MURRAY’S MATCH REPORT
Talbot kicked off their season with a 4-1 win at Muirkirk.
As expected this was a match Talbot largely dominated but Muirkirk fought hard & it wasn’t til the closing stages that Talbot turned their dominance into goals.
The Bot almost got off to a dream start inside a minute, when Shankland turned neatly in off the left flank & drilled a shot just over Stewart’s bar.
Muirkirk were being pegged back & the pressure told on the quarter hour mark when Talbot took the lead. Shankland saw a couple of shots at goal blocked before Campbell knocked it behind for a corner. When Shankland swept the corner across the 6-yard area, DRUMMOND was there to knock it home from close range.
Talbot would’ve been hoping for a 2nd goal to kill the tie off but Muirkirk were defending their box well & although Talbot were dominating the ball they weren’t carving out any clear chances.
Milliken did well in the 26th minute when he raced past McIntyre inside the area before cutting it back from the bye line. The ball sped across the face of goal but no Bot player was there to turn it home.
The next chance came when Pope played it down the left into the feet of Shankland. He skipped inside his man before steering a shot just wide of the left hand post.
Muirkirk hadn’t registered a shot at goal but they drew level in the 34th minute. The home side won a free kick out on the left which Hammill crossed into the box. Young headed it clear but it came back to Hammill & when he crossed it back in White nudged Burke over & the ref pointed to the spot. RUSSELL stepped up & confidently buried the penalty into the back of the net to make it 1-1.
Talbot nearly regained the lead 2 minutes later. Shankland swerved a cross in from the left which Drummond just failed to connect with in front of goal.
A good Bot move saw McPherson release Milliken down the right. He in turn fed it back to Latta who found Pooler inside the box. He laid it back to Young but Butch’s shot lacked power & Stewart easily held his shot.
Talbot should’ve gone in front in the 40th minute. Shankland outpaced McIntyre before swinging a cross to the back post where Milliken met it unchallenged but he headed it past the post.
In the final action of the 1st half, Milliken gathered the ball out wide on the left & hammered a low shot on target that Stewart parried away at his near post, and so despite Talbot’s dominance the sides went in level at the break.
The 2nd half saw Talbot start strongly, forcing a series of corners in the opening minutes as they hunted an early goal. Muirkirk coped well for the most part but Drummond had a good chance to net in the 50th minute when he met a cross in from the right but he scooped his shot over the bar from 8 yards.
Campbell became the 1st player booked when the Muirkirk winger was penalised for kicking the ball away.
Muirkirk made a change on the hour mark when Condon came on in place of Burke.
The sub was barely on the pitch when Talbot regained the lead. A good passing move saw Talbot work it from left to right where Milliken gathered out on the wing. He cut inside & curled it across the 6-yard area where YOUNG glanced a header home.
Two minutes later Talbot threatened again. McGoldrick charged up the left & played Shankland in behind the defence. He fired it low across goal where Milliken succeeded on flicking it on target but Stewart was in the right place to make the stop.
Milliken ought to have scored soon after. Leishman launched a long ball down the right which the Kirk defence failed to deal with. Milliken ran onto it but one on one with the keeper he chose the wrong option, trying to lift it over Stewart who plucked it out the air.
Drummond had his name taken in the 71st minute for a late challenge.
Muirkirk made their 2nd switch after 73 mins with Murtie replacing Burke.
Shankland was unlucky not to score in the 78th minute. He showed great vision 30 yards out when he spotted Stewart had strayed off his line & his attempted lob dipped just over the bar with the keeper struggling to get back.
Talbot made sure of the victory in the 82nd minute. Muirkirk won a free kick inside the Bot half which they played into the penalty area. McPherson cleared it long downfield and Stewart misjudged it, coming racing off his line to gather. He was never getting there & SHANKLAND took a good 1st touch to control it, allowing him the time to pass the ball into the empty net.
Wilson was booked in the 84th minute for a blatant trip on McGoldrick and Tucker now made Talbot’s only change with Oke on for Latta.
A minute later Talbot completed the scoring, thanks to a good advantage from the referee. Pope had his heels clipped but as the ball broke square inside to WHITE the ref allowed play to go on & he drilled a low strike inside the left post from 20 yards to make it 4-1.
With two minutes remaining Oke missed a good chance to add his name to the scoresheet. He found himself clean through on the right but pulled his shot wide of the right post.
A winning start for Talbot and they will be looking to keep it going when they travel to New Cumnock on Weds night to face Glenafton.
Muirkirk – Stewart, Peck, Beveridge, Miller, McIntyre, Williamson, Campbell, Wilson, Burke, Russell, Hammill
Subs – Condon, Murtie, Kiltie, Duncan
Talbot – Leishman, McPherson, Pope, McGoldrick, Drummond, White, Young, Pooler, Milliken, Shankland, Latta
Subs – Oke, Lyle, Sloan, McLuckie, Hewitt