Darvel v Auchinleck Talbot

MURRAYS REPORT

Talbot came from behind twice to secure a valuable point and maintain their lead at the top after an end to end battle at Darvel played out in front of a bumper crowd.

As the rain and hail lashed down Talbot got off to a strong start winning in a free kick in a good area within the 1st minute after Boylan was sent tumbling. Wardrope took it and his shot clipped the wall & flew just wide of the right post.

It was the Bot making the early running and Talbot had another chance in the 3rd minute. Boylan whipped over a good cross from the right that Hyslop headed just wide of target.

Darvel showed their attacking intent in the 5th minute when a ball down the left found Mackenzie running in behind McPherson. He squared it across to the far side of the area where Miller drove a low shot on target which Leishman saved well with his feet.

Leishman came to Talbot’s rescue again in the 13th minute. McCracken’s pass from the back was intercepted and Darvel broke forward through Morrison whose shot from 22 yards was turned round the right post by Leishman.

The Bot then had a half chance down the other end when the Darvel defence failed to clear their lines as the ball zipped around their area. It eventually broke out to Aiden Wilson who blasted his shot well over the bar.

The opening goal came Darvel’s way with 21 mins gone. A ball through the centre caught the Bot defence square and MACKENZIE beat the offside trap to run through on goal and take it round Leishman before passing it into the net.

Darvel’s lead though proved to be short lived and Talbot drew level in their next attack in the 24th minute. Wardrope found space on the left and crossed it into the area. It took a deflection and sailed to the back post where KIER SAMSON turned it home – taking a head knock in the process.

Talbot had the ball in the net again in the 27th minute but the goal didn’t stand. Hyslop slipped the ball out to Boylan on the right and his cross hit off Caldwell and spun high in the air. Graham Wilson jumped with the keeper and forced it home but the ref awarded Darvel a free kick.

Two minutes later Talbot were denied the lead by the woodwork. Boylan gathered on the right and fed it down the line to the overlapping Samson. He swung a cross to the far post where Graham Wilson powered a header off the post with the keeper beaten.

The Bot were having a good spell and next to try his luck was Healy when he volleyed over the bar when he met a cross from the right.

The large travelling support & Talbot bench were enraged in the 32nd minute when Miller raced onto a ball down the right. He looked about 10 yards offside but the linesman was way off the pace and kept his flag down. Fortunately, no harm came of it as Miller drove the ball across the face of goal but there was no one in the centre. The referee then came across to book Tucker for his protests and moments later McPherson was yellow carded for a challenge on the far side.

In the 37th minute McCracken tried his luck from the edge of the area only to see his shot blocked and spin high toward goal. Graham Wilson pursued it in and challenged the keeper but he was booked for his trouble.

Healy almost gave Talbot the lead in the 38th minute when he drilled a left foot shoot just past the left post.

Darvel now swept up the other end and regained the lead with a well-worked goal. A quick series of one-twos ended with MCSHANE rifling an unstoppable shot past Leishman from 18 yards to make it 2-1.

Talbot looked for an early response and won a free kick just outside the area when Graham Wilson was downed. Wardrope took it but got underneath it and lifted it well over the bar.

A minute from the interval Samson got a sore one when Caldwell went right through him resulting in a booking for Darvel’s full-back and soon after the whistle sounded and Darvel went in with a narrow lead at the interval.

When the teams re-emerged for the 2nd half Darvel had made a change between the sticks with Avci coming on in place of Truesdale.

Just as they had from kick off Talbot made a positive start to the 2nd half and threatened the Darvel goal within a minute of the restart. Boylan gathered on the left and skipped past Darvel’s right-back before floating a cross onto the head of Healy who nodded it over the bar.

Talbot missed a golden opportunity to level on 50 minutes.  Boylan drove forward through the centre before releasing it left to find Wardrope. He cut it back across goal where the defence failed to clear and it came to Graham Wilson who fired past the post from 15 yards.

Wardrope was next to have a go for Talbot. Boylan’s early ball found him breaking down the left. He cut inside onto his right foot but his shot lacked the power to test Avci.

In the 56th minute Meggatt received a caution for impeding Samson as he made to get onto a through ball. Wardrope took the free kick and aimed it in toward McCracken but it was just a shade too far in front of him in the centre.

The Bot had another good chance in the 59th minute when Boylan was sent free on the left. He raced into the area and knocked it wide of the keeper but went over in the box and was booked for simulation.

It was Talbot doing the pressing and the Bot had another glimpse at goal on the hour mark. Another ball threaded through the defence found Boylan on the left. He drove to the edge of the area and let fly for goal but a defender dived in to block his shot behind for the corner.

The heavy rain was making life difficult for the players and Avci nearly fell victim to it in the 63rd minute when he slipped when going to make a routine clearance. He managed to recover and partially cleared it but only as far as Graham Wilson who bent a cross over from the left but there were no takers at the back post.

Darvel hadn’t offered much in the 2nd half but they won a free kick in shooting range when McShane was brought down by Healy’s sliding tackle. Healy received a booking for the challenge and McShane took the set piece but it was easily held by Leishman.

In the 66th minute Mackenzie had an opportunity to tie it up for Darvel when the ball broke kindly to him inside the penalty area but his low drive was brilliantly saved by Leishman low to his left.

Tucker made his first change of the evening in the 71st minute when the tiring Samson made way for Glasgow and the change paid off immediately with Talbot levelling within a minute.

Wardrope cut in off the left and flighted a cross to the far side where Glasgow guided a header back across goal for DWAYNE HYSLOP to steer a header beyond the keeper.

Talbot were dealt a blow in the 74th minute – firstly when they conceded a free kick just wide of the penalty area – but also as McPherson picked up a knock and had to limp off with Crawford coming on in his place. The free kick was flashed across the goal mouth and flew behind for the goal kick.

With 10 minutes remaining Talbot came agonisingly close to taking the lead. Wardrope’s cross from the left was only cleared out as far as Healy on the 18 yard line and his low drive took a slight deflection before sliding inches wide of the left post.

Talbot made their final change in the 82nd minute with Shankland coming on for Boylan.

Both sides were tiring and Darvel’s no 10 and Glasgow both picked up cautions for fouls in the closing stages.

In the 87th minute Talbot had a late chance when Shankland laid the ball off toward Graham Wilson on the right of the area. He burst through on goal but Avci was quickly off his line to slide it clear. The ball came to Glasgow 16 yards out but his shot was blocked by a defender.

In the final minute of regulation time Wardrope split the Darvel defence with a ball out to the left to find Shankland breaking in behind but he lost his footing on the slippy surface and the chance was lost.

As the game moved into added time Darvel pushed forward looking for a late winner but couldn’t find a way through and the game ended all square.

A good away point for Talbot who now face an equally tricky midweek visit to Blair Park to face Hurlford as the Bot look to maintain their lead at the top of the table.

Darvel – Truesdale, Allan, Caldwell, Eadie, Mackenzie, McShane, Meggatt, Miller, Morrison, Stirling, Thomson

Subs – Avci, Boland, Galt, Kirkpatrick, Little, Reid, Moore

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

Subs – Shankland, Glasgow, Crawford, Armstrong, Robbie McCracken, Hewitt

DARVEL GOAL 1, ALLAN MACKENZIE

 

 

TALBOT GOAL 1, KEIR SAMSON

 

 

 

DARVEL GOAL 2, IAN MCSHANE

 

TALBOT GOAL 2, DWAYNE HYSLOP

 

 

PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.

Auchinleck Talbot v Kirkintilloch Rob Roy

Craig McCracken gets an early attack started from the back.

 

From the middle of the park, Armstrong looks to see where to distribute the ball next.

 

WHAT-A-START!!! Talbot take a very early lead in the semi-final, as ‘Gee’ gathers the ball inside the box and calmly slots the ball home. 1-0.

 

Both the Talbot players and the fans celebrate Wilson’s opener.

 

The celebrations continue after ‘Gee’s’ goal.

 

Samson wins the aerial battle but fails to hit the target with his header.

 

Glasgow tries to race up the park while under pressure from his opponent.

 

Well I’m puzzled at Samson’s puzzled expression at looking at something that obviously…puzzles him.

 

OFFTT…THAT WIS CLOSE!!! Rob Roy go very, VERY close to scoring but the ball goes the wrong side of the post by a certain hair width.

 

Big Andy vents his anger after that big chance for Rob Roy to pull level.

 

TALBOT MAKE IT TWO!!! Talbot get awarded a penalty and up steps ‘Shankers’ who does not miss from the spot and fires the ball home. 2-0.

 

Shankland wheels away to celebrate extending Talbot’s lead.

 

McCracken stays close to his man and makes sure his opponent goes the wrong way.

 

Samson shows his frustration after being penalised by the referee.

 

CHANCE!!! Shankland goes close to scoring again but his close range strike fails to find the back of the net.

 

Healy clearly shows his anger after the referee blows for a foul against Talbot.

 

CHANCE!!! ‘Shankers’ slides in and gets on to the end of the cross but, again, fails to score.

 

And as the ‘keeper gathers the ball, Shankland rues that missed opportunity.

 

ROB ROY PULL A GOAL BACK!!! Rob Roy make a great start to the second half, as their shot from the edge of the box finds the bottom corner of the net. 2-1.

 

Aiden Wilson sticks to his man and looks to win the ball back.

 

Rob Roy get awarded a free-kick, as tempers boil over for both sets of players.

 

WHAT-A-CHANCE!!! Healy finds himself in acres of space inside the box but he can only push his header wide of the post.

 

It’s ‘heads in hands time’, as Healy knows what a great chance that was to score.

 

McCracken argues with the man in the middle, after being told he handballed the ball.

 

And from the resulting free-kick, Rob Roy can only fire the ball high over the crossbar.

 

The Rob Roy ‘keeper goes all ‘superman’ in order to gather the ball and prevent Healy from getting his head to it.

 

Aaron Mason skips past his opponent, as he goes on a great run.

 

Samson tries to keep hold of the ball, as Talbot look to see out the game.

 

The final whistle gets blown and the Talbot faithful applaud the players for reaching another Scottish Junior Cup Final.

 

Two very happy chappies after that victory!

PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.

MURRAYS MATCH REPORT

Meadow park proved a happy hunting ground once more for Talbot as the Bot edged out Rob Roy to book a place in this season’s Scottish Junior final where they will face Yoker at Rugby Park.

Talbot made a positive start and won a corner in the 2nd minute when Bell blocked Glasgow’s cross. Glasgow aimed the corner to the far post where it was just nicked off the head of the waiting Graham Wilson.

An early goal always helps and Talbot obliged by taking the lead in the 4th minute. Glasgow gathered on the right and played it into Samson whose head flick was met by GRAHAM WILSON who controlled it on his chest before rolling the ball past Smith to put Talbot 1-0 ahead.

The early momentum was with Talbot and Samson did well to force a corner down the left. Glasgow pinged it into the near post where the defence failed to clear their lines. It came to McPherson with his back to goal and he headed it across the area where Samson met it but headed off target under pressure.

In the 10th minute Baber spread a good ball out right to find Truesdale racing down the right of the penalty area but his ball across was blocked behind for the corner.

Persistence paid off for Samson in the 14th minute when he chased down Graham Wilson’s ball down the left & managed to nick a corner off Walker. Glasgow swung it into the goal mouth where McCracken managed to beat Smith to it in the air but his header went over the bar.

The Bot’s next attack saw Healy hit a slide rule pass out to Glasgow on the right and the defence did well to cut out his dangerous ball across the 6-yard area. Rob Roy then sprang onto the counter when Scott gathered deep in his own half before racing up field toward the Talbot box before releasing a pass to Young who ought to have equalised but fired past the left post from a good area.

Rob Roy were forced into an early change in the 19th minute when Arbuckle limped off to be replaced by McPherson.

The next goal was going to be crucial and it went Talbot’s way in the 21st minute. A shy from the right was helped on into the area by Glasgow where Graham Wilson was bundled over by Baber’s clumsy challenge. MARK SHANKLAND took the spot kick and sent Smith the wrong way to put Talbot 2-0 ahead.

Rob Roy came close to pulling one back in the 32nd minute. An early ball up the right found McPherson just inside the penalty area and he hit an angled drive across goal that just went beyond the far post.

The Rabs had another opportunity in the 40th minute. Truesdale squared it inside to Scott and he teed it up for Young 16 yards out but his shot took a deflection and went behind for the corner.

A minute later Young had his name taken when he petulantly shoved McCracken over the advertising hoardings as Talbot’s centre half ushered the ball behind for a goal kick.

Three minutes before the interval Talbot nearly killed the tie off with a 3rd goal. Glasgow’s flick sent Samson free on the right and he pulled it back across the face of goal. The defence couldn’t clear and Shankland nipped in and fired a shot from close range that Smith did well to turn round his left post.

Play was switching from end to end and Leishman was called into action in the 44th minute when Young skipped past a challenge on the right of the area and tried to find McPherson at the near post but Leishman managed to turn it behind.

The half ended with Talbot back on the attack as Samson strode clear on the right and swung a tempting cross over which Shankland met and steered goal ward but Smith dived low to his right to claim it.

Talbot would have hoped to keep it tight at the start of the 2nd half but those plans came undone when Rob Roy pulled a goal back two minutes after the restart. They were awarded a free kick in the Bot half which Truesdale flighted into the area. McPherson met it & guided a header out left where SCOTT met it on the volley and gave Leishman no chance with a drive across him and into the far corner.

The Bot responded to this setback and had a chance to restore a two goal cushion in the 52nd minute. Shankland played a good ball inside to find Glasgow who in turn squared it to Healy in space and he fired past the right post from 20 yards.

Armstrong had his name taken in the 56th minute for a challenge on Bell.

The game was ebbing & flowing and Talbot’s next attacks saw Graham Wilson release Shankland down the left.  He swept it into the centre trying to find Samson but it didn’t break for him and the defence were able to clear.

The Bot’s next chance came in the 62nd minute when Shankland whipped over a good cross from the right to find Graham Wilson beyond the far post. He steered it 1st time back across goal where Healy met it but glanced his header off target.

In the 66th minute Rob Roy had a chance to test Leishman when they won a free kick 23 yards out following McCracken’s handball but Scott lashed it well over the bar.

Two minutes later they had another set piece opportunity when they won a free kick in more or less the same spot. This time Truesdale hit but sent his shot straight into the wall.

With 20 minutes remaining Talbot had a half chance to kill the game off. Stafford played it up the wing to find Glasgow and he turned it inside to find Shankland. He laid it off early to Samson and he fired a shot across goal but wide of the right post.

Rob Roy made a change in the 76th minute with I Gold coming on in place of Bell.

Rob Roy’s McPherson picked up a caution in the 78th minute for a shove on Graham Wilson.

Talbot now made their first change with Mason coming on for Shankland and a few minutes later Hyslop replaced Glasgow.

In the 85th minute Cairns had his name taken for dissent.

The Bot had a nervy moment in the 86th minute. Armstrong lost out in a 50/50 inside the Rabs half and Rob Roy quickly broke forward through Truesdale who spread it out to Scott on the left of the area. He drilled a shot on goal but Leishman was equal to it and smothered it at his right hand post.

With 2 minutes remaining Rob Roy made their final change with S Gold replacing Scott.

Rob Roy threw bodies forward as the game moved into injury time but couldn’t breach the Talbot defence. The one half chance they had came from a short corner worked to Truesdale at the right edge of the area but he snatched his shot high & wide of target and Talbot were able to see it out to book their place in the final.

A hard fought win for the Bot who now move onto Monday night’s visit to Darvel which is a real 6 pointer and could go a long way to deciding the outcome of the title race.

Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Craig McCracken, Armstrong, Healy, Graham Wilson, Samson, Shankland, Glasgow

Subs – Boylan, Crawford, Mason, Hyslop, Robbie McCracken, Hewitt

Kirkintilloch Rob Roy – Smith, Walker, Bell, Baber, O’Halloran, Cairns, Truesdale, O’Kane, Arbuckle, Young, Scott

Subs – Gordon, Kelly, S Gold, I Gold, McPherson, Ross, Murdoch

Auchinleck Talbot v Rutherglen Glencairn

MURRAY’S REPORT

Talbot hit top gear to cruise past Rutherglen and move 5 points clear at the top after recording their biggest win of the season; knocking 6 past the visitors to no reply.

The Bot were in the ascendancy from the off and nearly opened the scoring in the 7th minute. Wardrope found Wilson out on the left & he fizzed a great ball across the face of goal that both Healy then Glasgow just failed to connect with.

11 mins in Talbot won a free kick just outside the penalty area for a foul on Boylan. Shankland took it and his shot clipped off the wall and behind for the corner. Glasgow’s corner was fired into the near post where it broke back to MARK SHANKLAND who turned and lashed a left foot shot home to put Talbot 1-0 ahead.

Two minutes later Talbot were back on the attack – Shankland’s ball through the centre nearly finding Wardope’s run.

The visitors had a rare foray into the Talbot half in the 14th minute when the ball was pulled back from the right wing into the feet of Lone and he drilled a low shot straight at Leishman.

Any hopes Glencairn harboured were effectively ended in the 16th minute. O’Byrne won a 50/50 with Hyslop but when the ball broke away from him he lunged into a straight legged lunge on McCracken – leaving the ref no option but to show him a straight red.

It didn’t take Talbot long to take advantage of their extra man and the Bot doubled their lead in the 19th minute. A ball up the left found Wardrope racing free and he cut it back into the path of AIDEN WILSON whose powerful drive squeezed past McGinley at his right post.

Two minutes later it was déjà vu as once again Wardrope headed for the bye line down the left before pulling it back for Wilson to hit but this time his shot was blocked.

The chances kept coming and moments later Healy found Stafford in space on the right. He swept a dangerous cross beyond the far post where Wilson met it but McGinley managed to parry his effort.

In the 26th minute Glencairn put together a good counter as they moved the ball swiftly from right to left to send Schoneville scurrying free. He fired it across the 6-yard area where Wilson managed to bundle it clear.

Talbot looked certain to grab their 3rd in the 33rd minute. Shankland charged down an attempted clearance and the ball broke to Boylan on the right of the area. He swept it across goal to the far post where Glasgow looked set to prod it home but he got his feet tangled and the ball hit off him and deflected clear.

The goal wasn’t long in coming though and Talbot moved 3rd ahead in the 38th minute. Wardope’s first attempted cross was headed back out to him and he released Wilson on the overlap. He hit the bye line before pulling it back for MARK SHANKLAND to fire a low drive inside the right post.

The Bot moved 4-0 ahead in the 42nd minute. McCracken swung over an inch perfect cross from the right to find MARK SHANKLAND beyond the far post and he guided a header back across goal to complete his hat-trick.

A minute before the interval Shankland came close to adding another. Healy got free on the right and swept over an early cross that broke into the path of Shankland who was only denied his 4th by a fingertip save from McGinley who turned it past his left post. When the corner came over Boylan met it but his glancing header was held by the keeper and Talbot trooped off 4 goals to the good.

The visitors made a change at the start of the 2nd half with Lone making way for Murray.

Talbot started as they’d left off – piling forward in numbers and soon after the restart Shankland tested the defence with a dangerous ball in from the right that was turned behind for a corner. Shortly after, Glasgow had a half chance when Stafford laid the ball off into his path but he blazed his shot well over from the edge of the area.

In the 51st minute Healy clipped the ball down the left to find Boylan racing forward. He lifted a cross into the centre where Shankland thumped a header against the crossbar from 6 yards out.

Within a minute Talbot won a free kick out on the left as the pressure told on the visitors. Shankland swept it to the back post where it was only half cleared. The ball came to McCracken who was impeded and the ref pointed to the spot. MARK SHANKLAND stepped up to take it and drilled the penalty beyond McGinley and inside the right post to put Talbot 5-0 ahead.

With the game long since won Tucker now made a double switch with Shankland & Hyslop making way for Mason and Crawford who came on for his debut.

Talbot’s next effort at goal came in the 56th minute when they were awarded a free kick inside the Glencairn half for Leitch’s late challenge on Mason. It was taken short to Wardrope and he carried it forward before firing narrowly past the right post from 30+ yards.

Rutherglen now made a further change with Maley coming on for Leitch.

Talbot completed their changes in the 62nd minute when Robbie McCracken replaced Boylan.

In the 64th minute Mason gathered the ball on the left of the area and traversed a couple of challenges before finally being brought down by Coleman just outside the area. Mason took the resultant free kick but fired it low into the wall.

McGinley did well to deny Talbot a 6th in the 72nd minute. Wilson’s chip into the area found the head of Glasgow who glanced it across the area to pick out Crawford on the right. He rolled it back to Mason whose shot was well saved by the keeper.

Glencairn now made their final change with Cummins replacing McIlveen.

The sub had a decent chance to grab a consolation in the 76th minute when he met Schoneville’s corner from the right but he glanced his header beyond the far post.

Talbot completed the scoring with 6 minutes remaining. A Rutherglen player went through the back of Mason resulting in a booking and a free kick to Talbot 30 yards from goal. Wardrope took it and clipped a great ball through the centre where LEWIS CRAWFORD steered a diving header past McGinley to make it 6-0.

The Bot kept pressing but couldn’t add to their tally.

A great performance and good confidence booster as next up for Talbot it’s a Scottish Junior semi-final against in form Rob Roy at Meadow Park.

Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Craig McCracken, Wardrope, Healy, Boylan, Shankland, Glasgow

Subs – Armstrong, Samson, Mason, Robbie McCracken, Crawford, Hewitt

Rutherglen Glencairn – McGinley, Coleman, Schoneville, Shields, O’Byrne, Leitch, Lone, McGuire, McIlveen, Pearson, Mitchell

Subs – Cummins, Murray, Maley, McNeill, Imrie, McLellan

Largs Thistle v Auchinleck Talbot

Armstrong stays strong under pressure and fires the ball up the park.

 

As Largs come away with the ball, Wardrope does his best to win the ball back for Talbot.

 

CHANCE!!! Aiden Wilson has a dig from just outside the box but fails to find a way through the defence.

 

Glasgow goes on a great run up the middle of the park.

 

GOOOAAALLL!!! Talbot open the scoring, as McCracken gets on the end of a free-kick and heads the ball home. 0-1.

 

McCracken races away to celebrate, as Largs are left with their heads in their hands after going a goal down.

 

As Wardrope chases down the ball, he also gets chased down by his opponent too.

 

Samson gets his legs tangled up, as he tries to win the ball.

 

IF ONLY IT WAS RUGBY!!! Michael Wardrope goes for the spectacular but unfortunately the ball goes very high over the crossbar. Three points ref!!!

 

WHAT A TIME TO SCORE!!! Just as half-time was approaching, Largs pull a goal back, as Sewell pounces right in front of goal and heads the ball home. 1-1.

 

WHAT-A-CHANCE!!! From very close range, Wardrope tries to cleverly flick the ball past the ‘keeper but sadly, it goes just wide of the post.

 

All aboard the blue express train!!!

 

Glasgow sprints down the wing but he gets stopped in his tracks by Largs.

 

SO SO CLOSE!!! Although it was a tight angle, Samson tries his best to slot the ball home but Largs do very well to block the way through.

 

HAD-TO-BE, SURELY!!! From right in front of goal, McCracken goes for a looping header but the ball goes agonisingly over the crossbar.

 

Largs get awarded a free-kick in a good position but, thankfully for Talbot, the ball goes safely into Big Andy’s hands.

 

The anxious crowd look on, as the players on the pitch fight for possession.

 

THAT-WAS-THE-MOMENT!!! With the game nearing the end, it is Largs that have a brilliant chance of taking the lead from close range but Sewell blasts the ball over the crossbar instead.

 

Seconds of the game left but Stafford and Talbot continue to battle for the ball and keep the attack going.

 

The final whistle gets blown and, although it wasn’t an action packed game, Largs feel the pain as they knew they had a great chance of taking all three points from the game.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.

MURRAY’S REPORT

Talbot had to settle for a share of the spoils at Largs but it ended up a point gained rather than two lost as both their title rivals went down to defeat.

There was plenty of commitment from both sides but little excitement with goal mouth incidents being few and far between.

The first effort of the match came in the 14th minute when Glasgow laid the ball back to Armstrong and he fired over the bar from 22 yards.

Five minutes later Graham Wilson gathered on the right before squaring it inside to Glasgow. He in turn fed it on to Aiden Wilson who drilled a shot wide of the right hand post from the edge of the area.

The opening goal came in the 28th minute and it was Talbot who broke the deadlock. Wardrope was fouled out near the right touchline and he took the resultant free kick – sweeping a cross over which CRAIG MCCRACKEN headed beyond the keeper.

Talbot couldn’t build on their lead but weren’t under any pressure either from the home side.

In the 38th minute McMaster was cautioned for a scything challenge on Graham Wilson.

Largs levelled in the 41st minute and there was a hint of controversy over it. Thistle won a corner down the left that was lifted deep beyond the far post. Graham Wilson miscued a header back into the centre where WILLIAM SEWELL guided a header home. Talbot vehemently protested that Leishman had been impeded when the corner came over but the officials ignored the protests and the goal stood and the half finished all square.

Talbot started the 2nd half positively and Graham Wilson almost found Samson with a cushioned header but it just eluded him and the keeper was able to gather.

Talbot’s next attack saw Glasgow turn his man and burst down the left. He was impeded but the ref gave the advantage and he was able to fire a cross into the near post which the defence managed to knock behind for the corner.

In the 56th minute Wardrope tested the defence with a dangerous low cross from the right that they just managed to scramble to safety.

George Sewell had his name taken in the 58th minute for a shirt tug on Glasgow as he raced forward.

Talbot had a good chance to retake the lead on the hour mark. Armstrong lifted a ball down the left that Graham Wilson won in the air. He nodded it into the path of Samson inside the box but Farrell blocked his shot at his right hand post. The rebound came out to Graham Wilson but he failed to connect with an attempted scissors kick.

The Bot’s next attack saw Wardrope bend a good ball in from the right that McGoldrick dived to head behind for the corner. When the corner came in Farrell punched it clear but it only came out to Armstrong on the right. He fired it low across the 6-yard area where it skipped up off a defender and Graham Wilson looped a header back across goal that just dropped over the bar.

Largs had an opportunity to test Leishman in the 74th minute when McPherson conceded a free kick 30 yards out for handball. William Sewell got it up and over the wall but Leishman had read it and made a comfortable save.

Two minutes later Talbot should have had a free kick just outside the Largs box. Healy lifted it down the right where McMaster clearly controlled it with his hand but somehow the assistant ref failed to spot it.

Talbot now made a double switch with Boylan & Shankland on for Glasgow & Wardrope.

The subs were involved soon after coming on when Boylan gathered on the left and pulled it back to Shankland inside the area but his attempted shot was blocked.

In the 81st minute Samson’s long throw wasn’t dealt with by the home defence and it fell to Stafford 15 yards out but his shot was blocked and ran through to Farrell.

Down the other end Talbot had a scare when a defensive lapse saw George Sewell race clear on the right. He slid it across the area to find his brother but William Sewell scooped his shot over the bar from 6 yards out though it wouldn’t have counted anyway as the linesman’s flag had went up.

Talbot were looking leggy and it was the home side who finished the stronger.

Largs had a good chance to claim all 3 points in the 84th minute when a free kick flighted into the area broke off McCracken and fell kindly for William Sewell but he blasted his shot over the bar.

Tucker made one final change in the closing stages with Mason on for Healy.

The final effort at goal came from Largs when Forbes raced forward but he lost his balance as he was shooting and his right footed effort was easily smothered by Leishman and Talbot held out to claim the point.

Next up for Talbot it is back to Beechwood where they host Rutherglen in midweek as the Bot will look to extend their lead at the top of the table.

Largs Thistle – Farrell, Hughes, McMaster, McGoldrick, Ballantyne, Faulds, George Sewell, McBryde, William Sewell, Adam, Forbes

Subs – Duff, McLeod, Docherty, Love, Gray, Zadarnowaki

Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Craig McCracken, Healy, Wardrope, Armstrong, Samson, Graham Wilson, Glasgow

Subs – Shankland, Mason, Crawford, Hyslop, Boylan, Hewitt

Darvel v Auchinleck Talbot

Sauchie Juniors

Auchinleck Talbot v Pollok

Healy makes his presence known, as he goes in with a hefty challenge in order to win the ball back.

 

Come on lads! Is it left or right the ball is going?

 

While trying to go on the attack, Glasgow loses possession.

 

CHANCE!!! Pollok go very close to opening the scoring via a close range header but although Big Andy makes sure, the ball goes over crossbar.

 

Stafford and McCracken team up and make sure they make Pollok go in the wrong direction.

 

TALBOT CHANCE!!! ‘Pee-wee’ some how squeezes his shot through a crowded box but gets thwarted by a great save from the ‘keeper.

 

HOW DID THAT NOT GO IN!!! Pollok find themselves with space right in front of goal and send a downward header towards goal but…

 

…they can only rue a missed opportunity, as Leishman gathers up the ball.

 

Robbie McCracken tries to muscle his way past his opponent.

 

Although the ball is heading out of play, Samson still gives his all to chase after it.

 

Glasgow has got this licked, as he threads the pass through.

 

Hyslop helps out McCracken by clearing the danger.

 

While under pressure, Jamie Glasgow still manages to win the aerial battle.

 

SO CLOSE!!! Samson tries to squeeze the ball home from a very tight angle but the ‘keeper manages to block the way through.

 

After being penalised by the referee, ‘Pee-wee’ vents his frustration.

 

POLLOK GOAL!!! Pollok make the breakthrough, as they send the corner in and head the ball home from very close range. 0-1.

 

It’s joy all round for the boys in red, as they celebrate taking the lead.

 

Talbot walk back to the centre circle for the re-start, while Pollok continue celebrating.

 

A double aerial attack for Talbot.

 

There’s got to be a LOT of caption ideas for this one!

 

‘Shankers’ goes on the attack and fires the cross in.

 

TALBOT PULL LEVEL!!! Samson gets on the end of Shankland’s low cross and fires the ball home. 1-1.

 

Keir Samson wheels away to celebrate his goal.

 

WHAT-A-CHANCE!!! Talbot go very…VERY close to taking the lead, as Samson lobs the ball towards goal but…

 

…with the ‘keeper rooted to the spot, the ball goes AGONISINGLY over the crossbar.

 

OFFSIDE!!! Samson gets on the end of Boylan’s pass and slots the ball home, however, the flag goes up for someone being offside.

 

All eyes on the ball here for ‘Gee’.

 

The ball gets lobbed forward and Samson manages to muscle past his opponent where…

 

…GOOOAAALLL!!!! Samson keeps a very calm head and slots the ball home past the ‘keeper. 2-1.

 

Keir gets swamped by his team-mates, as they all celebrate his and Talbot’s second goal.

 

Cheshire cat grins all round!

 

Pollok get awarded a very late free-kick and one last chance, while the Talbot players let their feelings known to the man in the middle.

 

‘Shankers’ still protests his innocence but he still receives a yellow card for the foul.

 

A winning smile for a winning team.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.

MURRAYS MATCH REPORT

Talbot’s never say die attitude saw the Bot come from behind to dump Pollok out the South Challenge cup in an entertaining quarter-final clash.

Talbot had an early chance to test Lok’s defence when Brownlie conceded a free kick just wide of the area following a barge on Samson. Glasgow swept a good ball over that Stafford managed to get his head onto but he headed it back across goal where it was cleared.

Pollok’s liveliest player, Grant, caused Talbot’s defence problems in the 7th minute when he charged down Aiden Wilson’s attempted clearance & burst down the right wing before slinging a dangerous ball across goal but fortunately there was no one on the end of it.

The visitors came close in the 15th minute when Wharton’s long throw from the left was headed on inside the penalty area and came to McCann who glanced a header just over.

Pollok were on top at this stage and threatened again when Lyon cut in off the left & curled a ball toward the far post which was headed behind for a corner.

Pollok’s next attack saw a ball out of defence find McGregor down the left. He fired it across the face of goal but there was no one in the centre to take advantage.

Despite Pollok making the early running it was Talbot who came closest to breaking the deadlock. In the 24th minute Mason won a corner down the left and when Glasgow delivered it into the centre the Lok defence failed to clear their lines. It came to Stafford 15 yards out and his low drive was heading in but was cleared off the line inside the right hand post. It came out to Hyslop and his effort on target was turned round the post by Longmuir.

Two minutes later Pollok threatened via one of Wharton’s long throws. He hurled it into the area where it flicked off Aiden Wilson’s head and came to Fraser inside the 6-yard box but he made a poor contact with his head and it was easily saved by Leishman.

On the half hour mark Fraser fed it out to Grant on the right and he went for goal from a tight angle but drilled his shot over the bar.

In the 35th minute Brownlie picked up a caution when he bowled over Samson.

The half then meandered to a close with neither side looking like breaking the deadlock.

Pollok made a change at the start of the 2nd half with Horne being replaced by Forde.

It was Talbot who started the 2nd half the brighter and the Bot threatened in the 51st minute when Samson whipped a great ball over from the left that was just taken off the head of Glasgow as he lurked at the back post.

Two minute later Samson was involved again when his low drive from the left of the area was blocked by Longmuir. The rebound came back to him and the Lok keeper did well to recover and save his follow-up effort at his right hand post.

Talbot kept the pressure on and Robbie McCracken played a good ball into the near post from the right touchline toward Samson but his effort was blocked behind for a corner.

Hyslop received what appeared to be a harsh yellow card in the 56th minute when he slid in and won the ball in midfield but the referee thought otherwise and gave Lok the free kick. The free kick was lifted up the right where Grant raced to the bye line before cutting it back and Healy blocked it behind for the corner. When the corner came into the near post GRANT nicked in to bullet a header into the roof of the net to put Pollok a goal ahead.

In the 61st minute Pollok came close to doubling their lead. Once again it was a long throw-in that caused the problem. The ball came to Forde whose overhead kick sailed just wide of the left post.

Mason picked up a caution in the 66th minute for a foul on Sideserf.

In the 69th minute Hyslop found Samson on the left & he darted into the area past Sideserf but his ball across was blocked behind for a corner. Before the corner could be taken Talbot made a triple substitution with Shankland, Boylan and Graham Wilson coming on for Glasgow, Robbie McCracken and Mason.

Shankland was involved in the 71st minute when McPherson found him in space on the left. He hit a good early ball across the face of goal that Brownlie sliced behind for a corner.

With quarter of an hour remaining Talbot drew level with a well-worked move. Boylan gathered on the right before squaring it across to Graham Wilson outside the area. He flighted it behind Sideserf to find Shankland racing free on the left of the area and his low ball across goal was turned home by KIER SAMSON from close range.

A minute later Talbot nearly moved in front. Samson won a free kick 35 yards out when he turned Brownlie who flattened him with a clumsy challenge. Shankland shaped up to hit it but instead angled it to the left to free Aiden Wilson on the overlap. He fizzed a ball across the face of goal which Samson met in the centre but his flick flew just over the crossbar.

In the 80th minute Boylan had his name taken for a foul on Lyon out on the left touchline. When the free kick came over it broke to Wharton 15 yards out. He hooked a shot towards target but it was blocked in the crowded box.

Two minutes later Talbot had the ball in the back of the net but the goal didn’t stand. Boylan slipped the ball through to Samson on the right of the area and he slid it past Longmuir but the assistant’s flag went up and it was chalked off.

However, 3 minutes from time Talbot again found the back of the net and this time it counted. Graham Wilson lifted a ball down the left in behind the defence to find KIER SAMSON running through and he coolly slotted it past the keeper to put Talbot 2-1 ahead.

In the final minute of regulation time Talbot threatened again. Boylan played it into Shankland who laid it off into the path of Samson whose low drive was held by Longmuir at the 2nd attempt.

As the game moved into added time Pollok won a free kick 30 yards from goal following a handball by Graham Wilson. Forde managed to get it up and over the wall but Leishman was well positioned to pluck it out the air.

Deep into injury time Shankland picked up a ludicrous yellow card for winning a header against Grant and shortly after the final whistle sounded and the celebrations began. Talbot will now face Sauchie in the semi-final.

Next up for Talbot it’s a midweek trip to face Darvel in a match which could go some way to deciding the outcome of the league title.

Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Craig McCracken, Healy, Hyslop, Robbie McCracken, Samson, Mason, Glasgow

Subs – Shankland, Boylan, Graham Wilson, Armstrong, White, Halliday

Pollok – Longmuir, Grant, Sideserf, Wharton, Brownlie, Horne, Fraser, Esplin, S McCann, McGregor, Lyon

Subs – Forde, Bradley, Braonan, Krol, Shelvey, Evans, Lumsden

Lewis Crawford

SPONSORs: Loons Supporters Club

The 22 year old 6ft right or left back joins as a free transfer from Lowland side Broomhill and has been training with Talbot for the last three weeks, which gave Tucker the chance to run the rule over the player before offering him a contract.

Lewis has had experience in the SPFL and the lower leagues starting his career at Dumbarton U17’s and Clyde U20’s. He was released by Clyde in July 2018 and spent a season at Petershill before making the move to the SPFL with Dumbarton.  He spent over a year with the “Sons” which included a loan spell at Rossvale and an appearance at Pittodrie in 2020 when Dumbarton narrowly lost out to Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup.

In September 2020 he left Dumbarton to play with Linlithgow Rose for a season and then Broomhill who were managed by former Talbot legend Davie Gormley.

 

Michael Wardrope

SPONSORS: Stephen Ferroll, Loons Supporters Club.

BIO: Mick had four years in the Ayr United youth system between 2013 and 2017 with a loan to Glenafton Athletic in between. He joined Kilwinning Rangers in 2017 spending two seasons at the “Ger’s” before joining Ardrossan Winton Rovers. In 2019 he was with Hurlford United for a couple of season’s before a short Irvine Meadow spell was followed by his March signing at Talbot.

Auchinleck Talbot v Bonnyton Thistle

McCracken tries to get his foot to the ball and clear the danger.

 

With a break in the game, ‘Big Neily’ dishes out advice and information to his team-mates.

 

Both players show off their Matrix style moves in order to win the ball.

 

McPherson goes galloping up the park with the ball.

 

‘Gee’ tries to fire the ball up the wing but the way through gets blocked.

 

A fine collection of ‘heeds’ in this Black ‘n’ gold wall.

 

Graham Wilson finds himself in acres of space inside the box and fires a shot at goal but fails to find the back of the net.

 

With both Samson and McCracken waiting to pounce, the Bonnyton ‘keeper does brilliantly to get fingertips to the ball and prod it away from the danger.

 

The ‘keeper gathers the ball before Samson can get a foot to it.

 

Glasgow gets the ball and goes on the attack down the middle of the park.

 

WHAT-A-CHANCE!!! Keir Samson sends a powerful header towards goal from close range but fails to score, as the ‘keeper pulls off a great save.

 

BREAKTHROUGH!!! Talbot finally open the scoring, as Jamie Glasgow’s cross-come-shot sails over the ‘keeper and smashing into the back of the net. 1-0.

 

It’s high fives for Glasgow after scoring, as Mr Paterson shows his delight too.

 

While going on the attack, Samson gets bundled over by his opponent.

 

New boy, Michael Wardrope, does his best to get another Talbot attack motoring.

 

TALBOT DOUBLE THIER LEAD!!! ‘Gee’ keeps a cool head in front of goal, rounds the ‘keeper and slots the ball home. 2-0.

 

Graham Wilson celebrates with Boylan, while the Bonnyton ‘keeper looks to the ground.

 

I think ‘Shankers’ is having a great time being back in the thick of the action after being out due to injury.

 

GAME, SET & MATCH!!! Talbot make sure of the win, as Shankland fires a low shot past the ‘keeper and into the bottom corner of the net. 3-0.

 

‘Shankers’ is all smiles after scoring during his comeback from injury.

 

Joy all round, as the players continue celebrating Shankland’s goal.

 

CHANCE!!! Boylan goes for the spectacular inside the box but fails to score.

 

Boylan does his best ‘Esther Rantzen’ impression, as he rues a missed opportunity.

 

Final chance of the game falls to Boylan but although he slots it past the ‘keeper, he is deemed to have been offside.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.

MURRAYS MATCH REPORT

Talbot climbed to the top of the table after defeating Bonnyton Thistle at a sunny Beechwood with results elsewhere going Talbot’s way.

The Bot nearly got off to a flying start when Graham Wilson’s shot just cleared the crossbar in the 2nd minute.

Down the other end Gilroy had a half chance for the visitors when he got in behind the defence but took a heavy 1st touch and could only fire well wide of goal.

Four minutes in and Talbot came close again. Samson hit the bye line on the right of the area before pulling it back for Wardrope whose shot slid just wide of the right post.

The visitors had to make an early change in the 7th minute when Gilroy limped off to be replaced by Abhorh.

Talbot’s next effort came in the 10th minute. A loose clearance cannoned off Glasgow who burst through the defence but stabbed his shot past the left post.

Bonnyton put together a nice move in the 21st minute as they worked it right to left to find Gardiner haring down the left of the penalty area. He tried to square it across goal but it was blocked behind for the corner.

Three minutes later the visitors had a half chance when Leitch’s long ball was headed on into the path of McColm and he hit it first time into the side-netting.

Bonnyton were having a good spell and had a chance to test Leishman in the 26th minute when Davidson was fouled just outside the area. Davidson took the free kick himself but lifted it way over the bar.

Bonnyton were now forced into a 2nd injury related substitution with Wilson coming on for Smith.

Talbot did have the ball in the net on the 29th minute but the goal didn’t stand. Glasgow cut in off the left and his curling shot was parried by the keeper. The rebound came to Wardrope who rifled a shot off the right hand post and when it came back out Graham Wilson turned it home but the assistant ref had his flag raised.

Leishman didn’t have the busiest of afternoons but was called upon in the 31st minute when Davidson found the target from 25 yards forcing Andy to dive to his right to smother it.

In the 39th minute Talbot won a free kick in a dangerous area after Samson had his heels clipped outside the box. Wardrope’s low drive was parried away at his right post by Leitch and the ball came out to Aiden Wilson whose ball back across the face was turned behind for a corner.

Talbot ended the half on the front foot. As it moved into added time Samson gathered on the left of the area and tested the keeper with a shot from a tight angle that Leitch saved with his outstretched leg. It came out to Graham Wilson who hooked a good shot on target that Leitch turned past his right post. Talbot forced a flurry of consecutive corners but couldn’t make them count and the sides went in goal less at the interval.

From the outset Talbot looked to have stepped it up a gear for the 2nd half. Within a minute Wardrope dummied Armstrong’s through ball to create space for Stafford on the overlap and his low ball in was held by Leitch at his near post.

In the 50th minute a ball down the right found Graham Wilson and he crossed it early into the centre where Samson just failed to connect with an attempted scissors kick.

A minute later Glasgow burst forward before releasing it wide to find Healy who lifted a good cross into the centre that Walsh managed to head to safety.

It was all Talbot and the next chance came in the 55th minute when Glasgow sent Aiden Wilson free on the overlap and his cross was met by Samson who saw his header tipped over the bar.

From the resultant corner Graham Wilson’s head flick was cleared off the line by Kelly.

Talbot looked to be denied a stonewall penalty in the 59th minute. Armstrong headed the ball on down the right to find Glasgow inside the penalty area. He was taken out by a clumsy challenge but the referee waved away Talbot’s appeals and McCracken ended up in the book for dissent.

In the 62nd minute Talbot’s pressure paid off though the opener had a slice of fortune about it. Leishman sent the ball out to Aiden Wilson who pinged it down the line to find JAMIE GLASGOW who cut back onto his right foot and curled over a cross from the left touchline that deceived Leitch and curled into the far corner of the net.

Four minutes later Talbot came close again with an action replay of the 1st goal. This time the Bot were awarded a free kick out wide on the left which Wardrope bent just wide of the far post.

Talbot now made their 1st change with Boylan on in place of Glasgow.

In the 70th minute Talbot won a free kick just outside the penalty area when Walsh upended Samson for which he received a caution. Wardrope lifted it beyond the far post where McCracken headed it back across goal and Graham Wilson fired a shot off the bar but the linesman’s flag was raised for offside.

The visitors now made their final change with Allan on for Jenkins.

The game was over as a contest in the 74th minute when Talbot doubled their lead. Wardrope fired on target from 20 yards, Leitch failed to hold it and GRAHAM WILSON pounced to turn the rebound home.

Tucker now immediately made a double switch with Samson and Graham Wilson making way for Shankland and Mason.

The two subs were involved in Talbot’s 3rd goal in the 79th minute. Mason did well to close down Wallace inside his own area and block his clearance. It spun up high in the air and when it dropped down Mason cut it back into the path of MARK SHANKLAND who buried it low inside the right hand post.

In the 82nd minute Talbot won a free kick at the left edge of the penalty area following a foul on Boylan. Shankland curled it over the wall but it flew just wide of the right post into the side-netting.

With 4 minutes remaining Armstrong found Boylan breaking down the right. He lifted it over Gardiner and ran round him before firing it just over the bar on the half volley.

In the final minute of regulation time Robertson almost nabbed a consolation effort when he gathered on the left of the area and tried to curl it inside the far post but his effort went just wide.

Just as they had in the 1st half Talbot ended strongly and nearly added a fourth when Wardrope’s deep cross from the left looked to be heading in but Leitch just managed to tip it over and despite piling on late pressure Talbot couldn’t add to their tally.

A strong 2nd half performance from Talbot who now have a week off from league duties as next Saturday they host Pollok in the South Challenge cup.

Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Craig McCracken, Armstrong, Healy, Wardrope, Graham Wilson, Samson, Glasgow

Subs – Boylan, Mason, Hyslop, Shankland, Robbie McCracken, Crawford

Bonnyton Thistle – Leitch, Wallace, Gardiner, Robertson, Walsh, Smith, Jenkins, Kelly, Gilroy, Davidson, McColm

Subs – Allan, Abhorh, Walker, Hannah, Wilson

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