilbirnie Ladeside in the league.

Clydebank – Waters, Duncanson, Paterson, McLean, Darroch, Vezza, C McClair, Alexander, Shelvey, Little, Black

Subs – Morrison, J McClair, McHugh, Higgins, Rowan

Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, McPherson, McCracken, Stephen Wilson, Hyslop, McDowall, Graham Wilson, McIlroy, Shankland

Subs – Samson, White, Glasgow, Kemp, Waite