Talbot produced one of their best performances of the season to leapfrog Rob Roy in the table and keep pace with leaders Pollok.
The Bot might have taken the lead as early as the 5th minute. Pope delivered a good ball in behind the defence to find S Wilson but the ball came to him at an awkward height & he knocked his shot well past the post.
Two minutes later, Leishman came to Talbot’s rescue. McKenzie’s long diagonal ball sailed over Pope to pick out Sawyer just inside the box. He rolled the ball back across to Aitken whose low drive was heading inside the left post until stopped by Leishman’s legs.
In the 17th minute Milliken slid a great pass through to S Wilson on the right of the penalty area. He took a touch before firing for goal & McGuire got across to block it behind for the corner. Young whipped the corner straight along the 6-yard line where HYSLOP ran onto it to power a header beyond Brown.
McGuire became the 1st player booked when shown a yellow card for a late challenge after 19 mins.
Talbot were looking threatening and came close to adding to their lead in the 23rd minute. Milliken gathered a ball down the right & laid it back to Wilson. He whipped over a 1st time cross toward Hyslop which he just failed to connect with in the centre.
Boyd paid the price for a fractionally mistimed challenge when he was booked for a 50/50 tackle out on the stand side touchline.
McGoldrick launched Talbot’s next attack with a perfectly weighted ball down the right to send Milliken scampering clear. He fired a dangerous ball across goal but there was no one in the centre to take advantage.
Steven Wilson looked like he would have to come off injured after 38 mins when he was caught late by McMenamin. The ex-Nock player was cautioned for the challenge but after a bout of treatment he was able to continue.
As the half drew to a close Talbot twice came close to extending their lead. Shankland’s pass sent Milliken racing free down the left & he forced a fine stop from Brown who turned his powerful drive past the post for a corner. McGoldrick met Young’s corner just inside the front post and his flick was heading into the net until Carter cleared it off the line, and the half finished with Talbot 1-0 ahead.
Talbot raced out the traps at the start of the 2nd half and carved out a couple of chances within the opening minutes.
Firstly, Hyslop sped down the left & swung a ball to the far post to S Wilson who saw his shot on target blocked away by a defender. A minute later, Pope blocked McKenzie’s attempted pass and the ball spun to Milliken who cut in off the left wing before swerving a shot wide of the left post.
Talbot took a firm grip on the match when they doubled their lead after 53 minutes. Milliken challenged for a long ball down the centre and as he went up with Boyle the ball came back to HYSLOP. He strode onto the loose ball, cutting inside onto his right foot before lashing an unstoppable shot past Brown into the roof of the net.
Teams are often at their most vulnerable just after scoring & Rob Roy nearly pulled a goal back immediately. The Bot defence were caught out as the visitors played it in behind for Aitken but Leishman had read the danger & was quickly off his line to beat the winger to it.
Rob Roy made their 1st change in the 59th minute with Gallacher coming on for Aitken and a minute later Talbot made their 1st switch with G Wilson on in place of Shankland.
Talbot were looking comfortable and very nearly added another goal in the 68th minute. Pope let fly from long range & Brown was relieved to see his shot race just wide of the left hand upright.
Rob Roy made a further change after 70 minutes when Mackie replaced Watt up front.
Two minutes later Brown produced a top save to deny Pope. He pounced on a poor touch from McKenzie & surged into the box before drilling a low right foot shot that was heading inside the right post until Brown dived full length to tip it wide.
Young’s corner had the Rabs defence in a fankle & when they failed to clear their lines, G Wilson pounced on the loose ball, only to see his shot blocked by Finnigan.
Boyle had his name taken with quarter of an hour remaining for taking out S Wilson as he broke down the right. The free kick was within shooting range, and Young tapped the ball to the side for Pope to belt a low drive on target that Brown held at the 2nd attempt by his left post.
Rob Roy now made their final change with Martin on for McGuire.
Mackie had a half chance to reduce the deficit in the 79th minute. Talbot’s defence made a meal of clearing their lines allowing Mackie the chance to shoot from just inside the penalty area but he blasted his shot over the bar.
Hyslop was inches from his hat-trick moments later. Milliken fired a great ball across goal which he just failed to connect with a few yards out.
Talbot’s next effort at goal came from Young. Pope dinked a free kick into the area which Butch ran onto it but he lifted his volley over the crossbar.
Tucker now made a further change with Gillies on in place of Milliken.
Gillies almost made an immediate impact. Pope rolled the ball into his feet to send him one on one with the keeper, only for Brown to make a great save to his left to keep out Davie’s shot. The rebound hit off Boyle and looked set to spin into the net for an o.g but Boyle recovered well to hook the ball off the goal line.
Lyle came close in the 85th minute when he lashed a shot just over the bar from outside the area and 2 minutes later G Wilson saw his header from Pope’s cross clip the bar as Talbot piled on the pressure.
With 2 minutes remaining Talbot again nearly scored. G Wilson sent Boyd through on the right and rather than shoot he opted to slide it across goal for Gillies. He stretched out a boot but slid his shot just wide of Brown’s right post.
Deep into injury time Talbot had one final chance. Pope laid the ball out to Gillies who hammered a low shot on target which Brown parried away. It came straight to G Wilson but it bounced up & hit him on the arm, and the ref awarded a free kick.
This was a very impressive display by the Bot, especially in the 2nd half as they pegged Rob Roy back for long spells and but for a good display by Brown Talbot would have won by a more convincing margin.
Next up for Talbot is an away trip to Shettleston whose confidence will be high after their thrashing of Petershill.
Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, McGoldrick, White, Boyd, Young, S Wilson, Milliken, Shankland, Hyslop
Subs – Gillies, G Wilson, Love, Findlay
Rob Roy – Brown, Finnigan, McKenzie, Carter, Boyle, Whelan, McGuire, McMenamin, Sawyer, Watt, Aitken
Subs – Gallacher, Barr, Martin, Mackie, Murdoch (gk)