Talbot never really got going and can have no real complaints over the result as they went down by a single goal to Largs at Barrfields.
The opening exchanges were high on effort and low on chances with neither keeper being called upon.
Talbot’s first opportunity came in the 17th minute. Smith gathered on the left of the area and slid it wide to Taylor whose cross to the back post was headed wide by Boyle.
A minute later Largs came close to taking the lead. A ball through the heart of the defence found Sewell racing in on goal and he fired over the bar under pressure from Stafford.
Aiden Wilson had his name taken in the 24th minute when McLeod’s point-blank ball hit off his arm.
In the 28th minute a keeper was finally called upon when Smith laid the ball off into the path of Taylor on the left of the penalty area and his low drive was spilled by McGowan before being cleared.
Largs then raced to the other end and took the lead with a well-worked counter-attack. Faulds got free down the left and cut a low ball across the penalty area that landed at the feet of MCGRATH who side-footed home.
The home side should have doubled their lead in the 34th minute. A ball slid through the centre found Sewell through one on one with the keeper but Andy was quickly off his line to make the block.
A couple of minutes later Samson picked up a caution for a foul out wide on the left.
A minute from the interval Taylor became the 3rd Talbot player in the book when he received a caution for an aerial challenge on Hughes.
Largs ended the half on the ascendancy as Faulds skipped past Crawford and fired over a dangerous cross that McPherson dived to head behind but nothing came of the corner and the half ended with Largs a goal to the good.
The 2nd half opened as scrappily as the 1st had started with neither side making any in roads. In the 54th minute Talbot won a free kick out wide on the right following a shove on Smith. Ballantyne took it and delivered an inch perfect cross that was met by Samson who saw his header well-saved by McGowan to his left and when Taylor tried to force in the rebound the defence managed to block.
Two minutes later Talbot had a half chance when Crawford’s ball found Samson down the right. He lifted it across beyond the far post where Wilson volleyed it wide.
Action then switched to the other end where Largs nearly added another. Sewell got free on the right of the area and drilled it low across the 6-yard area where Faulds bundled it wide of the near post.
Talbot now made a double switch with Lennox & Ballantyne making way for Armstrong & Wardrope.
Largs had a chance to kill the game off in the 62nd minute. Armstrong’s clearance from the left-back area was intercepted and squared across to Davidson in space just outside the area but he sent his shot just wide of the left post.
Five minutes later and Largs again came close. A shy from the left wasn’t dealt with and found its way to Sewell whose acrobatic effort was palmed over the bar by Leishman.
Twenty minutes from time Talbot made another double change with Samson & Smith making way for Boylan & Mason.
Talbot’s next attack saw Taylor pace away down the right but his final ball across goal was well cut out as a defender slid in to put it behind for the corner.
The closing 10 minutes saw Talbot huff and puff but without really looking like breaching the Largs defence. In the closing minutes Davidson picked up a late caution for a foul on Wilson and minutes later it was all over.
It’s only a short break for the Bot who are next in action on Friday night when they face Clydebank at Meadow park in the West of Scotland final.
Largs Thistle – McGowan, McLeod, Devine, Hughes, McCreath, Faulds, Martin, Davidson, Sewell, Ramsay, McGrath
Subs – Adam, McMaster, Tennent, Nimmo, Forbes, Walker
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Crawford, Wilson, McPherson, Stafford, Boyle, Ballantyne, Lennox, Samson, Smith, Taylor
Subs – Mason, Boylan, Park, Armstrong, Wardrope
Talbot edged past Kilwinning on penalties to book a place in the West of Scotland final after a drab semi-final encounter at Beechwood.
The first chance of the afternoon went to the visitors in the 4th minute. Lamont squared the ball inside to Stuart who swerved a shot wide of the left post from 20 yards.
Talbot’s first chance came after 10 mins. Wardrope slid a pass through to find Smith in behind the defence. He opted to hit it early but drilled his shot straight at Henderson.
With quarter of an hour gone Boland had his name taken for a late challenge on Graham Wilson.
In the 17th minute Talbot won a corner out on the left. Wardrope put over a good delivery but McCracken just failed to connect in the centre.
The Bot won a free kick in a good area in the 19th minute. Taylor cut in from the right and was tripped by Torrace just as he was set to hit it – resulting in a booking for Buffs centre-half and a Bot free kick 20 yards out. Wardrope shaped to hit it but instead slid it down the right to find Samson who drilled it across goal where Smith met it but fired over the bar from 6 yards.
The next noteworthy incident came in the 33rd minute. Smith held it up well on the left before making for the byline and swinging over a good cross that Samson met in the air but couldn’t direct goal ward.
Talbot were forced into an early change after 35 mins when McCracken limped off to be replaced by Ballantyne.
In the 38th minute Talbot put together a well-worked move. Graham Wilson back-heeled it into the path of Aiden Wilson who switched play to the right to find Wardrope. He found Taylor breaking down the right of the penalty area but his attempted ball across goal was easily cut out.
Kilwinning ended the half the stronger and had two half chances in the closing stages. Lamont cushioned a header down into the path of McColm but his shot lacked the power to test Leishman and then deep in injury time a free kick from the right found Maccalman at the back post but it came off the top of his head and floated over and so the 1st half drew to a close with neither keeper being required to make a save of any note.
Talbot had a chance shortly after the break when Graham Wilson found Samson inside the area and he laid it back to Smith 15 yards out but his shot didn’t trouble Henderson.
The visitors made a change in the 52nd minute when MacIntyre left the field injured to be replaced by Wood.
In the 58th minute Samson squared it in from the right and as Smith went to run onto it he was sent tumbling by Torrance. The ref pointed to the spot, booked the Buffs defender and GRAHAM WILSON made no mistake from 12 yards – thumping a shot inside the right post to put Talbot 1-0 ahead.
Kilwinning now made a further change with McInally on for Kavanagh.
The Buffs nearly levelled in the 64th minute. A good pass down the left found Lamont in space inside the area and Leishman did well to save his low angled drive with his outstretched leg.
Two minutes later and it was all square. Kilwinning won a free kick midway inside the Bot half when Park handled it and Taylor then received a caution for kicking the ball away. When the free kick was flighted over from the left Leishman came for it but was never getting there and WOOD was able to guide a header into the empty net from beyond the back post.
Talbot were caught out again a few minutes later when Lewis was found in space down the right. He whipped in a dangerous cross which McPherson managed to head clear.
With quarter of an hour remaining Talbot made a triple change with Graham Wilson, Wardrope & Smith making way for Lennox, Boylan & Mason.
Three minutes from time Talbot had a late chance to win it. Lennox gathered on the left and fed it back to Wilson whose cross into the centre wasn’t dealt with. It broke to Mason who fired a low left foot shot back across goal that Henderson managed to block with his leg.
As the game moved into added time the Buffs made another change with Collins replacing Bolland.
Deep into added time Kilwinning won a corner down the right. When it came into the near post it skipped up off the turf and looked to hit Boylan’s arm but the referee dismissed the Buffs appeals and blew for full-time.
The penalties were taken down at the Beechwood Road end and it was the Buffs up first. Collins was first up and it was advantage Talbot as Leishman leapt to his right to keep it out.
Mason took Talbot’s first spot kick and gave the keeper no chance as he placed it low inside the left post.
Kilwinning’s hopes faded when their 2nd spot kick was again saved by Leishman to his right but Talbot failed to press home their advantage when Boylan tried to place his low to the keeper’s right and Henderson guessed correctly to keep it out.
McColm took the Buffs 3rd penalty and was the first Buffs player to score, but only just as Leishman again went the right way and got his fingers to it but couldn’t keep it out.
Lennox stepped up for Talbot’s 3rd and restored the Bot’s lead when he coolly sent the keeper the wrong way.
Kilwinning scored their 4th spot kick to make it 2-2 with Leishman once again nearly saving it low to his left before Taylor slotted home to put Talbot 3-2 up.
It was now sudden death with the Buffs needing to score their final penalty but again Leishman came out on top – blocking the penalty that was thumped down the centre and Talbot were through 3-2.
A very flat game with the only real positives being the balmy weather and the end result. Next up for Talbot it’s a Monday night encounter at Beechwood with table toppers Beith.
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Taylor, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, McCracken, Armstrong, Park, Wardrope, Samson, Smith, Graham Wilson
Subs – Mason, Boylan, Lennox, Crawford, Ballantyne, Sinnamon, Fisher
Kilwinning Rangers – Henderson, Boland, Kavanagh, Maccalman, Torrance, Marshall, MacIntyre, Lewis, McColm, Lamont, Stuart
Subs – O’Brien, McLean, McAlpine, McInally, Wood, Collins, Porter
Talbot v Kilwinning Rangers – Man Of The Match Awards
Andy Leishman lifted all five sponsors’ Man of the Match awards. Big Andy saved three of the five penalties in the penalty shoot out to send us through to meet Clydebank in the West of Scotland Cup Final.
Old Crocks – presented by Max Kuberski.
Killie Travel Club – presented by Allan Paterson.
Mauchline BC – presented by Liz Milgrew.
Loons Supporters Club – presented by Lex O’Hara
Mr & Mrs Jim Dunsmore & Friends – presented by Avril Dunsmore.
Match Ball Sponsor – Emerald Contracts.
Morton Wright (Jun) presented Avril Dunsmore with a bouquet of flowers of behalf of the club and we extend best wishes to Jim and Avril following their recent marriage.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.
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
PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.
Talbot were the definite saints and sinners in this league encounter where they went from 4-1 up only to leave Barrfields with the narrowest of wins, although it was a valuable three points at a ground where today’s visitors tasted defeat. A decent crowd had gathered in the sun which was remarkable as the match clashed with the Vikingar Festival which provided a free air show during the half time interval.
Talbot who were playing in all blue took the lead as early as the 12th minute when a Willie Lyle cross was laid off by Graham Wilson into the path of Jamie Glasgow who’s shot was deflected into the path of Gareth Armstrong who set up Mark Shankland to pass the ball into the net.
Ten minutes later Talbot were 2-0 in front when the Talbot defense broke up a Largs attack where the ball was passed out to Stephen Wilson who’s slide rule ball up the wing was pounced on by Glasgow who out muscled his marker and although under pressure as he made his way into the box he kept a cool head and struck the ball past past Lundy the home keeper and into the net.
Talbot were three up on 39 minutes when Stephen Wilson collected the ball outside the Largs box where he picked out Mark Shankland who’s pinpoint cross was headed into the net by the unmarked Glasgow.
Talbot were still trying to sort out their defense after losing Neil McPherson to a hamstring injury and replacing him with Aiden Wilson when Largs struck. They had forced a corner on 44 minutes which McBryde dropped into the six yard box and was missed by the Talbot defence where George Sewell nodded past Leishman to fling the home side a lifeline.
The second half was three minutes started when Talbot made it 4-1 after S.Wilson and Shankland harried a defender into a poor clearance which Steven White passed into the feet of Shankland and his cross flew over the head of Lundy and into the net.
Near the hour mark the home side were back in the game when a speculative ball was lobbed into the box where Young got his head to it but seemed to be barged and the ball fel into no man’s land between Lyle and Leishman where Brophy pounced to tap the ball into the net.
In the final minute Largs got their third thanks to a clumsy penalty given away by Dillon Young. With the attacker be forced wide of the goals by Young he seemed to stumble on top of his opponent forcing a penalty which Jamie McKenna hammered past Leishman.
Photographs by Paul Flynn.
Talbot kicked off their league campaign with a well deserved away win at Barrfields.
Play took a while to settle but once Talbot found their feet it was the visitors who were taking the game to the home side.
The first clear opportunity came in the 9th minute. A long diagonal ball found Graham Wilson out on the left & he cut inside past Orr before drilling a shot inside the near post which Cousar did well to keep out.
A minute later Talbot threatened again. Shankland threaded a good pass through the defence to find Graham Wilson racing through on the right side of the area. Cousar was alive to the danger & again the keeper did well, coming quickly off his line & managing to get a block on it as Wilson attempted to clip the ball past him.
It was one-way traffic as far as goal threats were concerned and the next chance came Talbot’s way in the 18th minute. Stephen Wilson charged through the midfield, despite Fleming’s attempt to halt him, and fed the ball out to Graham on the left. He darted inside Orr & fired a shot across the face of goal & wide of the far post.
The referee then booked Fleming for his earlier foul on Stephen Wilson.
The game entered a scrappy phase with little of note occurring; Harvey became the 1st Talbot player in the book when he received a caution after half an hour for a foul on Carter.
Talbot broke the deadlock in the 35th minute. Lyle clipped a ball down the right into the Largs penalty area. Graham Wilson did well with his back to goal to hold off the challenge of Jamieson before squaring the ball across the 6-yard area where CALVIN KEMP slid it home at the back post.
Cousar came to the home side’s rescue again in the 38th minute. Armstrong climbed to flick on a long ball down the right to send Shankland racing clear of the defence but the keeper raced out of his box to slide the ball out of play.
Leishman had largely been a spectator but he was called into action in the 42nd minute. Harkins gathered outside the box & slipped a pass out to Carter on the left. He fired it low across goal & Leishman smothered it.
Talbot started the 2nd half positively, looking to grab a 2nd goal to give themselves a cushion. In the 50th minute Graham Wilson surged inside off the right & blasted a shot at goal but it was blocked by a wall of defenders.
Two minutes later Kemp did well, latching onto a long ball down the left, and although he was forced wide, he tested Cousar from a tight angle, drilling a low shot that the keeper blocked at his post.
The Bot kept the pressure up & created another chance soon after. Shankland lifted a deep cross beyond the back post where Graham Wilson headed it back down into the centre. Armstrong ran onto it but his shot was blocked by a defender & deflected over the bar.
Slack play at the back from the home side gifted Talbot their next chance in the 64th minute. Cousar rolled the ball out to McMaster & the full-back tried to play the ball across the edge of his own box. Kemp intercepted it & lashed a volley just past Cousar’s left post.
Armstrong had his name taken in the 69th minute for a challenge on McMaster.
Both sides then made a change a piece, Talbot bringing on Glasgow in place of Kemp & Largs replacing Fleming with Adam.
Adam’s introduction proved to be a cameo role, as he walked on then off before having a chance to touch the ball, receiving a straight red for elbowing McPherson when going for a high ball.
Talbot made a further change in the 76th minute with Hyslop coming on for Shankland.
It should have been game over a minute later. McPherson’s ball down the right found Glasgow in behind the defence. He floated a cross into the centre where Graham Wilson looked a cert but he went for power & hammered a volley over the bar from 5 yards.
Lyle became the 3rd Talbot player in the book when he was cautioned for a foul on Black.
With 10 minutes remaining Tucker made his final change with McIlroy on in place of Graham Wilson.
With only a goal in it Largs kept going til the end but without really mustering much of a threat. With 3 minutes remaining Pope had a half chance when he let fly from just outside the area but he didn’t catch it quite right & his shot skidded wide of the left post.
Talbot saw the closing stages out without any alarms to claim all 3 points. Next up for the Bot it is back to league duty when they host Troon in mid-week.
Largs Thistle – Cousar, Orr, McMaster, Little, Jamieson, Fleming, Black, Muir, Struthers, Harkins, Carter
Subs – Adam, McKie, McVey, Ewing, Graham
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, Harvey, McPherson, Armstrong, S Wilson, White, G Wilson, Shankland, Kemp
Subs – McIlroy, Glasgow, Hyslop, Waite, Hewitt
This end of season dead rubber lived up to its expectations providing the meager crowd that turned up zero entertainment as two patched together sides battled away to a no score bore.
With the Ayrshire Cup final looming Talbot introduced Colville Park Amateur player Thomas Airlie at right back with 52 year old Tommy Sloan grabbing a jersey. The game should have been won by Talbot due to a few good chances that were fashioned the best coming to Graham Wilson in the second half where he beat the offside trap only to smash the ball into the body of Largs keeper Lundy.
Talbot best spell came in the later stages of the first half with Tommy Sloan heading a Mark Shankland corner off the post and minutes later Dylan Stevenson found himself through on goals but shot well past. On the 26th minute Shankland and Wilson combined to give Bryan Young an opportunity and he pulled a decent save out of Lundy.
Largs had a good effort by Bennet but it was easily saved by Leishman, and soon after Jamieson kept the home sides hopes up when he blocked a Thompson netbound shot. The first half came to an end with Graham Wilson forcing Lundy into superb stop, while James Marks should have done better with a free header.
The second half was void of any real action and apart from Wilson’s squandered effort the game petered out without any major talking points.
Leishman, Airlie, McCracken, White, McPherson, Thompson, Young, Sloan, Shankland, G.Wilson, Stevenson. Subs: Latta, Lyle, S.Wilson, Hyslop, Hewitt