Shotts Bon Accord v Auchinleck Talbot

MURRAYS REPORT

Talbot dug deep to earn themselves a place in the semi-finals of the Scottish coming from a goal down to beat Shotts at Hannah Park.

The hosts took the game to Talbot aided by a stiff gale at their back that left Talbot struggling early on.

Talbot couldn’t really get out the bit in the opening exchanges and Ritchford’s long throw ins were causing the Bot defence problems.

Having weathered the early onslaught Talbot fell behind in the 12th minute to a frankly ludicrous penalty decision. A corner was swept over from the left that Leishman gathered under pressure. He then got into a tangle with Ritchford as he got to his feet and to the amazement of all & sundry the ref booked Leishman and gave Shotts a penalty which MARTIN tucked away.

The home dug out thought they’d doubled their lead in the 19th minute when one of Ritchford’s hurled throw-ins was nodded into the path of Burns at the back post but he’d wandered offside and the goal didn’t stand.

Shotts continued to press and ought to have moved two ahead in the 22nd minute. Talbot conceded a corner down the left and Watt’s delivery found McGeough free at the back post but he headed over from a good position.

Gradually Talbot began to find their feet on the gluey surface and came close in the 24th minute when Healy’s ball in from the right broke out to Boyd who steered a shot just wide of the right hand post from the edge of the area.

Shotts most effective weapon was Ritchford’s shies and he caused Leishman an uncomfortable moment on the half hour mark when the Bot keeper came to punch one clear only to flap it behind for a corner.

A minute later Talbot passed up a good chance to level. Glasgow laid the ball off to Graham Wilson who returned it 1st time to send Glasgow racing clear of the defence. He continued to the edge of the area before lifting a shot over the advancing keeper but it sailed just over the crossbar.

McGeough had his name taken in the 36th minute for preventing Talbot from taking a quick shy.

Five minutes before the interval Talbot drew level. The Shotts defence failed to clear a ball in from the left and BRYAN BOYLAN crashed a shot home from 10 yards out to make it 1-1.

Talbot could have went in a goal ahead at the interval as they twice came close in 1st half injury time. Aiden Wilson won a corner down the left that Glasgow took and his cross was met by McCracken whose header had the keeper beaten but was headed off the line by a defender. Talbot kept the pressure on & Glasgow burst into the box down the left edge before firing a shot just over the bar in the closing action of the 1st half.

Talbot had the wind at their backs in the 2nd half and it was the home side’s turn to be pushed back.

Three minutes into the 2nd period Sutherland picked up a yellow card for a late lunge on Glasgow.

Just as Shotts had done in the early stages Talbot won a series of corners but had nothing to show for it. In the 52nd minute Glasgow’s corner from the left was fumbled by Murdoch as he went for it but no one was close enough to take advantage.

In the 53rd minute Armstrong won the ball inside the Shotts half and played it early up toward the area where Crawford handled it to prevent Talbot getting in behind. He was cautioned but Talbot didn’t make the most of the set piece with Glasgow firing well over the bar from 20 yards out.

Shotts now made a change with Cassells coming on for Watt.

Talbot were turning up the pressure and nearly went in front in the 57th minute. Glasgow got to the bye line down the left and his pull back was met by Graham Wilson whose shot was deflected behind for a corner. When the corner came over McCracken met it only to see his header come back off the crossbar. Talbot kept the pressure on and moments later McCracken had another chance when a cross from the left found him in space at the back post but this time he didn’t make a clean contact allowing Murdoch to make the save.

Armstrong had his name taken in the 59th minute for a challenge on half-way.

Shotts hadn’t offered much since the interval but did go on the attack in the 63rd minute. Cassells won a free kick just wide of the penalty area which he lifted beyond the far post. Crawford retrieved it and cut it back to the edge of the area where Cassells directed a low drive straight at Leishman.

Andy then launched it quickly down field where Boylan looked to be fouled by Sutherland as he raced to get on the end of it but the referee waved play on.

The Bot struck the woodwork for the 2nd time in the match in the 67th minute. Glasgow’s free kick from the left was met by McCracken who steered a header off the base of the post with the keeper beaten.

Shotts now made a 2nd change with Chalmers coming on in place of McGeough.

In the 70th minute Shotts were reduced to 10 men. A ball over the top caught the defence out allowing Boylan to race in on goal. Murdoch came racing out of his area and when Boylan clipped a shot at goal the keeper batted it away. The linesman’s flag went up immediately and after consulting with him the ref produced a red card to the keeper for handling the ball outside the area and awarded Talbot the free kick in the dee. Shotts now had to sacrifice Murdoch to bring on their substitute goalie Cameron and his first job was to pick the ball out of the back of his net.

Graham Wilson took the free kick and his shot clipped the top of the wall and spun high into the air. With the defence frozen the only one to react was CRAIG MCCRACKEN who prodded it home from close range to make it 2-1.

Tucker now made a double switch with Graham Wilson & Glasgow making way for Samson & Mason.

The two subs combined together in the 80th minute when Samson released Mason down the right and his low ball back across the face of goal was bundled just wide of his own goal by Evans. The referee then booked Muir for a foul committed on Samson in the build-up.

Talbot had a chance to kill the tie off in the 82nd minute. Cameron’s weak goal kick was intercepted by Boylan and fed to Samson on the right of the area but he fired it straight at the keeper.

Cassells became the latest Shotts player booked when he received a yellow card in the 83rd minute for a late challenge on Stafford.

With 5 minutes remaining Shotts had a chance to level. Cassells won a free kick out on the left which he delivered into the centre where Faulds sent a free header over the bar.

Three minutes from time McCracken received a caution for a challenge just inside the Bot half.

It should have been game over in the closing minutes when Talbot passed up two good chances in quick succession. Samson got free on the right and swept it across goal where Boylan met it 6 yards out but his shot was blocked by the keeper. The rebound came to Mason a few yards out but with the goal gaping he fired wide of the far post.

This could have proved costly as deep into injury time Talbot conceded a cheap corner down the left and when it came over Faulds met it but glanced it well wide of target.

Soon after the final whistle blew with Talbot through to the last 4 where they will face Rob Roy. Next up for Talbot it’s back to league duty when they host Kilwinning on Wednesday night.

Shotts Bon Accord – Murdoch, Sutherland, Muir, Crawford, Faulds, Martin, Evans, McGeough, Burns, Ritchford, Watt

Subs – Cassells, Kindlan, Chalmers, Meikle, Cameron

Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Craig McCracken, Armstrong, Boyd, Healy, Boylan, Graham Wilson, Glasgow

Subs – Samson, Mason, Hyslop, Robbie McCracken, McDowall, White, Hewitt