Hurlford United v Auchinleck Talbot

Hurlford 0 Talbot 1 (H-T 0-0) | Auchinleck Talbot Forum

Talbot defeated Hurlford for the 2nd time in 5 days, winning at Blair Park to claim their 4th league title in succession.
Hurlford needed the win to have any chance of overhauling Talbot but it was Talbot who were quickest out the blocks & the Bot nearly opened the scoring inside a minute. Milliken laid the ball back to G Wilson who curled it to the far post where Young just failed to connect.
The home side had an opportunity to test Leishman a minute later. Kean went down rather easily outside the Talbot box & the ref awarded Hurlford the free kick. M Brown took it but fired a wild shot off target.
Hurlford were expending a lot of energy for very little reward as Talbot’s defence mopped up every high ball thrown at them, with Leishman not being called upon at all.
The only thing missing for the Bot support was a goal to settle the nerves and Talbot ought to have moved in front in the 17th minute. Hyslop stroked the ball down the right to find Milliken wide of the area. He whipped a cross into the near post where G Wilson powered a header just wide of the left post.
Wilson came close again in the 24th minute when the Bot were awarded a free kick 22 yards out after a shove on Hyslop. G Wilson lifted it over the wall but it flew narrowly past Brown’s right hand post.
There hadn’t been many scares down the Talbot end but Hurlford did have a half chance in the 29th minute when McKenzie fired a low ball into the centre which broke out to Kean. He turned & fired for goal only to see his shot deflected for a corner.
The home side seemed bereft of ideas in the final third and Talbot played out the remainder of the half quite comfortably to go in goal less at the interval and only 45 minutes away from the title.
Talbot started the 2nd half as they had the 1st and won a free kick wide on the left after McKenzie tugged back Shankland. Pope delivered a dangerous ball to the back post but only R Robertson attacked it & he managed to head clear.
The decisive moment came in the 53rd minute. Young released G Wilson down the left & he cut inside & made a beeline for the penalty area. Chisholm fouled him right on the edge of the box and SHANKLAND took full advantage, bending a superb free kick over the wall & past a static Brown to put Talbot 1-0 ahead.
The home side now made a change with Donnelly coming on for Creaney.
Hurlford needed a goal back quickly & they were presented with a decent chance when Wilson was penalised for handball just outside the penalty area. R Robertson drilled it low past the wall but Leishman was down low by his left post to hold it.
Talbot were awarded a free kick within shooting range in the 66th minute after G Wilson was shoved in the back 30 yards from goal. Shankland again took the set piece but this time got too much on it & lifted it over the bar.
Hurlford now made their 2nd change with Borris replacing Chisholm, but it continued to be Talbot who looked the more likely to net the next goal. Even Hurlford’s manic bell ringer appeared to be losing hope as he fell silent.
A 2nd goal would have sealed it and Talbot did their best to produce it. In the 73rd minute Shankland whipped a superb cross in from the left which McKillen just nicked off the head of Hyslop who was poised to head home at the back post.
A few minutes later McKillen almost scored an o.g. Shankland fired a cross in from the left which he headed on target from 6 yards out but fortunately for him it went straight at his keeper.
Tucker made a change in the 77th minute with Steven Wilson replacing Shankland.
The sub was involved soon after coming on. Milliken’s diagonal ball found him breaking into the left side of the penalty area but the ball skipped up off him & broke through to the keeper.
Hurlford hadn’t looked like scoring & their chances went from slim to non-existent in the space of a few minutes. McKenzie received a deserved caution for persistent fouling after catching White and then two minutes later dived in recklessly on the same player, and the ref sent him to the clubhouse.
Talbot saw the clock out with little difficulty & as the game headed into injury time all Hurlford could produce was a late caution for R Robertson who had his name taken for a late tackle on G Wilson.
The final whistle saw the celebrations begin, as Talbot fans hailed another title triumph, made all the sweeter by clinching it on Hurlford’s park. After an up & down season, Talbot have ended on a high note, saving their best form for when it mattered.Hurlford – A Brown, M Brown, McKillen, G Mitchell, C Robertson, D Mitchell, McKenzie, Chisholm, Kean, R Robertson, Creaney
Subs – Donnelly, Borris, Byrne, Nisbet, MurchieTalbot – Leishman, Latta, Pope, McGoldrick, McCracken, White, Young, Hyslop, G Wilson, Shankland, Milliken
Subs – Love, S Wilson, Boyd, Lyle, Johnstone

Hurlford United v Auchinleck Talbot

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)