Neilston v Auchinleck Talbot

Talbot held on to the Hugh Blair Trophy after a tousy battle with hosts Neilston at Brig O’ Lea park on Saturday. It was a match that saw both keepers being void of any saves to make as both sides nulified each other which resulted in a poor game overall.

Playing down the slope Neilston were the quickest out the traps forcing three corners in the opening five minutes, but these were well dealt with by the Talbot defence, On 8 minutes Talbot won their first corner which was cleared into the path of Bain but his speculative shot was well past the goals.

Neilston were dealt a blow on 16 minutes when their experienced defender Doyle had to go off with an injury he had picked up after a tussle with Samson, and was replaced by Haggerty who had just featured in the Development match an hour earlier. Two minutes later the first clear cut chance fell to the home side when a cross into the box by Bulger was missed by the Talbot defence but although managing to fashion an opening Jones miss hit his effort and it trundled into the hands of Leishman,

Neilston keeper Digney took a sore one on 27 minutes when he collided with McDowall as both players had an eye on the ball when Shanland whipped in a superb cross. A minute later Talbot looked to have taken the lead when Craig McCracken headed a Shankland corner off the underside of the bar where it looked to be well over the line before being cleared by Halliday. With no official linesmen in place the referee waved play on.

The game decended into a door midfield battle after this with both sides defending well, but failing to create many chances. The last real bit of action was when Shankland again found the head of McCracken but his diving headed went a couple of feet past the post.

At the start of the second half Talbot replaced Healy, Pearson, Boyd, Samson and McDowall with Robbie McCracken, White, Glasgow, Boylan and Armstrong. While the home side swapped McLaughlan with Fletcher.

The second half was hardly started when the first talking point emereged when McPherson and Brophy both went for a loose ball which resulted in the Talbot man picking up a yellow card as the Neilston player went through a series of rolls and screams, before playing on minutes later, much to the disgust of the travelling support.

Ten minutes into the second half Boylan cut down the right wing before sending in a delightful ball which was missed by a couple of Talbot players who actually got in each others way. Willie Lyle was next in the book when he swept the feet from Haddow as the player tried to set up an attack. Things were now getting fiesty with R. McCracken and Stirling squaring up to each other, and minutes later the Talbot youngster was in the book after fouling Loughlin.

Shortly after Boylan and Bain split the home defence with a break down the right wing but when the cross came over White was unable to stear his header toward the target. The breathrough came in the 72 minutes thanks to some neat play by Boylan where he picked the ball up in the box before smashing it past the keeper and a number of players.

This was to be the last real action of any note as Talbot weathered a late Neilston comeback where tension again rose with Brophy going into the book for mouthing after Fletcher had the ball in the net but he was well offside.

All in it was a good win in a match with few chances, but no doubt it was a good work out by both sides.

Leishman, Bain, Lyle, McPherson, C.McCracken, Healy, Pearson. Boyd, Samson, Shankland, McDowall. SUBS: R.McCracken, White, Glasgow, Boylan, Armstrong, Hewitt.

Neilston v Auchinleck Talbot

Neilston Juniors v Auchinleck Talbot

TALBOT: Leishman, Young(Lyle 55) Wilson, Pope, White, Armstrong(Pearson 45), Healey(S.Wilson 45), McDowall(Samson 45), Kemp(Glasgow 45), Boylan(Shankland 45), McKinlay

Talbot won the the Hugh Blair trophy after a hard match at the Brig O’ Lea Stadium against Championship side Neilston Juniors. The day had a carnival feel about it with the Talbot Academy providing several teams to take on the locals before the main event. Talbot were without the injured Craig McCracken and Dwayne Hyslop while Neil McPherson was still on holiday. Gordon Pope and Steven Wilson filled in at the centre of the defence while two trialists Young and Wilson filled in at right and left back. New signings Bryan Boylan and Kieran Healy were introduced for the first half while Corey Pearson was on the bench. Talbot also had trialist Hamish Mckinlay on the wing.

It took until the 15th minute before a chance was carved out when Calvin Kemp set up Jack McDowall who blazed a shot over the bar from outside the box. Ten minutes later it looked as if Talbot were one up when a long ball over the defence was picked up by Kemp but his delicate lob was tipped away by the young keeper who was actually the son of Talbot legend Alan Pirie. From the resulting Healey corner Young headed the ball downward but it was cleared off the line by McKinnon. Minutes later Boylan squandered a good chance when he headed a Wilson cross well over the bar. The game was all Talbot as the first half came to a close with McKinlay and Boylan just putting shots just past the home goalposts.

There was a flurry of substitutions at half time and it was one of them Mark Shankland who nearly netted in the opening minute but his shot was cleared off the line. McKinlay was unlucky not to open the scoring on the 6th minute while Haddow nearly put the ball into his own net. The pressure by Talbot was immense and Glasgow had the ball into the net on the 65th minute but it was ruled offside. Five minutes later Talbot were given a wake up call when a clearance upfield caught out the Talbot defence where Ashe found himself through on goal but Andy Leishman who had been a spectator for most of the game blocked his shot before pouncing on the loose ball.

On the 75th minute Talbot were ahead when Pope sprayed a perfect long pass out to the wing where Glasgow whipped a superb ball right onto the head of KEIR SAMSON who gave Pirie no chance from six yards. It took a further three minutes for Talbot to double their lead when a wicked Shankland corner found the head of the trialist WILSON who headed home. With six minutes remaining Glasgow forced Pirie into making a superb save and shortly after Samson glided past the home defence, rounded the keeper but his shot on goal from an acute angle came off the post into the path of Pearson who blasted the ball over from just inside the box.

A good hard workout for the lads against a tough workmanlike Neilston side.