PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.
MURRAYS MATCH REPORT
There’s a new name on the South Challenge cup as Talbot recovered from a shaky start to come from behind to beat Lowland League winners Bonnyrigg Rose at Falkirk.
Talbot found themselves a goal down after only 8 minutes. McCracken conceded a free kick just outside the penalty area after wrestling Hunter to the deck and there was nothing Leishman could do but watch as CURRIE fired it over the wall and into the back of the net via the inside of the left hand post.
Bonnyrigg were guilty of slack play a few minutes later when their defender tried to let a ball run out for a goal kick only for Stafford to nick in & steal it and pull it back for Shankland who fired a volley well over under pressure.
Stafford did well in the 12th minute when he charged forward before releasing it to Boylan on the right wing. He swept a good ball across the face of goal but there were no takers and it ran behind for the goal kick.
In the 25th minute Bonnyrigg caught the Bot defence napping with a good ball up the left wing that found Turner racing free and he swept an early ball into the centre which McPherson intercepted at the near post.
Bonnyrigg missed a good chance to double their lead in the 29th minute. Martyniuk played it down the line to find Turner in space and he pulled it back straight into the path of Hunter who met it 15 yards out but sclaffed his shot well wide of the right post.
The Bot put together a neat move in the 32nd minute as Wilson & Boylan combined down the left before Aiden squared it inside for Shankland but he was well challenged at the edge of the area and the ball broke off him and through for a goal kick.
Talbot drew level in the 35th minute thanks to a bit of luck. A cross from the right was headed back across goal by Shankland where it cannoned off the head of WILSON and past his keeper for an own goal.
The goal energised Talbot who moved onto the front foot for the remainder of the half but without really threatening the Rose goal.
A minute from the interval Bonnyrigg were forced into a change when Martyniuk limped off to be replaced by Young and shortly after the teams trooped off for the half-time break.
The Bot came flying out the traps at the start of the 2nd half and had a chance within a minute of the re-start. Hyslop’s diagonal ball found Healy down the right and his cross into the near post was headed into the side-netting by Samson.
Talbot did have the ball in the back of the net in the 49th minute but it didn’t stand. Healy lifted a ball in behind the defence to find Boylan and he lobbed it past the keeper but the assistant’s flag was already raised for offside.
Within a minute Talbot were back on the attack. Healy fed it out right to Samson and he whipped a dangerous ball across the face of goal that Wilson turned behind for the corner.
Talbot’s pressure was rewarded in the 52nd minute when they took the lead. Hyslop was caught inside the Bonnyrigg half and Talbot took the free kick quickly. Healy released it down the right to find Samson and he cut it back into the path of BRYAN BOYLAN who buried it inside the right hand post.
This sparked a response from Bonnyrigg and Leishman was called into action in the 54th minute when Hyslop’s mishit clearance fell to S Gray 19 yards out. He fired it on target but straight down the centre where Leishman tipped it over the crossbar.
Bonnyrigg made their 2nd change of the afternoon in the 59th minute with McGachie replacing Hall up front.
The game was now flowing from end to end with Talbot threatening down the left through Shankland and moments later Barrett speeding up the wing for Bonnyrigg but on both occasions the final ball was lacking.
Samson became the first player booked when he was cautioned in the 66th minute for a trip on Currie; resulting in a Bonnyrigg free kick 35 yards from goal. Currie took it and curled it over beyond the back post where Hyslop headed it behind. When the corner came over Leishman claimed it confidently.
Talbot now sprang onto the counter – a good early ball finding Samson racing down the right and he slung a great cross into the centre but unfortunately there was no one on hand for Talbot.
Bonnyrigg now made their final change with Brett replacing Turner.
In Talbot’s next attack Shankland fed the ball down the left toward Boylan. He managed to rob Rose’s right-back of it before angling a ball across the box that Samson just failed to reach.
Tucker made his first change in the 71st minute with Graham Wilson coming on for Boyd.
Talbot were caught daydreaming in the 74th minute at a Bonnyrigg shy. The ball was thrown into the unmarked Horne who slid a pass through for Barrett down the left of the penalty area but Stafford recovered quickly to get across and block the cross.
With 76 mins gone Talbot made their 2nd change with Glasgow on for Shankland.
As the clock ticked down Bonnyrigg pressed forward in search of an equaliser with Talbot looking to hit them on the break.
In the 84th minute a ball flighted up the right came off the top of Hyslop’s head and was heading toward McGachie on the right of the penalty area but McPherson read it and was quickly across to clear the danger.
A minute later McGachie met a ball into the box and laid it outside the area for Young to hit but he blazed his shot over.
Talbot won a free kick in a promising area in the 86th minute when Boylan was caught 18 yards out wide on the right but Glasgow’s ball in was cleared at the near post.
Play then switched to the other end where a high, hanging cross from the right touchline saw Leishman come to claim it beyond his back post but unluckily he collided with Stafford and it went behind for the corner.
The Bot now turned defence to attack as they successfully fielded the corner and broke swiftly to the other end where JAMIE GLASGOW pounced on a weak back pass to race through on goal, round the keeper and roll the ball into the empty net to put Talbot 3-1 ahead.
Tucker now made a final change with Robbie McCracken coming on for Healy.
Talbot saw the closing stages out without any problems to secure the win to the delight of the travelling fans.
An impressive display by Talbot against the side who won the Lowland League and will play in the SFL next season after breezing past Cowdenbeath in the play offs.
Next for Talbot is the season’s finale where they will take on Yoker Athletic a week on Saturday at Rugby Park looking to clinch their 14th Scottish Junior cup title and end the season with a cup double.
Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic – Andrews, S Gray, Wilson, Horne, Martyniuk, Barrett, Currie, Turner, Connolly, Hall, Hunter
Subs – Weir, Brett, Young, Stewart, McGachie, R Gray, Evans
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Craig McCracken, Boyd, Healy, Hyslop, Shankland, Samson, Boylan
Subs – Mason, Graham Wilson, Glasgow, Robbie McCracken, Heaney, Hewitt
PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN
PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.
MURRAYS MATCH REPORT
Talbot left Loch Park with all 3 points after a hard fought derby win over the Glens but it came too late to have any impact on the title due to Darvel’s win over the Buffs.
The Bot started brightly and won a free kick out wide in the 1st minute following a shove on Samson. Wardrope took it short to release Wilson on the overlap and he whipped a decent ball into the centre which was cleared.
A few minutes later Wilson’s hanging cross caused Markey problems with the Glens keeper dropping it near the back post but it didn’t break for Talbot and the defence were able to clear.
In the 8th minute Leishman fired a free kick down the right to find the head of Hyslop. He nodded it into the path of Glasgow who released McCracken down the right and his driven ball was blocked behind for a corner. When Wardrope’s corner came over the defence failed to clear their lines and it broke to Hyslop 16 yards out. He tried to pass it into the corner but his shot was blocked and rebounded out to Wardrope on the right. He swung over a good cross that Markey managed to punch clear.
The Glens keeper did well in the 11th minute when Hyslop played a ball in behind the defence for Wardrope; with the keeper quickly off his line to narrowly beat him to it and clear the danger.
Talbot had a nervy moment in the 17th minute when a ball up the centre landed in behind the defence between Crawford and Leishman. Andy came to claim it at the edge of the box but it wasn’t coming into the area and he had to improvise a clearance under pressure from Kerr.
Blyth had his name taken in the 20th minute for a late challenge on Hyslop.
The home side threatened the Bot goal in the 23rd minute. A cross from the left was headed up into the air by Wilson and dropped down to Martin on the right edge of the area. He cut inside onto his left foot and fired for goal only for McCracken to make the block and send it wide for the corner. The corner was whipped in dangerously but no one anticipated and it flew across goal.
Talbot’s next attack saw Wilson sling over a deep cross to find Wardope beyond the far post. He drilled it back across goal but it slipped wide of the right hand post.
The Glens picked up a 2nd yellow card in the 29th minute when Martin went right through the back of Wardrope.
In the 33rd minute the Glens had a chance to take the lead following a corner from the left. When it came over Kemp got his head to it and nodded it beyond the far post where McKee side-footed it into the side-netting.
Talbot came close to grabbing the lead in the 42nd minute. Glenafton won a contentious free kick wide on the left for what appeared to be a hard but fair tackle from McCracken. When the ball came in Talbot cleared it and broke through Glasgow who raced up field before sliding it left to Samson who cut inside and went for a curling effort that was heading inside the left post until Markey tipped it round.
A minute before the interval Martin raced half the length of the field unchallenged; firing a low drive from 18 yards that was deflected wide of the left post.
Glenafton ended the half strongly though Talbot were left frustrated when the Glens were awarded a very soft free kick just outside the Bot penalty area. The referee came across to speak to Tucker before McKernon took it but he fired it straight into the wall and that was that for the 1st half.
Talbot made a change at the start of the 2nd period with Armstrong on for Wilson. This led to a defensive re-shuffle with Stafford going into the centre and Crawford to right-back.
The Bot looked a bit uncertain in the early stages of the half with Glenafton doing most of the pressing. The home side had a half chance in the 49th minute. They won a corner on the right which was cleared but straight back to the corner taker who lobbed it deep beyond the far post where Rowe had a free header but steered it straight at Leishman.
Talbot had a glorious chance to take the lead in the 52nd minute. Crawford made ground down the right and swung over a great cross that landed at the feet of Wardrope 15 yards out. He could have went for goal but instead laid it off first time into the path of Glasgow who took it round the keeper but couldn’t force it home.
In the 55th minute Glens won a free kick 12 yards out wide on the right following a foul by Armstrong. McKernon flighted it into the centre where Leishman punched it clear.
A minute later the Glens were on the attack again. Markey bowled the ball out to Martin who raced through the centre of midfield before slipping a pass left to Kerr but he was closed down inside the area before he could get his shot away.
Just shy of the hour mark Leishman produced a top save to keep the score level. The Glens switched the ball out to the right where Blyth was in space. He lifted a cross over to the far post to find Kerr in space but his free header was saved at the right hand post by Leishman.
Down the other end Talbot came close when Crawford’s cross was glanced just wide of target by Samson.
Armstrong had his name taken in the 62nd minute when he conceded a free kick 35 yards from goal that McKernon fired straight into the wall.
Talbot now made their 2nd change of the afternoon with McCracken making way for Mason.
The Glens next attack looked well offside but the flag stayed down as McKee raced onto a ball down the left and when he whipped a cross into the centre Kerr met it only to see his header tipped over the bar by Leishman.
Kemp received a caution in the 70th minute for a foul on Wardrope and a few minutes later Glasgow left the field injured to be replaced by Boyd.
With quarter of an hour remaining McPherson charged forward from the back & slid a pass into the feet of Mason but he was falling back as he hit it and scooped his shot well over.
Three minutes later Wardope won Talbot a corner down the left which he took himself. The delivery was spot on and only needed a touch to turn it home but no one had gambled and the ball sped across the face of goal.
Ten minutes from time Healy picked up a yellow card for a trip on Martin and a minute later Rowe received a caution for going through the back of Healy. From the resultant free kick Talbot worked it to Armstrong who flighted a cross onto the head of Samson but he headed it past the left post from a good area.
Two minutes from time Talbot grabbed the late winner. Mason cut inside off the left but was crowded out before he could get his shot away. The ball broke back to GARETH ARMSTRONG on the 18 yard line and his low drive ended up in the back of the net following a deflection.
The Glens piled men forward in added time but to no avail and Talbot saw the game out to secure the win.
Next week Talbot are back on their travels as they head through to Cumbernauld for the final league game of the season.
Glenafton Athletic – Markey, Martin, Cairns, Pettigrew, Murphy, McKernon, Blyth, Rowe, Kerr, Kemp, McKee
Subs – Nisbet, Miller, Fisher, Bennie, Johnson
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Crawford, Healy, Hyslop, Wardrope, Samson, Glasgow, Robbie McCracken
Subs – Mason, Armstrong, Boyd, White, Hewitt
Talbot were down to the bare bones for this semi final due to injuries, suspensions and cup tied players which forced Tucker into putting Steven White and Under20 player Greg Smith on the bench. With Craig McCracken still injured Gareth Armstong teamed up with Neil McPherson in the centre of defence while there was a starting place for Dwayne Hyslop in the middle of the park.
The visitors were quick off the mark forcing two corners which the Talbot defence dealt with, while in the fifth minute Hyslop tried his luck from 20 yards out but sliced the ball well over the bar. Minutes later the big man proved to be more deadly when Aiden Wilson’s quick throw in found Glasgow who put in a pin point cross that HYSLOP headed into the net via the clawing fingers of keeper Clark.
Talbot were finding space down the left side and on 14 minutes Aiden Wilson flung in a dangerous cross that forced Clark to touch the ball into the path of Boylan who smashed a shot from a few yards but Tully somehow headed the ball off his crossbar before it was cleared by Comrie for a corner. On the 17th minute Talbot doubled their lead when after collecting a Glasgow throw in Stafford burst into the box leaving at least three Sauchie defenders in his wake before picking out GRAHAM WILSON who slammed the ball past Clark from 12 yards.
If it wasn’t bad enough that Talbot were short of players, worse was to come when Boylan was injured on the 20th minute after Carroll naughtily body checked the striker into the hoardings where he suffered injuries to his head and knee. The player didn’t recover after a visit from the physio and was replaced by Robbie McCracken.
The youngster was soon involved in the match when he picked up a Glasgow pass and threaded a superb ball through to Graham Wilson whose shot was parried by the feet of Clark before being cleared by Docherty.
Beechwood was silenced on the half hour mark when Comrie cut out a Glasgow pass which fell to Smith who found out he had options either side of him as the Talbot players try to get to him and he played in Ross Kavanagh who beat Armstrong to the ball and slid a shot under the onrushing Leishman.
Minutes later Talbot should have restored their two goal cushion when the impressive Stafford again caused havoc in the Sauchie defence picking out Healy who faltered to get a shot away but got the ball to Hyslop whose pass was knocked into the path of Samson by Comrie but the striker was robbed of a goal when Clark made a superb one handed save with Columbine clearing the loose ball for a corner.
The remainder of the first half saw both sides cancelling out each other as Sauchie chased an equalizer while Talbot were happy to hit on the break.
The second half was hardly started when a Robbie McCracken clearance was headed on by G.Wilson which landed at the feet of Glasgow who outstripped Tully but Clark did well to block his first time shot. The game started to see a bit of niggle creep in that saw Kavanagh carded for going straight through the back of Hyslop. Morgan followed his team mate into referee Curran’s book for constant mouthing.
Talbot had a good penalty claim turned down when a corner was cleared into the path of Armstrong whose volley came off the arm of Scott Davidson, but was waved aside by referee Curran who had a great view of the infringement.
Talbot were now in the ascendency as they started to pick holes in the Sauchie defence. Robbie McCracken was unlucky not to get on the score sheet when he thundered a Graham Wilson back heeled pass from 18 yards but it was well parried by Clark. Graham Wilson became the first Talbot player in the book after a theatrical head injury by Comrie.
The game was over as a competition with 15 minutes to go when Aiden Wilson fired a long ball into the edge of the box where Glasgow turned Tully and as Clark advanced to avert the danger the Talbot midfielder lobbed the ball over his head and into the net.
The visitors seemed to run out of ideas and stamina after Glasgow’s goal and the player had another chance before the final whistle when Healy’s pass into the box gave Glasgow a clear run at goals but his shot slipped past the post.
This was a workmanlike performance by Talbot which was peppered by some sheer brilliance from the players. Sauchie were a tough outfit and good opponents but rarely bothered the Talbot defence. Next up a do or die match with Rob Roy on Wednesday night.
TALBOT: Leishman, Stafford, A.Wilson, McPherson, Armstrong, Hyslop, Healy (Boyd), G.Wilson, Boylan (R.McCracken), Samson, Glasgow(Smith). Subs: R.McCracken, Boyd, Smith, White, Hewitt GK.
SAUCHIE: Clark, Scott Davidson, Tully, Columbine(Kelly), Comrie, Smith, Sam Davidson(Dickie), Kavanagh(Crawford), Docherty, Carroll, Morgan SUBS: Greenhorn, Dickie, Crawford, Fisher, Syme, Kelly, Columbine GK.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.
Talbot lost their spot at the top of the table after a frustrating afternoon at New Tinto park which ended all square.
The first half was a bit of a non-event with Talbot struggling to cope against a stiff breeze and Benburb constantly going long and overhitting it.
The first of very chances in the 1st half came Talbot’s way in the 12th minute. A shy from the right wasn’t cleared by the home defence and came to Graham Wilson 16 yards out but he fired wide of the left hand post.
Benburb’s first attack came in the 23rd minute when Black sent a good square pass out to Lovering on the left wing and his cross into the near post was well cleared by Stafford.
In the 33rd minute Docherty picked up a caution for petulantly kicking the ball away after conceding a free kick for a foul on Stafford.
The Bot had a half chance in the 40th minute when Wardope played a good ball in behind the Bens defence for Boylan to race onto. He burst down the left side of the penalty area but the ball wouldn’t sit down for him and he drilled a left foot shot across goal and wide of the far post.
In the final minute of the half McPherson was caught late in an aerial challenge by Lovering but the ref took no further action and the sides went in goal less at the break.
The 2nd half got off to a much livelier start than the insipid first and both sides threatened within a minute of the restart. The ball broke to Duncanson on the right of Talbot’s penalty area and he played a dangerous ball across goal towards McDonald but he lost his footing and the chance was lost. Play then immediately switched to the other end where Wardrope’s ball up the right found Boylan racing down the wing and he whipped a great ball into the centre but there were no takers.
Black had his name taken in the 48th minute for a late challenge on McCracken as he cleared the ball.
A minute later he ought to have given Bens the lead. McDonald knocked the ball into his path but with time and space he snatched at it and blazed a shot off target.
With 54 mins gone Talbot made their 1st change with Shankland coming on for Mason.
One minute later Talbot took the lead. Shankland laid the ball off to Graham Wilson and his pass up the left wing found BRYAN BOYLAN who swung a cross over to the back post that deceived the keeper and landed in the net.
Benburb now made a change with McDonald making way for Meechan.
Talbot had a let off in the 59th minute. A shy from the left was only partially cleared and fell to Taylor whose shot was deflected just past the left hand post.
In the 61st minute Talbot might have wrapped it up. Shankland’s short pass found Graham Wilson and he rolled it into the path of Aiden Wilson whose fierce drive was saved at his near post by McCready. The ball came across the face of goal to Samson who saw his effort cleared off the line.
A minute later Samson had his name taken for what looked like a fairly innocuous challenge.
It was all level after 63 minutes as the Bens scored a controversial equaliser. McCracken hit a poor clearance that was intercepted and played out to BLACK on the right. He got past McPherson and lobbed it home only for the assistant to raise his flag and call the ref over to advise it had hit his hand in the build-up. It looked like the goal was going to be chalked off but the referee over-ruled his assistant and the goal stood.
Talbot now made a defensive re-shuffle with McCracken who appeared to be suffering a knock making way for Crawford who went to right-back with Stafford going into the centre.
Benburb’s tails were up and they should have taken the lead in the 66th minute. A long shy from the left was head flicked on by Meechan toward the back post where it hit off Black and went just wide of the post.
In the 73rd minute Talbot regained the lead. Crawford did well on the right; surging forward before firing a cross into the near post. His cross took a slight deflection and Samson pounced on it only for McCready to make a good stop at his left post. The ball came out to KIERAN HEALY on the 18 yard line and he drilled a low left foot shot inside the left post.
Tucker now made a further change with Armstrong coming on for Boylan and Benburb were forced into a defensive change with Bow limping off to be replaced by McTaggart.
Talbot’s next attack saw Crawford hare up the right and win a corner when his cross was blocked. Wardrope played the corner into the near post where Samson tried to turn it home but failed to make contact.
The home side were reduced to 10 men with 10 minutes remaining when Docherty picked up a 2nd yellow card for a late challenge on Shankland.
Two minutes later the referee again infuriated the travelling support and Talbot bench when he turned down what appeared a stonewall penalty. Crawford raced up the right and swung a ball into the near post where the Bens defender controlled it with his arm before clearing but the referee waved away Talbot’s appeals.
Two minutes later Talbot conceded a soft 2nd goal and it was all level again. Benburb had looked threatening from throw ins and it was a shy from the left that led to the equaliser. It was hurled into the near post where Meechan head flicked it on across goal where it came off a Bot defender and crept into the far corner to make it 2-2.
As the game moved into injury time Benburb came close to grabbing all 3 points. They won a free kick out on the left that was crossed into the centre where Meechan met it but his header came back off the left post.
Talbot threw men forward in added time and had plenty of pressure but all they had to show for it was a late chance when Wardope was caught outside the box. The ball broke to Healy and the ref gave the advantage but his shot flew over the bar and the game ended 2-2.
Next up for Talbot it’s back to Beechwood for a midweek league encounter with Rossvale where the Bot will look to get back to winning ways.
Benburb – McCready, O’Hear, Leadbetter, Bow, Docherty, Taylor, Duncanson, Livingston, McDonald, Black, Lovering
Subs – McCrone, Langan, Brennan, McTaggart, Miller, Meechan
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, McCracken, Healy, Wardrope, Graham Wilson, Boylan, Mason, Samson
Subs – Shankland, Glasgow, Armstrong, Hyslop, Crawford, Hewitt