PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.
MURRAY’S MATCH REPORT
Talbot never seemed to hit top gear but did enough to secure the win over Rob Roy in energy sapping conditions.
Rob Roy made the brighter start, without actually offering any threat, and the first clear chance came Talbot’s way after 7 minutes. Wilson’s ball down the left found the Roy defence missing in action, picking out Samson in space just inside the penalty area. He could have carried it on but opted to shoot early & his attempt to place it ended up as a back pass at Burns.
The hosts learned you should always play to the whistle in the 14th minute when they conceded a bizarre free kick. In anticipation of an offside decision their player picked the ball up & placed it down to take a free kick only for the ref to award it to Talbot for hand ball. Armstrong touched it to Shankland who let fly from 30 yards but it went straight at the keeper.
A free kick in a dangerous position saw Rob Roy have their first glimpse at goal of the evening but Scott got his effort all wrong sending it high & wide of target.
It was becoming a game of set pieces and Talbot won the next one within striking distance after Healy was sandwiched as he burst forward. Shankland curled it over the wall but it didn’t come down quickly enough & sped over the bar.
Talbot had a real chance to take the lead in the 29th minute. Boyd hit a good ball down the right that found Samson racing in behind. Burns was stranded well off his line & Samson attempted to hit it early & pass it between him & his left post but didn’t catch it right & it ended up an easy save for the keeper.
Truesdale picked up a caution in the 32nd minute when he was guilty of a shirt tug on Healy and he was joined in the book 3 minutes later by Bell when he sent a Bot player crashing to prevent them being released at a throw in.
Talbot ended the half strongly and only a fantastic stop from Burns prevented Samson giving Talbot the lead in the 41st minute. Shankland slid the ball through the defence to send Samson clean through but the keeper showed great reflexes to turn his powerful shot over the bar.
Rob Roy then put together a good move with Leighton switching it inside to Scott who in turn fed it left to McMonagle on the edge of the area but his weak shot didn’t trouble Leishman.
The opening goal came in the final minute of the half. A shy from the left came to Glasgow who squared the ball across to MARK SHANKLAND who rifled a right foot shot past Burns at his right hand post to send Talbot in a goal to the good.
When the teams returned to the field Talbot had made a switch with McDowall on in place of Boyd.
The Bot were slow out of the traps at the start of the 2nd half & almost paid the price a minute in. Arbuckle squared the ball to Truesdale outside the area & with no one closing him down he had the time & space to get his shot away. Leishman got a hand to it and it was enough to send it off his right post.
Shortly after Rob Roy were forced into a change when Bell limped off to be replaced by Ross.
Talbot were denied what looked a stonewall penalty in the 54th minute. Shankland’s reverse pass found Glasgow inside the area & as he skipped past Gordon he clearly had his heels clipped. He managed to stay on his feet but all Talbot got from it was a corner kick.
At the other end Talbot gifted Rob Roy half an opening when Leishman bowled the ball out to Wilson not spotting Gordon in the vicinity. He nipped in to rob Wilson of the ball & sped free down the right before cutting the ball back to Arbuckle whose low drive was blocked away.
Talbot came close to doubling their advantage courtesy of misplaced cross. The ball was shoved left to Wilson whose cross had the keeper struggling before landing on the roof of the net.
In the 65th minute Talbot made their 2nd change with Graham Wilson coming on for Shankland.
The home side then had two decent chances within a minute to level. Firstly Leighton out-paced McCracken down the right to make it into the penalty area but his ball across was cut out by McPherson and then shortly after Scott’s diagonal pass from left to right found Leighton in acres of space on the right but he hit it first time & lashed his shot over.
This proved costly as Talbot double their lead in their next attack. McDowall did well down the right before delivering an inch perfect cross that KEIR SAMSON met to glance a header in off the foot of the post to put Talbot 2-0 ahead with 71 mins gone.
With quarter of an hour to go McPherson turned defence to attack as he raced from his own half past a series of challenges before releasing it to Samson who finished it well but from a yard offside.
Talbot made their 3rd and final change in the 78th minute when Fotheringham replaced Glasgow.
In the 81st minute Graham Wilson switched the ball quickly out left to release Samson who made tracks before cutting it back into the area. The defence only half cleared it & it came to Fotheringham 18 yards out but he didn’t catch his shot cleanly and it drifted wide of the right post.
Five minutes from time Leishman’s throw found Graham Wilson out on the left and he played a one-two with Fotheringham before whipping over a cross that the defence managed to head behind for a corner.
As the game moved into injury time McDowall had one final effort to add to Talbot’s lead. He gathered 25 yards out & fired for goal. His shot took a deflection & Burns had to turn it past his left post.
Next up for Talbot it is back to Beechwood this Saturday where Talbot play host to Troon.
Kirkintilloch Rob Roy – Burns, Walker, Gilday, Bell, O’Halloran, Gordon, Leighton, Truesdale, Arbuckle, McMonagle, Fraser Scott
Subs – Ross, Callum Scott, Babers, Reilly, Bryson, Marley
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Craig McCracken, Healy, Boyd, Armstrong, Shankland, Samson, Glasgow
Subs – Graham Wilson, Boylan, McDowall, Robbie McCracken, Mason, Fotheringham, Steven Wilson