Auchinleck Talbot v Hamilton Academicals

The Talbot Young Team out in force before the big kick off.

 

The teams and the officials run out onto the pitch in front of a packed Beechwood Park.

 

A couple of very happy Hamilton chaps before the kick off.

 

The Young Team look on, as Hamilton fire in the cross.

 

Hamilton try to go on the attack but Aiden Wilson makes sure the ball doesn’t get threaded through.

 

Hamilton wonder what could have been, as they squander a great chance.

 

McPherson makes sure the danger gets cleared.

 

HAD TO BE, SURELY!!! Kieran Healy finds himself in acres of space right in front of goal but fails to properly connect with the ball and to find the back of the net.

 

Boylan does his best to break free with the ball.

 

All eyes on the ball for Jamie Glasgow, as he fires the ball up the park.

 

WHAT-A-CHANCE!!! ‘Shankers’ cross finds Glasgow at the back post but his sliding shot gets batted away by the Hamilton ‘keeper.

 

Bryan Boylan does his best to keep hold of the ball and find a way through.

 

OFFSIDE! Boylan is deemed to have been offside, as he races through on goal.

 

Wilson watches, as Mark tries to muscle out his opponent for possession.

 

‘Tucker’ and Allan look on from the sidelines, while Boylan tries to keep the ball in play.

 

A chance for Hamilton but ‘Gee’ makes sure the route through gets blocked.

 

OUCH!!! Glasgow takes a sore one while racing away with the ball.

 

The Black ‘n’ Gold conga line keep their eyes firmly on the ball, as Hamilton go on the attack.

 

Robbie McCracken sticks closely to his man, as the Talbot faithful pack the terraces.

 

It may be two against one but Mark Shankland still takes them both on but…

 

…gets bundled over, as he tries to skip past them.

 

A couple of young Talbot fans take a break from watching the action at half-time.

 

Two Talbot fans made the trip from Perth to watch the big game and were happy with the half-time scoreline.

 

Boylan shouts for the foul, as Hamilton feel frustrated after giving away a free-kick.

 

Big Neily, again, makes sure the danger gets cleared.

 

Samson gets set to come on, as ‘Tucker’ discusses tactics with his bench.

 

Gareth Armstrong wins the header inside the box, where something special was about to happen…

 

GOOOAAALLL!!! UNBELIEVABLE JEFF!!! Armstrong’s header lets the ball fall to the feet of Graham Wilson, where he fires off a powerful low strike that…

 

…smashes into the back of the net putting Talbot into the lead. 1-0.

 

No caption required to describe this image.

 

Or this one.

 

And even this one too.

 

Samson sticks to his man and makes sure his opponent is facing away from goal.

 

Craig McCracken tries to race away but gets stopped in his tracks by a great tackle.

 

Samson makes it look easy, as he skips past one opponent and then…

 

…nutmegs another one.

 

The goalscorer, Graham Wilson, uses his pace to break away and go on the attack.

 

Neil and Kieran look on, as Gareth wins the ball and starts another attacking move.

 

May be a slight height difference but I know where my money is going.

 

Hamilton try their luck from distance but it fails to trouble Andy Leishman.

 

Another chance for Hamilton but Neil and Craig make sure the ball doesn’t get through.

 

Jack McDowell stands his ground and races down the park.

 

Final chance for Hamilton, as they find space in front of goal and send a great header towards goal where…

 

…although Leishman makes sure, the ball sails harmlessly over the crossbar.

 

Jamie does his best to encourage his team-mates from the sidelines during the closing minutes of the game.

 

The anxious Talbot bench look on, as ‘Gee’ keeps hold of the ball in order to run down the clock.

 

And it’s not just the Talbot bench that are looking anxious while Graham keeps hold of the ball.

 

WHAT-A-RESULT!!! The final whistle gets blown and Talbot can finally begin to par-ty!

 

Bryan and Jamie can’t stop smiling after helping Talbot to achieve another big scalp in the Scottish Cup.

 

Jack and Bryan continue to celebrate the victory under the glorious Beechwood floodlights.

 

The Talbot Young Team ‘gie it laldy’ after the final whistle.

 

Big Neily shows off his dance moves in front of the adoring Black ‘n’ Gold faithful.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.

MURRAYS NATCH REPORT

Talbot once again made a mockery of the bookies odds with another giant-killing win at Beechwood park as they deservedly beat Hamilton Accies to book their place in the 4th round draw of the Scottish cup.

The Bot made a slightly nervy start and Accies forced a couple of corners in the opening minutes but both deliveries were poor and sailed straight behind for goal kicks.

Glasgow had his name taken in the 4th minute for a late challenge in midfield.

Hamilton had a half chance in the 6th minute. A bout of heady tennis ended with the ball breaking to Ryan on the right of the area but his half volley under pressure sailed over the crossbar.

Talbot showed they weren’t just there to make up the numbers in the 8th minute when they carved out a great opportunity to take the lead. Robbie McCracken clipped a ball up the right to release Glasgow and his cross to the far post found Healy in space 8 yards out but he didn’t connect cleanly and his left foot shot trundled straight at the keeper.

In the 11th minute Talbot caught Hamilton cold on the counter-attack. An Accies corner from the right was headed clear by Armstrong and Talbot swiftly broke up the pitch. Shankland swept a great cross in from the left which Glasgow met beyond the back post and Hilton did well to turn his volley round the left hand post.

Talbot had settled well after the early wobble and it was the Bot who threatened again in the 26th minute. Robbie McCracken’s pass sent Boylan clear on the right and he crossed it to the far post where Shankland headed it back down into the path of Graham Wilson whose shot was deflected behind off Stirling.

Hamilton hadn’t offered much but the visitors did have a clear sight of goal in the 29th minute. There appeared to be a foul on Glasgow in the build-up but the ref waved play on and Hamilton worked it to Ryan inside the area but his low drive was smothered by Leishman.

The Bot fans were up in arms in the 33rd minute when Boylan was taken out late as he flicked the ball on. The ref played advantage but when the move broke down no card was produced for what had been a cynical foul and the referee didn’t make himself any more popular a minute later when Stirling bowled Glasgow over near the touchline and no foul was given.

Talbot won a set piece 35 yards out in the 35th minute following handball by Shields. Shankland swept the ball into the heart of the area where it was headed clear. The ball came straight to Armstrong at the edge of the area and he met it on the half-volley; firing on target but straight at Hilton.

A minute later Glasgow’s ball up the right forced Hilton to race out of his box to beat Shankland to the ball and fire it out for a shy.

As the half drew to a close it was Talbot who were pushing forward. Armstrong did well to win the ball then released a good early pass for Boylan. He raced forward down the left but Want got back to deny him with a perfectly timed slide tackle and the sides headed in goalless at the break with Talbot the happier of the two camps.

Hamilton were quickest out the blocks at the start of the 2nd half and it took Leishman at his best to prevent them moving ahead in the 46th minute. Munro cut in off the right and let fly from 20 yards and his shot was heading into the roof of the net but for Leishman stretching to touch it away. The ball came out to Ryan on the corner of the 6-yard area and he looked set to smash home the rebound but Leishman again rose to the challenge; blocking his low drive with his outstretched leg to complete a fantastic double save.

Accies tails were up and for the first time they pressed forward but the Bot defence gave nothing away.

Talbot made the first change in the 57th minute when Samson came on in place of Glasgow.

In the 59th minute Talbot nearly found a way through on the counter. Shankland won the ball in the tackle and sent a good early ball out to the right towards Samson who was haring into the box but Shields did well to cover his run and usher it back to the keeper.

Beechwood erupted on the hour mark when Talbot took the lead. The Bot won a shy out on the right which Samson launched into the area. Armstrong flicked it on at the near post and GRAHAM WILSON ran onto it and coolly sidefooted it past Hilton to make it 1-0.

Accies were rattled and there was a hint of desperation about Ryan’s effort at goal in the 62nd minute when he fired a left foot shot well off target from distance.

The visitors made a change in the 63rd minute with Redfern making way for Moyo and the sub had an early chance to make an impact. Hamilton won a free kick on halfway which was floated up to the edge of the penalty area. Talbot failed to clear it and the ball broke to Moyo 20 yards out in space but his angled drive went wide of the right hand post.

Hamilton were struggling to cope with Talbot at set plays and in the 66th minute another shy from the right caused them problems. This time the defence managed to partially clear it but only as far as Graham Wilson whose fierce drive from 20 yards looked to be heading on target but was blocked by Martin’s head.

Two minutes later Samson surged up the right touchline evading two lunging challenges before sliding the ball toward the near post and the waiting Boylan but it was cut out by an Accies defender.

Talbot now made a 2nd change with Boyd coming on to replace Shankland.

In the 73rd minute Hamilton made their 2nd change with Virtanen on for Martin and six minutes later the sub was in the ref’s notebook for a late challenge on Boylan.

With 10 mins remaining Samson did well wide on the right to burst free and his attempted ball across the face won Talbot a corner. When the corner came in Hamilton could only clear it out to the edge of the area where Boylan met it but he was falling back as he hit it and sent his shot over the bar.

Hamilton had a half chance in the 84th minute when Moyo’s back-heel flick found Ryan in space 20 yards out but his shot went well wide of the right hand post.

As the game neared its conclusion Hamilton appeared bereft of any ideas and Talbot fans began to believe that another SFL scalp was there for the taking.

With 3 minutes remaining Talbot made their final sub with McDowall coming on in place of Boylan.

The visitors had one final half chance to level in the final minute of regulation time. Moyo rose to meet a cross from the right but his header looped up and over the bar and his frustration boiled over in injury time when he was fortunate only to be shown a yellow card for a two armed shove off the ball.

The Bot fans were made to wait for it as the ref added on 5 minutes of injury time but finally the final whistle went and the celebrations started – at least in the home end – those Accies fans who hadn’t left early headed for their own dug out to tongue lash their management team.

A fantastic display by Talbot who worked their socks off from first to last and now have Monday night’s 4th round draw to look forward to for their efforts. Next week it’s back to Beechwood on league duty when Talbot host Benburb.

Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Robbie McCracken, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Craig McCracken, Healy, Armstrong, Graham Wilson, Boylan, Shankland, Glasgow

Subs – Hyslop, Samson, Boyd, Mason, Lyle, McDowall, White, Stafford, Hewitt

Hamilton Academical – Hilton, Popesu, Stirling, Martin, Ryan, Want, Hughes, Mimnaugh, Munro, Redfern, Shields

Subs – May, Virtanen, Hamilton, Smith, Mullin, Winter, Moyo, Matheson

Auchinleck Talbot v West Calder United

MURRAYS REPORT

Talbot made a number of changes to their starting line-up but still ran out comfortable winners in this South Challenge cup tie.

The first chance of the afternoon came in the 5th minute when Samson’s cross from the right was met beyond the back post by Hyslop who steered a half-volley over the bar.

Ten minutes in and the referee produced the first card of the afternoon when cautioned Baird for a late challenge on Hyslop.

A minute later Talbot had the first effort on target. Craig McCracken’s long pass found Samson on the left & he controlled it before turning his man & drilling a shot at goal from 20 yards that flew straight at McDougall.

The Bot took the lead in the 14th minute & it was a cracking goal. Hyslop found Robbie McCracken in space down the right & he carried it forward before feeding it on to Glasgow. He rolled the ball back into the path of JACK MCDOWALL who hammered a right foot drive inside the right post with the keeper spectating.

In the 22nd minute Talbot opened up the visiting defence when Wilson found Samson on the left and his ball across the face of goal fell just behind Glasgow as he raced in to tap it home.

Shanks became the 2nd West Calder player in the book when he was cautioned for dissent after 28 minutes.

Talbot appeared on easy street but a defensive fubar gifted West Calder an unlikely equaliser in the 31st minute. A high crossfield ball from the right saw ROBBIE MCCRACKEN try to head it back but with Leishman stranded off his line the header sailed inside the right post to level the score.

Two minutes later only a great stop from Leishman prevented West Calder from taking the lead. A ball in from the right found Shanks inside the area & he turned smartly before firing a shot which Leishman stretched low to his left to turn round the post.

After this wobble Talbot were back on the attack and the lead was restored in the 36th minute. Boyd retrieved an over-hit cross and teed it up for Aiden Wilson. His low drive was blocked by McDougall but KIER SAMSON was on hand to lash the rebound into the roof of the net to put Talbot 2-1 ahead.

Two minutes later Talbot added a third. AARON MASON met a ball in from the left to steer it into the far corner to make it 3-1.

Three minutes before the interval Talbot came within a whisker of grabbing their fourth. Mason got away on the right but pulled his shot across the face of goal. Boyd retrieved it on the far side & passed to Wilson whose ball across goal was met by Mason who struck it against the base of the right hand post. Talbot kept pressing but the visitors held out without conceding any further goals.

The 2nd half got off to a fairly slow start with neither side offering much of a threat. The first real opportunity came the way of West Calder in the 56th minute when Craig McCracken conceded a free kick just outside the penalty area resulting in a booking for Talbot’s centre-half. Shanks too it but his shot hit a Bot player and went behind for the corner.

Talbot then turned defence into attack as they broke away on the counter from the corner through Mason who was up-ended by Gillespie who was booked for his challenge. Mason took the resultant free kick and swept a good ball in from the right which McDowall headed just past the left post.

The game was over as a contest on the hour mark when Talbot got their fourth of the afternoon. WILLIE BOYD cut in off the left wing & passed it toward goal where it trundled past the keeper with the aid of a slight deflection off Livingstone.

Tucker now made a change with Shankland coming on for Glasgow.

In the 61st minute Talbot won a penalty and the visitors were reduced to ten men. Mason got free down the right & his ball across goal was blocked by the arm of Gillespie. He’d already been booked so made the short walk to the clubhouse after his 2nd yellow and AARON MASON gave the keeper no chance from the spot – burying his penalty inside the right post to make it 5-1 to Talbot.

Mason nearly had his hat-trick in the 65th minute. Boyd came in on off the left & curled over a right foot cross that Mason glanced off the left hand post.

Two minutes later Talbot did move further ahead. A deep cross found Craig McCracken beyond the far post and he headed it back across goal where KIER SAMSON ran onto it to nod home from close range.

The scoring was completed in the 69th minute. Shankland delivered an inch perfect cross from the left and DWAYNE HYSLOP guided a header back across goal and inside the right post to put Talbot 7-1 ahead.

In the 74th minute Talbot made their 2nd change with Healy on in midfield in place of Boyd.

Talbot had a chance soon after to extend their lead when Samson raced away on the right before laying it inside to Mason. He touched it on to McDowall whose shot flew across goal and wide of the right post.

With 10 minutes remaining Talbot made their final change with McDowall making way for White.

In the closing minutes Talbot came close on two occasions. Firstly, Shankland met Wilson’s cross only to see his header come back off the crossbar and a minute later a short corner from the right saw Robbie McCracken cross it into the centre where Healy directed a free header over the bar.

A convincing win for Talbot who will face a totally different challenge next Saturday when they host Hamilton Accies in the senior cup.

Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Robbie McCracken, Wilson, Armstrong, Craig McCracken, McDowall, Boyd, Hyslop, Samson, Mason, Glasgow

Subs – Boylan, Shankland, Healy, Lyle, White, Hewitt

West Calder United – McDougall, Gillespie, Wilson, Shanks, Taylor, Livingstone, Baird, Easton, Macauley, Fallon, Stevenson

Subs – Hay, Johnston, Kennedy, Miller, Wilkins

 

Dwayne Hyslop stands his ground and keeps hold of the ball.

 

West Calder win a free-kick but show their frustration, as they feel the referee could have played on.

 

The danger gets cleared, as ‘Pee-wee’ wins the aerial battle.

 

A fight for the ball just outside the West Calder box.

 

BREAKTHROUGH!!! Talbot open the scoring via a thunderbolt from Jack McDowell outside the box, which leaves the ‘keeper rooted to the spot. 1-0.

 

Samson gets stopped in his tracks, as he was racing in on goal.

 

Aaron Mason tries to get to the ball before it gets cleared by the defender.

 

Both benches closely watch the action, as Glasgow battles for possession.

 

CALDER PULL LEVEL!!! The ball hits the back of the net after a wayward header from Talbot. 1-1.

 

Care to tell us what was funny, Dwayne?

 

GOAL!!! Talbot regain the lead, as the ball falls kindly at the feet of Samson who smashes the ball home from close range. 2-1.

 

It’s ‘high fives’ for Talbot but devastation for the opposition.

 

Blink and you’ll miss it! Talbot make it three in double quick time, as Mason manages to loop the ball past the ‘keeper and into the back of the net. 3-1.

 

It sure feels good scoring for the ‘Bot…eh Aaron!

 

SO CLOSE!!! Aaron Mason finds space right in front of goal but he can only watch the ball hit the post instead.

 

Samson goes for the spectacular but is deemed to be offside.

 

Keir Samson gets stopped by a great tackle from the Calder defender.

 

McDowell releases the ball just in time.

 

TALBOT MAKE IT FOUR!!! Wullie Boyd finds the back of the net after seeing the ball take a deflection off the defender. 4-1.

 

Robbie McCracken is certainly all smiles after Boyd’s goal.

 

RED CARD!!! West Calder are reduced to ten men and Talbot are awarded a penalty, after a handball inside the box.

 

Captions on a postcard please folks!

 

SPOT ON FOR TALBOT!!! Aaron finds the back of the net, as he fires the ball home from the spot. 5-1.

 

Samson thinks what could have been after being flagged for offside.

 

Mason hits the woodwork again with this looping header.

 

Keir gets double teamed, as it takes two players to stop his run.

 

Craig McCracken pops up at the back post and heads the ball back across for…

 

…Samson to calmly nod the ball home into an empty net for Talbot’s sixth. 6-1.

 

The scoring is rounded off by ‘Pee-wee’ who heads the ball home from the six yard line. 7-1.

 

Aiden Wilson gets the ball taken off him via a great tackle.

 

The old maestro shows he’s still got it, as ‘Whitey’ has a dig at goal from distance.

 

WOODWORK AGAIN!!! Talbot hit the crossbar via a looping header from ‘Shankers’.

 

CLOSE!!! Healy goes agonisingly close to scoring but his header goes wide of the post.

 

Kieran Healy gets brought down, as he goes on a great run down the middle of the park.

 

These young Talbot fans were certainly left with smiles on their faces after seeing a good win for the boys in Black and Gold.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.

Clydebank v Auchinleck Talbot

Aiden Wilson looks to get another attack started, as the bumper crowd closely watch the action.

 

Kieran Healy fires the ball up the park while being put under pressure.

 

CHANCE!!! Jamie Glasgow races in on the ‘keeper but loses out in the 50/50 challenge for the ball.

 

‘Shankers’ does his best to put his opponent under pressure and win the ball back for Talbot.

 

Mark slots a very clever ball through the Bankies’ defence where…

 

…GOOOAAALLL!!! First blood to Talbot, as ‘Gee’ gets on the end of Mark’s pass and slots the ball home past the ‘keeper. 0-1.

 

Graham races away to celebrate his goal and it is brilliant to see this man banging in the goals again.

 

Mark, Bryan and Kieran, all surround Graham to congratulate him for opening the scoring.

 

Big Andy gets a big fist to the ball and punches away the danger.

 

Shankland does his best to stay on his feet and keep hold of the ball.

 

While inside the Bankies’ box, Boylan tries to find a way through.

 

‘Gee’ and Aiden double team their opponent and put the pressure on.

 

Both sets of players air their frustration to the referee.

 

CHANCE FOR BANKIES!!! From the edge of the box, they try to curl the ball into the far corner but they fail to find the back of the net.

 

TALBOT DOUBLE THEIR LEAD!!! Boylan pops up at the back post and fires a powerful downward header towards goal where…

 

…after the ‘keeper fumbles the ball it finally, DEFINATELY, crosses the line. 0-2.

 

The Clydebank players desperately shout for ‘no goal’ but, look at ‘Shankers’…he knows it’s a goal, as he and Bryan race away to celebrate.

 

Boylan jumps for joy, as ‘Gee’ and ‘Shankers’ follow close behind with massive grins after seeing Bryan double Talbot’s lead.

 

Graham Wilson gets another Talbot attack motoring.

 

Glasgow goes for the spectacular from the edge of the box but the ball sails high over the bar.

 

Healy shouts out the orders, as Jamie tries to lob the ball forward.

 

Boylan goes very close to a making it three for Talbot but the ball goes agonisingly wide of the post.

 

Mark Shankland gets a stern talking to from the man in the middle.

 

Gareth Armstrong goes airborne, as he gets brought down in a hefty challenge.

 

If Big Neily shouts it’s a foul, then, I certainly wouldn’t want to argue with him.

 

A tussle for the ball inside the Bankies’ box but Boylan fails to create a chance.

 

The anguish is written all over Mark’s face, as he rues a great chance to make it three for Talbot.

 

VERY CLOSE FOR CLYDEBANK!!! Clydebank very nearly pull a goal back but the close range header goes over the bar…just.

 

It’s great seeing this man back in action again after missing out recently due to work commitments.

 

McCracken beats his ex-team-mate Hamish McKinlay to the ball and clears the danger.

 

Jamie Glasgow does his best to find a way through inside the box.

 

‘Shankers’ tries to win back the ball in front of the boisterous Bankies’ Young Team.

 

Clydebank try their luck directly from a free-kick but the ball fails to cause any damage for Talbot.

 

Healy loses the ball in this strong challenge.

 

Kieran is all smiles at full-time, as Talbot see out a very important victory.

 

I’ve got to say, I really enjoyed the singing and drumming from the Bankies’ Young Team throughout the game, as they kept supporting their team from the first whistle to the final one.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.

MURRAYS MATCH REPORT

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.

Clydebank – Donnelly, Bailey, Byrne, Niven, Darroch, Holmes, Gallacher, Black, McKinlay, Little, McGonigle

Subs – Stevenson, Green, McLean, Lynass, Johnstone, McPherson, McHugh

Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Robbie McCracken, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Craig McCracken, Armstrong, Healy, Shankland, Graham Wilson, Boylan, Glasgow

Subs – Samson, Mason, Hyslop, McDowall, White, Lyle, Hewitt

Irvine Meadow v Auchinleck Talbot

WHAT A START FOR MEADOW!!! Meadow take a very early lead, as Mark Wardrope finds space inside the box to direct a low header into the bottom corner of the net. 1-0.

 

Wardrope races away in delight after netting the early opener.

 

Mark and Meadow will certainly hope to get a lift after this goal.

 

Boylan sticks to his man and tries to put the pressure on.

 

The freezing crowd closely watch the action, as Willie Boyd goes on the attack for Talbot.

 

Gareth Armstrong tries to race away but is put under pressure from two men in blue.

 

Tucker roars out where he wants the ball to go and Healy duty bound obliges.

 

The game gets put on pause, as the gusty wind blows a gazebo across the field of play.

 

Bryan Boylan gets tripped, as he races away up the park with the ball.

 

CHANCE!!! McCracken gets his head to the ball first but his header, sadly, goes wide of the post.

 

OH SO CLOSE!!! ‘Shankers’ sends a powerful header towards goal but…

 

…he can only watch in agony, as the ‘keeper gathers the ball.

 

Boylan gets stopped inside the box by a perfectly timed, last ditch tackle from the Meadow defender.

 

All roads in get blocked for Glasgow and it is not because of Cop26.

 

Mark and Bryan put their point across to the referee after a decision goes against them.

 

Craig McCracken makes sure the danger gets cleared.

 

TALBOT DRAW LEVEL!!! The ball somehow falls to the feet of Boylan and he smashes the ball home from inside the box. 1-1.

 

Boylan certainly shows his delight after pulling Talbot level.

 

Two very happy chappies!

 

Hewitt shows his frustration at a decision going against Talbot.

 

Bryan has to hurdle over his opponent to avoid the tackle.

 

WHAT-A-BLOCK!!! With the ball surely heading for the back of the net, ‘Big Neily’ slides in with a last ditch block to prevent any goal.

 

TALBOT TAKE THE LEAD!!! Mark Shankland goes one-on-one with the ‘keeper and calmly slots the ball past him and into the back of the net. 1-2.

 

‘Shankers’ and the fans celebrate taking the lead in the game.

 

GOOOAAALLL!!! In a blink of an eye, Talbot extend their lead. Mark crosses it and Boylan rises to head the ball home. 1-3.

 

Deflation for Meadow but delight for Talbot after Boylan’s goal.

 

He certainly loves scoring the goals!

 

Boylan gets stopped in his tracks.

 

Jamie Glasgow takes a sore one while racing down the park.

 

The Meadow ‘keeper pulls off a great save to stop ‘Gee’ from scoring with an awkward header but…

 

…the ball falls kindly at the head of Aiden Wilson who nods the ball home from very close range. 1-4.

 

Aiden wheels away, while the Meadow player’s cries of offside fall on deaf ears.

 

All eyes on the ball for both players and fans.

 

Healy stays calm and coolly ‘dinks’ the ball over the Meadow defence.

 

Well…I hope the Irvine Young Team weren’t giving you much stick Andy.

 

Is it football, rugby or wrestling?

 

WHAT-A-GOAL (even if the photographer missed it)!!! The Talbot players swamp Graham Wilson to congratulate him for scoring an absolute screamer! 1-5.

 

McCracken tries his luck with a looping header but fails to find the back of the net.

 

Stafford does his best to win the aerial battle.

 

Big Andy makes sure the ball gets cleared, as he punches the danger away.

 

Leishman is called into action late in the game, as he calmly stops the ball from looping over him into the back of the net.

 

Last chance of the game falls to Talbot, as Aaron Mason skips past the ‘keeper and chases after the ball where…

 

…he misses the ball by millimeters and slotting the ball home.

 

The Medda Young Team pose for the camera, as they ‘drum up’ their support for their team.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.

Craigmark Burntonions v Auchinleck Talbot

Preston Athletic v Auchinleck Talbot

The players enter the field of play before kick-off in front of the applauding fans.

 

‘Gee’ tries to push away his opponent and keep hold of the ball.

 

‘Pee-wee’ heads the ball into the path of the incoming Samson, as he races into the box.

 

The Preston player is put under pressure from Gareth and Aiden.

 

The defender gets to the ball just before Boylan could pull the trigger but…

 

…the ball lands at the feet of ‘Gee’ but he fails to find the back of the net with his low strike.

 

‘Big Neily’ rises the highest to clear the danger.

 

Aiden Wilson gets to the ball first and heads the ball back up the park.

 

Preston go for the spectacular but the ball goes high over the crossbar.

 

Dwayne…I think the Talbot fan is telling you what direction to head with the ball.

 

McCracken gets brought down, as he tries to go on a run.

 

CHANCE!!! Gareth Armstrong finds space inside the box but he just can’t hit the target with his header.

 

Craig McCracken makes sure the danger gets cleared.

 

‘Tucker’ roars out the orders from the dugout.

 

Graham fires the ball up the wing, as the crowd closely watch the action.

 

Craig and Neil form Talbot’s first synchronized defence team in order to block this Preston shot but then…

 

…Craig blocks the immediate rebound strike, as the ball smacks off his body and then…

 

…Preston have a third go at goal but the shot goes high and wide.

 

These Talbot fans get ring side viewing of a wee altercation between the players.

 

RED CARD!!! Even though Preston win the foul, they get reduced to ten men, although Paul Currie argues his case before taking an early bath.

 

Samson tries to get there first but the Preston ‘keeper gathers the ball on the ground.

 

Keir Samson races up the wing but gets stopped in his tracks.

 

A sore one for Samson, as he gets bundled over.

 

Boylan finds that all roads are blocked, as he fights for the ball.

 

CHANCE FOR PRESTON!!! Preston find space inside the box to fire a header across the face of goal but…

 

…Big Andy pulls off a great save to push the ball round the post for a corner.

 

Aiden Wilson tries his luck from inside the box but his shot gets deflected out for a corner.

 

WHAT-A-CHANCE!!! McCracken rises and gets his head to the ball but can only watch the ball go agonisingly wide of the post.

 

OFFSIDE!!! Talbot come straight out the traps after the break and Samson firs the ball into the back of the net from close range but is deemed to be offside.

 

HAD-TO-BE, SURELY!!! Boylan races in on the ‘keeper, fires off a shot but the ‘keeper pulls off a great block to deny Bryan.

 

All eyes on the ball gentlemen.

 

‘Pee-wee’ and Healy put the pressure on, as Preston keep their attack going.

 

Another aerial battle victory for McCracken.

 

Jamie looks to the sky and rues a missed chance.

 

ANOTHER CHANCE FOR TALBOT!!! Samson gets his head to the ball but fails to hit the target.

 

GOOOOAAAALLLL!!! Talbot FINALLY find the back of the net, as Jamie Glasgow fires a shot from outside the box and smashes the ball home. 0-1.

 

Stunned, happy and deflated all in one image!

 

Jamie lets out a celebratory roar after scoring, as ‘shankers’ grins from ear to ear.

 

THE TALBOT CENTIPEDE!

 

GAME, SET & MATCH!!! In a blink of an eye Talbot double their lead, as Samson scores via an awkward header from close range. 0-2.

 

Keir begins to wheel away, as the Talbot faithful go absolutely beserk!

 

Samson shows his delight after scoring.

 

SHEER TALBOT EUPHORIA!!!

 

Preston try for a late consolation but fail to find the back of the net.

 

A couple of happy looking Talbot chappies!

 

What a fine collection of nappers!

PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.

MURRAY’S MATCH REPORT

Talbot booked their place in the 3rd round draw for the William Hill Scottish cup thanks to a couple of late goals which was enough to see off Preston at Pennypit park.

The breeze was in the home side’s favour in the first half and it was Preston who made the early running. They won a free kick in the 3rd minute about 30 yards out on the left which Archibald hit for goal rather than crossing but his shot went straight at Leishman.

A minute later Talbot had a chance down the other end. The Preston defence didn’t cope with Samson’s long throw in from the right and it broke out to Boylan who squared it for Graham Wilson who fired at the keeper from 15 yards.

Seven minutes in a sloppy corner kick saw Talbot turn attack into defence. Healy’s corner from the left was easily cleared at the near post and the hosts raced onto the counter-attack; releasing Grotlin down the left but McPherson read it & got across to make the tackle.

Talbot almost took the lead in the 12th minute. Samson won a corner on the right and when the ball came over Armstrong met it only to see his header deflected just past Newman’s right post.

The Bot put themselves under pressure again in the 20th minute when Healy’s pass was intercepted in midfield allowing Preston to counter down the left. Once again McPherson was on hand to get across and beat Grotlin to it and put it out for a shy.

Preston were dealt a blow in the 23rd minute when they went down to 10 men. Aiden Wilson conceded a free kick in the centre for a foul on Currie but the Preston midfielder reacted angrily, getting into Wilson’s face, and was sent off for foul language.

The loss of a man didn’t make any immediate impact and the game was at a stalemate; with neither side really threatening in the final third. Preston won a free kick 30 yards out following a clumsy challenge by Hyslop which Archibald took but Leishman wasn’t called upon as it sailed a yard over the bar.

The home side had a let off in the 33rd minute. A ball up the right saw Boylan race clear in behind the defence and he drilled it across goal where Samson met it at the near post but it clipped the outside of the post and went behind.

As half time approached Talbot began to exert some pressure but without creating too much; although Talbot did have a gilt edged chance in the 43rd minute. Boylan released Aiden Wilson on the left and his shot was blocked behind for the corner. When it came over McCracken raced onto it but glanced a free header wide of target from 6 yards out and the sides went in goal less at the break.

Tucker made a change at the interval with Jamie Glasgow coming on in place of Armstrong.

The Bot had an early chance soon after the re-start when a ball up the left found Boylan racing into the area but his shot was well saved by Newman.

Preston made their first change in the 52nd minute when Young replaced Jack.

Leishman didn’t have the busiest of afternoons but he did well when called upon in the 55th minute. A cross into the area was headed clear by McCracken but only came as far as Archibald whose low drive was held by Leishman low to his left.

Talbot threatened down the other end in the 56th minute when they won a free kick out on the left. The home defence cleared it but it was quickly knocked back into the box where Hylsop headed it down to Boylan and Newman had to be alert to halt his drive from 15 yards that skipped up off the surface.

Two minutes later Talbot were back on the attack. Healy slid a good ball down the right channel that found Glasgow racing into the penalty area but he fired wide of target under pressure from a defender.

With 68 minutes gone Tucker made a double switch with Boylan & Hyslop making way for Shankland & Boyd.

In the 72nd minute Shankland cut in off the left and tried his luck from 25 yards but his shot sailed over the crossbar.

Talbot had a real chance to grab the opener in the 76th minute. Aiden Wilson pinged over a great cross from the left that found Samson free 10 yards out but he glanced his header well wide.

However two minutes later Talbot took the lead. Graham Wilson gathered midway inside the Preston half and tried to slide a ball through to Samson. The defender cleared it but the ball came to JAMIE GLASGOW who took a touch before rifling a left foot shot wide of the keeper & inside the left post from 22 yards.

The goal lifted Talbot & demoralised Preston with the Bot pushing hard for a 2nd to kill the tie off and it duly came in the 83rd minute. Stafford’s cross from the right was headed toward goal by Graham Wilson and KEIR SAMSON beat the keeper to it to head it over him and into the empty net.

Twice in the closing minutes Talbot came close to adding to their tally. In the 87th minute Stafford played Glasgow in down the right and he skipped inside Innes before firing fractionally wide of the left post.

As the game headed into injury time Samson came in off the left & drilled a low shot from 20 yards that clipped the outside of the right post.

A good away win for Talbot, who weren’t at their best, but did enough on the day. Next up Talbot are back on the road, this time in the Scottish Junior cup where they travel across East Ayrshire to face Craigmark next Saturday.

Preston Athletic – Newman, Austin, Innes, O’Connor, O’Prior, Currie, Jack, Archibald, Grotlin, Malloy,

Somers

Subs – Forsyth, Young, McNeill, Hamilton, McCoolie, Stokes

Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Armstrong, Healy, Hyslop, Graham Wilson, Boylan, Samson

Subs – Glasgow, Shankland, Boyd, Mason, Lyle, McDowall, White, Hewitt, Robbie McCracken

West Calder United

Auchinleck Talbot v Forth Wanderers

Kieran Healy can only watch, as Forth clear their lines.

 

HOW’S THAT NOT A GOAL!!! Forth go unbelievably close to taking the lead with a shot right in front of goal but Andy Leishman pulls off a great save and keeps the score level.

 

Forth know just how big a chance that was.

 

‘Shankers’ goes chasing, while Aaron Mason does his best to win the 50/50 challenge.

 

McDowell, Mason and Wilson are all set to pounce onto the end of the cross but the front defender gets there first to clear the danger.

 

CHANCE!!! Mark Shankland finds himself with space inside the box but his header fails to find the back of the net.

 

A last ditch block from McPherson prevents Forth from scoring.

 

Mason fights for possession, as some of the Talbot faithful closely watch the action.

 

Forth try their luck with a long range effort but fail to hit the back of the net.

 

Neil McPherson dishes out the orders, as Aiden Wilson tries to go on the attack.

 

Mark makes sure he blocks the way through for Forth.

 

Armstrong makes sure Talbot keep hold of the ball.

 

‘Shankers’ tries to muscle his way past his opponent and get to the ball.

 

The Forth players roar out the orders as they wait for the Talbot free-kick to be put in.

 

BREAKTHROUGH!!! Talbot eventually find the back of the net, as McCracken hits the target with a close range header. 1-0.

 

Craig wheels away to celebrate, Forth look dejected and the young Talbot fan at the back punches the air to celebrate too.

 

An early second half chance for Talbot but Graham’s header goes wide of the post.

 

Jack McDowell stays strong in order to try and win the ball back.

 

Erm…I think giving yourself a wedgie for missing a great chance is a bit too much.

 

The Talbot bench watch closely, as Wullie Lyle fires the ball down the wing.

 

Samson comes under pressure, as Forth fight for possession.

 

RED CARD!!! A stern looking McPherson takes an early bath, as he is sent off after receiving a second booking.

 

The Talbot wall stands tall, as they block the way through for this Forth free-kick.

 

Lyle does his best to keep his team-mates motivated, as Talbot try to see out the win.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.

MURRAY’S MATCH REPORT

Talbot made hard work of it but ground out a narrow win over Forth in the South Challenge cup.

The Bot had an early chance in the 4th minute when Graham Wilson’s shot from 15 yards was saved by McPhee’s legs.

Talbot were seeing a lot of the ball, with Forth content to sit in, and it was paying off as Talbot were struggling to make any headway in the final third.

In the 12th minute Stevenson headed a cross behind and when Mason’s corner came over from the right Shankland met it but sent his header over the bar.

Talbot were given a fright in the 13th minute when Lafferty slid a pass through to find Henderson inside the area. He cut in off the left and went for goal but McPherson got across to block his shot.

In the 23rd minute Aiden Wilson worked a one-two with McDowall down the left and he raced to the bye line and tried to cut it back to the waiting Shankland but there wasn’t enough on it & the defence intercepted.

Aiden Wilson swung a good across the face of goal in the 26th minute but no Bot players got near it.

Talbot scored the game’s only goal in the 31st minute. The Bot won a free kick out on the left which Shankland swung into the centre where CRAIG MCCRACKEN headed home from close range.

Two minutes later Talbot had a chance to double their lead. Shankland cut inside onto his right foot and sent a low drive just wide of McPhee’s right post from the edge of the area.

The Bot had another half chance a minute later. Aiden Wilson pinged over a cross that Donnelly headed clear. It came out to Lyle who crossed it onto the head of Shankland who guided a header wide of the left post.

The visitors had the ball in the net in the 39th minute but it was rightly chalked off for offside and that was pretty much it for the 1st half.

Talbot have had a habit of improving after the interval but this cup tie proved the exception to the rule with the 2nd half being as poor a 45 minutes as will have been seen at Beechwood in a long while.

McPherson picked up a caution in the 55th minute for holding and a minute later Shankland joined him in the book for an aerial challenge.

Around the hour mark Tucker made a double switch with Armstrong & Mason going off to be replaced by Boyd & Boylan.

There was really only one near thing in the whole 2nd half and it came in the 62nd minute for the visitors. A corner from the right was headed toward goal and Graham Wilson had to clear it from the goal mouth.

The closest Talbot came to adding to their lead was in the 72nd minute. Shankland fed it wide right to Healy and when his ball came across goal McQuarrie bundled it just wide of his own goal.

Talbot made another change with quarter of an hour left when Samson came on for Shankland.

The Bot had to see the last 10 minutes out a man down. A ball over the top saw McPherson bring down Stewart and he was shown a 2nd yellow and was off to the clubhouse. Forth had a free kick just outside the penalty area but it was drilled straight into the wall.

In the closing stages McDonald picked up a caution for a cynical foul on Graham Wilson then Donnelly joined him in the bad books for a late tackle on Healy.

The game trundled on to its conclusion with neither keeper actually required to make a save in the 2nd half.

Not a game to live long in the memory and Talbot will be hoping to raise it a gear or two next week when they travel through to East Lothian to face Preston Athletic in the William Hill Scottish cup.

Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Craig McCracken, Armstrong, Healy, McDowall, Graham Wilson, Shankland, Mason

Subs – Boylan, Samson, Hyslop, Boyd, Robbie McCracken, Stafford, Hewitt

Forth Wanderers – McPhee, Cassidy, Brown, McQuarrie, Donnelly, Cookman, McDonald, Lafferty, Stevenson, Henderson, Savarese

Subs – Hutchison, Murray, McLaughlin, Fullarton, Stewart, J McDonald, Banks

Auchinleck Talbot v Darvel

MURRAYS REPORT

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.

Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Craig McCracken, Armstrong, Healy, Hyslop, Boylan, Graham Wilson, Samson

Subs – Shankland, McDowall, Mason, Robbie McCracken, Lyle, White, Hewitt

Darvel – Truesdale, Meggatt, Marr, Reid, Allan, Miller, McShane, Stirling, Kirkpatrick, Ferguson

Subs – Avcii, Black, Mitchell, Boland, Walker, Little, Thomson

Auchinleck Talbot v Hurlford United

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.

Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Craig McCracken, Armstrong, Boyd, Hyslop, Glasgow, Shankland, Samson

Subs – Boylan, Graham Wilson, McDowall, Robbie McCracken, Healy, Hewitt

Hurlford United – McDonald, Miller, Lidington, Magee, Robertson, Graham, P McKenzie, Wilson, Bell, M McKenzie, Whittaker

Subs – Coogans, McKnight, McIntyre, Frew, Walker, Burns

 

William Boyd gets an attack started early in the game.

 

Hurlford make sure the ball goes back to the ‘keeper before the incoming Samson gets to it first.

 

Aiden Wilson gets busted open, as Talbot keep on looking to draw first blood.

 

OH SO CLOSE FOR HURLFORD!!! The ‘Ford very nearly take an early lead but the woodwork prevents the ball from nestling into the back of the net.

 

Big Andy gathers the ball while under pressure.

 

Jamie Glasgow vents his frustration after losing possession.

 

Armstrong gets his point across to the ref, as he shouts for a free-kick.

 

Boyd goes racing up the park, as Talbot continue searching for the opening goal.

 

Both benches closely watch the action, as ‘Shankers’ tries to thread a pass through from the wing.

 

Keir Samson does his best to outpace his opponent.

 

From deep inside his own half, Big Neily skips past his man and races up the wing.

 

Boyd loudly claims for a free-kick, after he sees Glasgow being bundled over.

 

Jamie Glasgow ‘toes the line’ and makes sure he keeps possession.

 

McKenzie takes a fall, as he loses out to Glasgow in the challenge.

 

Samson feels the full force of this hefty challenge.

 

‘Pee-wee’ does brilliantly to still put the cross into the danger area but…

 

…Samson fails to get onto the end of it, as the ‘Ford ‘keeper gets to the ball first.

 

Wullie Boyd races into the box and fires a low cross into the box where…

 

…Hurlford can’t clear their lines and end up putting the ball into the back of their own net! 1-0.

 

It may have been an own goal but Jamie and Mark still race over to congratulate Boyd for his part in the goal.

 

Glasgow goes airborne in order to keep hold of the ball.

 

Dwayne Hyslop takes a sore one to the head while heading the ball back down the park.

 

Erm…Andy…I don’t think Chris Stafford’s head is the ball?

 

CLOSE!!! ‘Pee-wee’ can only watch his low headed chance go agonisingly wide of the post.

 

Both Dwayne and Craig know just how close that chance was.

 

Wilson goes very close to scoring, as his strike gets stopped by the feet of the ‘keeper.

 

Truthfully…cards on the table…I have no idea what Mark and Keir were shouting for here. I just think it’s a great wee pic!

 

Paul McKenzie roars out the orders to his team-mates.

 

McPherson gets stopped in his tracks by hard tackle from McKenzie.

 

It takes a brave man to stand up to an angry Neil McPherson.

 

The players try to calm down after a bit of ‘handbags’.

 

Boylan does brilliantly to skip past his opponent.

 

Boylan lets his feelings known to the linesman.

 

SO NEARLY A GOAL!!! Bryan Boylan is so close to meeting the cross but the ‘keeper manages to claw the ball away from him at the final second.

 

‘Shankers’ goes for the spectacular inside the box but he fails to find the back of the net.

 

‘Gee’ races in on goal and unleashes a shot but the strike fails to hit the target.

 

The final chance of the game falls to Shankland but his strike unfortunately sails over the bar.

 

Well…the current crop of Talbot players were certainly playing in the presence of a group of Talbot legends watching the action form the terrace.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.