PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.
MURRAY’S MATCH REPORT
Talbot made hard work of it but ground out a narrow win over Forth in the South Challenge cup.
The Bot had an early chance in the 4th minute when Graham Wilson’s shot from 15 yards was saved by McPhee’s legs.
Talbot were seeing a lot of the ball, with Forth content to sit in, and it was paying off as Talbot were struggling to make any headway in the final third.
In the 12th minute Stevenson headed a cross behind and when Mason’s corner came over from the right Shankland met it but sent his header over the bar.
Talbot were given a fright in the 13th minute when Lafferty slid a pass through to find Henderson inside the area. He cut in off the left and went for goal but McPherson got across to block his shot.
In the 23rd minute Aiden Wilson worked a one-two with McDowall down the left and he raced to the bye line and tried to cut it back to the waiting Shankland but there wasn’t enough on it & the defence intercepted.
Aiden Wilson swung a good across the face of goal in the 26th minute but no Bot players got near it.
Talbot scored the game’s only goal in the 31st minute. The Bot won a free kick out on the left which Shankland swung into the centre where CRAIG MCCRACKEN headed home from close range.
Two minutes later Talbot had a chance to double their lead. Shankland cut inside onto his right foot and sent a low drive just wide of McPhee’s right post from the edge of the area.
The Bot had another half chance a minute later. Aiden Wilson pinged over a cross that Donnelly headed clear. It came out to Lyle who crossed it onto the head of Shankland who guided a header wide of the left post.
The visitors had the ball in the net in the 39th minute but it was rightly chalked off for offside and that was pretty much it for the 1st half.
Talbot have had a habit of improving after the interval but this cup tie proved the exception to the rule with the 2nd half being as poor a 45 minutes as will have been seen at Beechwood in a long while.
McPherson picked up a caution in the 55th minute for holding and a minute later Shankland joined him in the book for an aerial challenge.
Around the hour mark Tucker made a double switch with Armstrong & Mason going off to be replaced by Boyd & Boylan.
There was really only one near thing in the whole 2nd half and it came in the 62nd minute for the visitors. A corner from the right was headed toward goal and Graham Wilson had to clear it from the goal mouth.
The closest Talbot came to adding to their lead was in the 72nd minute. Shankland fed it wide right to Healy and when his ball came across goal McQuarrie bundled it just wide of his own goal.
Talbot made another change with quarter of an hour left when Samson came on for Shankland.
The Bot had to see the last 10 minutes out a man down. A ball over the top saw McPherson bring down Stewart and he was shown a 2nd yellow and was off to the clubhouse. Forth had a free kick just outside the penalty area but it was drilled straight into the wall.
In the closing stages McDonald picked up a caution for a cynical foul on Graham Wilson then Donnelly joined him in the bad books for a late tackle on Healy.
The game trundled on to its conclusion with neither keeper actually required to make a save in the 2nd half.
Not a game to live long in the memory and Talbot will be hoping to raise it a gear or two next week when they travel through to East Lothian to face Preston Athletic in the William Hill Scottish cup.
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Craig McCracken, Armstrong, Healy, McDowall, Graham Wilson, Shankland, Mason
Subs – Boylan, Samson, Hyslop, Boyd, Robbie McCracken, Stafford, Hewitt
Forth Wanderers – McPhee, Cassidy, Brown, McQuarrie, Donnelly, Cookman, McDonald, Lafferty, Stevenson, Henderson, Savarese
Subs – Hutchison, Murray, McLaughlin, Fullarton, Stewart, J McDonald, Banks
Nothing lasts forever and Talbot’s long unbeaten run was ended last night in front of a bumper crowd against Darvel.
Talbot have picked up an unfortunate habit of starting slowly and so it proved again with the visitors grabbing the lead after only 4 minutes.
Darvel won a corner down the right which was delivered at pace and MARR raced onto it to power a free header past Leishman to put Darvel one ahead.
The Bot almost drew level in the 8th minute. Stafford ran onto a shy and raced past Allan before slinging over a cross that cannoned off the face of the bar and away to safety.
Clear cut chances were few & far between in the opening exchanges. Good work down the left saw Graham Wilson send Aiden Wilson away on the overlap and he swept a good across the face of the 6-yard area but there were no Bot players to take advantage.
The next shot on target came in the 24th minute when Darvel’s Kirkpatrick tried an ambitious effort from 35 yards which landed on target but straight at Leishman.
Talbot drew level on the half hour mark. McPherson floated it up the centre where Hyslop won the header on. Boylan jousted for it with a defender inside the area and the ball broke back to KIER SAMSON whose low strike trundled home courtesy of a deflection.
The game had barely re-started when Talbot were caught cold and conceded their 2nd. The ball was switched out to Miller on the right touchline who got away before sliding it across toward the far post where FERGUSON side-footed it home to restore Darvel’s lead.
The goal rattled Talbot and two minutes later they conceded a free kick just outside the penalty area which Miller curled into the defensive wall.
In the 36th minute Meggatt put pressure on his keeper with a short back-pass that Samson chased down but the ball didn’t break for Talbot when Kier blocked Truesdale’s clearance.
With 41 mins gone Ferguson had his name taken for high feet in a challenge with McCracken and two minutes later he was joined in the book by Talbot’s Boylan for a foul on Allan.
In the final minute of the half Talbot won a free kick in a promising area after Graham Wilson was clipped by Marr as he surged towards the penalty area. Hyslop took it but fired his shot well over to end the half.
In similar fashion to Saturday’s clash with Hulford, Talbot came out with more purpose after the interval and made the early running. In the 51st minute Boylan raced clear on the right and slung over a dangerous cross that Meggatt did well to intercept & head over his own bar with Samson lurking in front of goal.
A few minutes later McCracken’s ball out of defence found Graham Wilson breaking clear down the left. His 1st touch took it away from goal but he recovered it and swept a good cross into the centre that was cleared out as far as Hyslop who fired wide of target from 20 yards.
The Bot had another chance in the 56th minute when Aiden Wilson raced in off the left and tried to break into the box. He was baulked but the ball squeezed through to Samson inside the area and his low drive was blocked by Truesdale at his right hand post.
Another half chance came Talbot’s way on the hour mark. Hyslop’s head flick on found Samson in space down the right of the penalty area but he delayed his shot a fraction & a defender was able to get across to block his effort.
A minute later Talbot had an effort on target when the ball fell to Hyslop on the left of the area. He got off a left foot strike but it lacked the power to really test the keeper.
Darvel hadn’t been seen much in the 2nd half but in the 65th minute Miller found himself in space on the right but his cross had too much on it and sailed over Kirkpatrick at the far post.
Talbot now made their 1st change with Shankland coming on for Graham Wilson.
The Bot had a chance to test the Darvel defence in the 69th minute when Darvel were penalised for handball out on the right. Shankland put in a good delivery but Stirling made a good defensive header to clear.
Darvel now made their first change with Thomson replacing Kirkpatrick.
Talbot won a free kick out on the left in the 72nd minute for a hefty challenge on Shankland. He took the set piece & whipped it into the centre. It was cleared out to Boylan at the edge of the area but he lashed his shot well over.
It just wasn’t happening for Talbot in the final third; a fact underlined in the 73rd minute when Samson slid a great ball through to release Boylan down the right of the area but his 1st touch took him too wide and the chance was lost.
A minute later Shankland had a half chance at the edge of the area but blazed it way off target.
The visitors now made their 2nd change with Boland on for Miller.
Darvel could & probably should have sealed it in the 76th minute. Stirling’s ball from the right went straight to Thomson in front of goal but he side-footed it well wide of the far post.
The visitors managed to see the final 10 minutes out without too many alarms. Talbot threw on two late substitutions with Mason on for Boylan & McDowall replacing Armstrong but they had no real time to make an impact. The closing minutes of the game saw a further rush of names into the notebook with Healy cautioned for a foul and Stafford yellow carded for dissent before Marr received a late caution for tripping McPherson.
It wasn’t Talbot’s night but the Bot remain top of the table – 3 points clear of nearest challengers Pollok. Next up for Talbot it’s our inaugural game in the South Challenge cup where Talbot host Forth Wanderers.
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Craig McCracken, Armstrong, Healy, Hyslop, Boylan, Graham Wilson, Samson
Subs – Shankland, McDowall, Mason, Robbie McCracken, Lyle, White, Hewitt
Darvel – Truesdale, Meggatt, Marr, Reid, Allan, Miller, McShane, Stirling, Kirkpatrick, Ferguson
Subs – Avcii, Black, Mitchell, Boland, Walker, Little, Thomson
Talbot did it the hard way again as they gathered all 3 points at Beechwood against Hurlford despite missing a string of clear cut chances in the 2nd half.
It was Hurlford who settled first and the Bot had a let off in the 6th minute. Whittaker won a free kick out on the right touchline which was bent over to the far corner of the 6-yard box where Magee headed it against the right hand post. Hyslop was on hand to head the rebound behind for a corner.
Talbot’s first threat came in the 11th minute when Stafford did well down the right, carrying it forward before releasing Glasgow down the wing. He tried to cut it back into the path of Shankland but didn’t get enough on it and the defence were able to clear.
The home fans had a nervy moment two minutes later when Bell gathered the ball on the bye line & pulled it back to M McKenzie who hooked a shot at goal that was headed clear.
Leishman was called into action in the 17th minute when Wilson was allowed too much time & space 30 yards from goal & drilled a shot on target that skipped up off the surface on its way through but Leishman managed to push it wide of the right post.
Talbot were struggling at this stage and the visitors threatened again in the 21st minute. Wilson switched play out to the right where Whittaker drilled the ball low across the face towards Bell but he was beaten to it and the ball cleared.
Hurlford’s goalie hadn’t been asked any questions in the opening spell but he did produce a good stop in the 22nd minute. Hyslop squared the ball inside to Boyd who wasn’t closed down & let fly from 25 yards only to see McDonald push it wide of target.
On the half hour mark Lidington had his name taken for a trip on Glasgow.
The Bot support weren’t happy with the stand side linesman as he spent most of the 1st half with his flag in the air every time Talbot crossed the halfway line with numerous offside decisions going against Talbot.
Hurlford won a free kick out on the left in the 37th minute for Stafford’s challenge on M McKenzie. Wilson took it and his ball in was headed clear by McCracken but came straight back to him and he whipped over a dangerous cross that the defence did well to head clear.
In the 42nd minute Hurlford made a change with M McKenzie leaving the field to be replaced by Coogans.
Talbot ended the half on the front foot and won a free kick on the halfway line when Robertson breenged Glasgow over which also saw the centre half pick up a booking.
Right on half time Talbot won a free kick 30 yards out when Wilson fouled Glasgow. Shankland took it and got it up and over the wall but wide of the right post and the sides went in level at the break.
The 2nd half got off to a lively start and both sides received a caution a piece in the opening 5 minutes. Firstly, Boyd was cautioned for studs showing and then a minute later Magee picked up a yellow for a blatant shove resulting in a free kick 30 yards out on the left. Shankland went for goal but it wasn’t one of his better efforts and sailed harmlessly over.
Leishman turned provider in the 51st minute when he launched the ball down the right to find Hyslop breaking into space. He carried it forward before sliding it into the front post area where McDonald was quickly off his line to beat Samson to it.
The crucial breakthrough came in the 55th minute. Hyslop picked up on the right and slid a great pass down the line to find Boyd. He skimmed a low ball across the face in the fun zone between the defence and the keeper and MAGEE bundled it into his own net whilst trying to clear.
The goal energised Talbot and 4 minute later Glasgow skipped inside on the left of the area and tested the keeper with a low drive on target.
Talbot made their first change on the hour mark with Healy coming on for Boyd.
The Bot had a chance to double their lead in the 64th minute. McCracken lifted it up the right to find Samson racing clear and his early ball across the area came to Glasgow 12 yards out but he fired wide of McDonald’s right hand post.
In the 69th minute a ball over the top saw Samson just beaten to it with the defence forced to knock it behind for a corner. Shankland fired it over and Hylsop met it with a diving header that was deflected wide of the right post but not according to the officials who awarded a goal kick.
Next to have a go for Talbot was Shankland who cut in off the right on his left foot & fired for goal but McDonald made a good stop.
It should have been game over in the 74th minute. Shankland’s clever touch released Samson on the left and he squared it across to the far post where Healy looked set to score but he side-footed it wide of the post from 6 yards.
Hurlford had a lucky escape two minutes later. P McKenzie lost his footing inside the Bot half and Talbot were able to break quickly on the counter. There were 2 fouls in the build up with Robertson taking Samson out off the ball but the ref gave the advantage as it broke to Aiden Wilson on the left whose low drive was turned wide by McDonald. The referee could have reduced the visitors to 10 men for the fouls in the build-up but decided to take no further action.
Tucker now made two further changes with Samson & Glasgow making way for Boylan & Graham Wilson.
Boylan was barely on the pitch when he had a glorious chance to put Talbot 2 ahead. Leishman launched it down the centre where Magee slipped allowing Boylan to race onto it; unfortunately with only the keeper to beat he opted for power and lashed a half volley over the bar from 15 yards.
Six minutes from time Talbot came close once again. Shankland’s corner from the left caused chaos in the centre and the defence were only able to scramble it away as far as Aiden Wilson whose low drive from 15 yards was deflected just wide of target.
Talbot kept pushing and the next attack saw Graham Wilson release Boylan down the right and when his cross came over Shankland volleyed over the bar.
It had been all Talbot in the 2nd half but the Bot were given a scare in the 86th minute when Bell gathered the ball 25 yards out and hit a shot that dipped just over the crossbar.
A minute from time Talbot missed another clear opportunity to kill the game off. McCracken hit a great ball over the top of the defence to send Graham Wilson through one on one with the keeper but he opted to hit it early and McDonald blocked it as he advanced off his line.
A thoroughly deserved win for the Bot who recovered from an unconvincing 1st half to dominate the 2nd. Next up for Talbot it is back to Beechwood midweek where they host Darvel under the floodlights.
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Craig McCracken, Armstrong, Boyd, Hyslop, Glasgow, Shankland, Samson
Subs – Boylan, Graham Wilson, McDowall, Robbie McCracken, Healy, Hewitt
Hurlford United – McDonald, Miller, Lidington, Magee, Robertson, Graham, P McKenzie, Wilson, Bell, M McKenzie, Whittaker
Subs – Coogans, McKnight, McIntyre, Frew, Walker, Burns
PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.
MURRAYS MATCH REPORT
Talbot maintained their place at the pinnacle of the table after overpowering a stuffy Cumbernauld side.
The first goal threat of the afternoon came in the 5th minute when Hyslop met a corner from the left but glanced it well wide of target.
Three minutes later Cumbernauld won a free kick in a dangerous area just wide of the Bot penalty area. McCabe’s ball down the left was chased by Gormley & McPherson attempted to shield it out for the goal kick; however the forward managed to nick it & McPherson sent him tumbling. O’Hare floated it to the back post where Leishman gathered it in.
Cumbernauld’s keeper was called into action in the 11th minute when Glasgow latched onto a head flick from Hyslop. He let fly from 25 yards & McGee turned his shot over the crossbar.
The Bot had another chance in the 16th minute. Lyle’s ball up the right found Glasgow who turned McHaffie before dinking a cross into the centre which was met by Samson but he couldn’t get any power behind his header.
Talbot’s good spell continued with the Bot’s next chance coming in the 20th minute. Healy found Samson down the left & he whipped a cross into the centre that just eluded Glasgow. The ball came out to Mason on the right of the area & he took a touch before firing a half volley on target that McGee tipped over the bar.
McMahon was first into the book when the full-back was cautioned for a late challenge on Glasgow in the 32nd minute.
Talbot kept probing & tested the visiting defence from a set piece in the 36th minute when Mason’s corner from the right was driven into the near post where White was just beaten to it.
The half ended with Talbot on the front foot but unable to break down the Cumbernauld defence and teams went in goal less at the interval.
The 2nd half continued where the first had left off with Talbot doing the pressing and the visitors content to sit in and play for the draw but that all changed in the 55th minute when Talbot’s pressure paid off and they took the lead.
Healy got to the ball on the bye line down the right & angled a cross back to the near post where DWAYNE HYSLOP powered a header off the underside of the bar that bounced well behind the line before being hooked clear.
Just shy of the hour mark Talbot had a chance to double their advantage. Hyslop rose to nod the ball on into the path of Mason who scurried forward before drilling a shot wide of the right hand post.
In the 63rd minute McDevitt received a yellow card after he lost out to Samson & hauled him back just wide of the penalty area. Glasgow took the free kick & slid it back into the path of Mason whose shot was blocked. It came back out to Mason & he slipped a pass through to Glasgow who lifted it into the near post where Cameron put it behind for the corner.
Cumbernauld made a change in the 66th minute with Henderson coming on for Neil.
The Bot had a glorious chance to move further ahead in the 69th minute. McPherson flighted a ball down the centre that skipped past McDevitt leaving Samson in one on one with the keeper but the keeper came out on top.
Henderson became the 3rd United player in the book when he was cautioned in the 70th minute for a hefty challenge on Hyslop on the left. Talbot took the free kick quickly releasing Wilson into the area. His low ball across the face was cut out but came straight back to him & AIDEN WILSON lashed it into the far corner from a tight angle to put Talbot 2 ahead.
Cumbernauld’s discipline was crumbling & Hannaway had his name taken for dissent. United now made their 2nd change with McPherson making way for Sinclair.
In Talbot’s next attack they won a free kick out wide on the left, before it could be taken Tucker made a change with Shankland coming on for Mason. Shankland’s first involvement was floating the free kick onto the head of Samson who glanced his header over the bar.
With quarter of an hour remaining Talbot had another chance. Once again a ball down the centre deceived the visiting defence with the bounce of the ball beating McDevitt and finding Samson running through on goal; however Cameron reacted quickly to get across & make a timely challenge to put it behind for the corner.
It was one-way traffic and Talbot had a couple of decent openings within a minute. Firstly Shankland played a free kick back into the path of Boyd who fired wide of the left post from the edge of the area and then in Talbot’s next attack Glasgow got free on the left and cut it back to Healy in space at the back post. He tried to place it only to see his shot blocked by Cameron.
The goal was coming though and Talbot grabbed their 3rd of the afternoon in the 78th minute. Shankland lifted a cross over from the right beyond the far post where DWAYNE HYSLOP guided a header past McGee. The keeper clawed the ball out but it didn’t take VAR to see that it had crossed the line and Talbot moved 3-0 ahead.
Tucker now made a further change with Robbie McCracken coming on to replace Boyd.
Cumbernauld had offered precious little going forward and when they did have a chance at a consolation they squandered it. Lyle slipped allowing Sinclair onto it & he raced into the area before squaring it for Hannoway who fired a weak effort on target that Leishman blocked.
Glasgow picked up a caution in the 81st minute when he went down under Cameron’s challenge with the referee deciding he’d made the most of it.
Talbot made their final change with 5 minutes remaining when Craig McCracken replaced McPherson.
As the game moved into stoppage time Talbot had one final chance. Shankland’s corner from the right was cleared straight back out to him & he whipped in a cross that Glasgow met only to see his header well saved by McGee.
A frustrating 1st half for Talbot but the team stepped it up a gear to run out comfortable winners. Next up for Talbot it is derby day as the Bot make the short journey along the road to face Cumnock at Townhead.
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Wilson, McPherson, White, Boyd, Healy, Hyslop, Samson, Mason, Glasgow
Subs – Shankland, Robbie McCracken, Boylan, Craig McCracken, Pope, Dumigan, Hewitt (gk)
Cumbernauld United – McGee, McMahon, McCabe, Cameron, McDevitt, McHaffie, McPherson, Neil, Gormley, Hannaway, O’Hare
Subs – Henderson, Sideserf, Sinclair, Zok, Wilson (gk)
PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.
MURRAY’S MATCH REPORT
Talbot cruised into the next round of the Scottish Junior cup after a comfortable win over their North region opponents.
Montrose Roselea were forced into making an early change when Watson limped off after only 8 minutes to be replaced up front by Alberts.
The opening goal came in the 13th minute. Robbie McCracken played a good ball up the right to find Samson & he squared it across the penalty area. Mason touched it back into the path of DWAYNE HYSLOP who hammered a shot inside the right post from 15 yards.
Three minutes later Talbot very nearly doubled their lead. Healy chipped the ball forward to Mason who let fly from outside the area & his shot rattled back out off the left post with the keeper well beaten.
Talbot were knocking it about well, looking to stretch their opponents, who were content to sit deep.
The home support thought Talbot had added their 2nd in the 23rd minute. Glasgow’s cross from the right was headed behind for a corner and when Mason’s corner came over Robbie McCracken dived to meet it beyond the far post to bullet a header home but the assistant flagged that the corner had swerved out then back in.
Mason then tried his luck from distance – trying to place it from 25 yards with McCormack making a comfortable save.
Talbot’s 2nd goal arrived in the 31st minute. Craig McCracken pinged an accurate diagonal ball over the defence to find Glasgow haring down the right. He slid it into the near post where KIER SAMSON touched it home from close range.
Montrose’s defence was being stretched constantly & Davidson did well in the 36th minute to prevent Samson getting his shot away; sliding in to put it behind for a corner.
The next effort at goal came from Glasgow when Craig McCracken’s pass found him on the left & he fired wide of the right post from 25 yards.
Three minutes before the interval Samson found Robbie McCracken on the overlap & Stephen turned his ball across goal behind for the corner. Mason whipped the corner over where Hyslop met it in front of goal but he glanced it wide of the far post.
A minute from half time Talbot added their 3rd goal. Samson raced free down the left and burst into the area before cutting it back to DWAYNE HYSLOP who planted it into the bottom corner.
With the tie effectively over Talbot dropped down a gear in the 2nd half but still made & missed quite a few chances. The first of which came in the 48th minute when a shy from the left was gathered by Samson who raced into the area & hammered a shot just over the crossbar from a tight angle.
Talbot’s next goal threat came in the 58th minute. Glasgow’s cross from the right found Healy at the back post and his diving header back across goal was well saved by McCormack.
Tucker now made a double switch with Hyslop and Samson making way for McDowall and Shankland.
Roselea were caught out by a short corner down the left when Mason pulled it back to Shankland on the left edge of the area and he fired it just wide of the right hand post.
Wilson had a great chance to get his name on the score sheet in the 67th minute. Robbie McCracken’s cross found him in space at the back post but he steered his header across goal & wide of the left post.
McPherson had his name taken in the 71st minute for a foul on Garnham just outside the area. Alberts took it but never troubled the goal – sending it comfortably wide of the right post.
McDowall picked up a knock and the sub was substituted with Hastings making the step up from Talbot’s development squad to make his debut.
With quarter of an hour remaining Talbot had another good chance to add to their lead. Robbie McCracken arrowed in a good cross that Healy ran onto but he bulleted his header over the bar.
Two minutes later Mason hit the woodwork for the 2nd time when he cut in off the left & drilled a shot that clattered off the base of McCormack’s right hand post.
Mason had another opportunity moments later when he ran onto Boyd’s ball over the defence. He checked inside and fired for goal but his shot went straight at the keeper.
The procession of chances continued for Talbot and Shankland spurned a good chance in the 84th minute when he met Mason’s cut back 6 yards out but side-footed it straight at McCormack.
Hastings then had a go at goal from 20 yards – pulling his shot wide of the left post.
Roselea grabbed a late consolation in the 88th minute. Beedie gathered outside the area & threaded the ball through to ALBERTS who fired past Leishman.
Talbot ended the game back on the front foot forcing a series of corners but couldn’t add to their tally and the game finished 3-1.
Next up Talbot are back in league action at Beechwood where they host Cumbernauld United next Saturday.
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Robbie McCracken, Wilson, McPherson, Craig McCracken, Healy, Boyd, Hyslop, Samson, Glasgow, Mason
Subs – Shankland, McDowall, Hastings, Watt, White, Hewitt
Montrose Roselea – McCormack, Davidson, Taylor, Reoch, Stephen, Thomson, Greig, Garnham, Watson, Beedie, Soutar
Subs – Rae, Bailey, Jamiesion, Alberts, Gill, Tweed
MURRAYS MATCH REPORT
Talbot saw their lead at the top of the table narrowed as they were held to a 1-1 draw in this midweek encounter with Beith.
Talbot started promisingly and stretched the Beith defence in the 2nd minute. Glasgow fed it out to Healy on the right & his ball into the near post had to be turned behind by Gray.
The first half was short on goal mouth incident of any kind and Beith’s best effort came in the 7th minute when they won a free kick 35 yards out. Hepburn’s shot deflected off the top of the wall & spun straight to McLean whose header had to be tipped over by Leishman.
The Bot had left their shooting boots in the dressing room; failing to test Burgess on those occasions when they had a sight of goal. Shankland squared it into the path of Healy 22 yards out and he blazed over and shortly after Shankland shot well wide from outside the area.
With chances in short supply, Talbot’s closest call of the 1st half came in the 31st minute. A Shankland free kick was played into the area where it was headed clear. It came back out to Shankland who clipped it over the defence to find McDowall running in behind down the right. He lobbed it over Burgess but his shot nestled on top of the net.
A defensive error by Beith gave Talbot a chance in the 38th minute. McMahon headed it back toward his own box where it skipped past McGoldrick. Samson raced onto it & knocked it wide of the advancing Burgess but took too heavy a touch and couldn’t retrieve it and the half meandered to a close with neither side offering any further threat to the opposing box.
The 2nd half started in similar vein with little happening at the sharp end though this changed in the 55th minute when the visitors took the lead. A ball over the defence found Fowler on the left of the penalty area & he took it round Leishman but not fancying the tight angle opted to cross it to the far post where it just eluded Watt. Talbot managed to bundle it behind for the corner and when the corner came over McPherson headed it behind. Unfortunately, the Bot defence then went to sleep & were caught cold when Beith took the corner quickly; rolling it back to Hepburn whose shot took a deflection & looped toward the back post where FOWLER met it to power a header home.
This was to be Fowler’s last involvement in the match as he was subbed soon after with McKay coming on in his place.
Talbot made a double substitution in the 65th minute with Shankland & McDowall making way for Mason & Hyslop.
The two subs were involved almost immediately; Mason holding the ball up down the left before teeing it up for Wilson whose inch perfect cross was met in the centre by Hyslop but untypically he glanced a free header wide of the left post.
Talbot drew level in the 69th minute. McKay was booked for obstructing Lyle as he burst forward; resulting in a free kick just outside the area. Mason lifted it beyond the far post where Hyslop met it to head it back across goal & JAMIE GLASGOW ran onto it to volley home.
McGoldrick was next in the book when he was cautioned in the 71st minute for clipping Glasgow’s heels midway inside the Beith half. Armstrong took the set piece & floated it out to the left where Hyslop again rose to head it across goal. This time it came to Healy but his header went straight at Burgess.
Beith hadn’t done much since taking the lead but they did have a half chance in the 72nd minute. McLean pounced on an error by Lyle & shot from 18 yards but his shot went straight at Leishman.
Talbot won another set piece in a good area in the 74th minute following a foul on Lyle. Armstrong swung a good cross over but everyone had darted to the near post & it sailed behind.
At the other end Beith came close in the 76th minute. Hepburn won a free kick out on the left that he crossed into the area. It was headed out but only as far as McKay who met it on the volley 16 yards out. His shot clipped the top of the bar, without seeming to go near any Bot players, but the ref awarded the corner kick.
Both sides had a go in the 79th minute; firstly Armstrong playing a one-two with Lyle that ended with Lyle on the right of the area trying to square it to find Samson but it was cut out & Beith swiftly countered with McLean gathering on the left before switching play out to the opposite wing to find McKay. He raced into the area but his ball into the near post was smothered by Leishman.
Talbot had another chance to test Beith from a set piece in the 83rd minute following a foul on Glasgow. Mason took it & fired it low into the area where it broke to White. He couldn’t get a shot away but the ball fell to Glasgow who lobbed it over the bar from a tight angle.
The Bot were finishing strongly and had another chance in the 86th minute. Armstrong surged forward before releasing the ball down the right to find Samson who turned his man inside the area & drilled a shot on target that Burgess parried away.
As the game moved into injury time Talbot had one last chance to snatch the win. Armstrong fed the ball up the right to Glasgow who beat his man before hitting a great cross to the back post where Hyslop just failed to connect with it.
Next up for Talbot it is a break from league duties as they face Montrose Roselea at Beechwood in the opening round of the Scottish Junior cup.
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Wilson, McPherson, White, Armstrong, Healy, McDowall, Samson, Glasgow, Shankland
Subs – Robbie McCracken, Mason, Boyd, Hyslop, Hewitt
Beith – Burgess, Gray, Noble, McGoldrick, Docherty, Park, Watt, McMahon, McLean, Fowler, Hepburn
Subs – Duffy, McKay, Hood, Shield, Young, Winning
Talbot kept their place at the top of the table thanks to an impressive home win over Glenafton; with the final score not really reflecting Talbot’s dominance.
It wasn’t the ideal start for the Bot as Graham Wilson picked up an injury only 3 mins in with Kier Samson coming on in his place.
The Bot’s first chance came after 6 minutes. Shankland played a good ball in from the left toward the front post where Healy met it and flicked it over the bar.
A minute later Talbot had another half chance. Mason held the ball up well on the left before passing it back to White. He in turn squared it to Lyle who fired over from 18 yards.
Talbot’s next chance came following a free kick in the 11th minute. Shankland was tripped & Armstrong took the free kick quickly to release Shankland down the left. He whipped a cross over which Mason glanced wide of target.
Mason was involved again shortly after when a shy from the right found him inside the box & he showed good feet to create the space for a shot, before drilling it over the crossbar.
The Glens hadn’t really threatened but did give Talbot a scare in the 16th minute. McKee gathered on the left & hit a teasing cross into the centre. Leishman came for it but was beaten to it by McIlroy whose header sailed over.
Down the other end Talbot came close to opening the scoring with their next attack. The Bot won a corner down the right and Shankland delivered it to the far post where McDowall rose to meet it but his header flew just over Johnson’s bar.
Sherrie did well for the Glens in the 25th minute when he surged in off the right, skipping past a couple of challenges, to make his way into the box but then hit a weak finish straight at Leishman.
The opening goal came in the 29th minute and it was a cracker. Mason played a good ball down the right touchline to find McDowall & his ball across the face of goal was turned behind by Bennie. Shankland took the corner, and with everyone anticipating a cross, he pulled it back to AARON MASON who ran onto it at the right edge of the box & thundered an unstoppable shot into the far corner.
In keeping with the general standard of officiating the referee made an absolute howler in the 31st minute when he somehow awarded the Glens a corner after McKee had ballooned the ball over the bar with nary a Talbot player in sight.
A minute later Johnson prevented Talbot from extending their lead. Samson met a ball up the left & flicked it on into the path of Shankland who stepped inside Marlow’s challenge & powered a shot on target that Johnson parried wide of his right post.
The Glens keeper was called into action again in the 35th minute. Armstrong swung a cross over from the right touchline to find Shankland at the back post and his header back across was tipped over the bar.
The Bot put together a slick move in the 41st minute – quick one-touch football – which ended with Shankland laying the ball off to Mason on the right of the area but he pulled his shot wide of target.
A minute before the interval McPherson’s header bamboozled the Glens defence as it bounced past Bennie & Samson would’ve been in on goal but for Johnson reading the situation & racing out to gather.
The half drew to a close with another questionable call from the officials who again awarded the Glens a corner for nothing after McKee shot over but the Bot defended it to go in a goal to the good.
The visitors made a change at half-time with Fisher on to replace Bennie in defence.
Talbot made a strong start to the half and it looked as though Mason was through on goal after he got the better of Cairns but the referee gave the Glens defender the benefit of the doubt and awarded them a soft free kick.
Slack play from Marlow gifted Talbot a chance in the 50th minute. His pass from right-back was easily intercepted outside the area by Healy & he threaded it through to Samson whose shot was blocked by Fisher.
The Bot made their pressure count and doubled their advantage in the 53rd minute. Armstrong picked up on the left of midfield & played it down the left channel to KIER SAMSON who raced into the area & slid it past Johnson at his right hand post.
Within a minute Talbot nearly added to their lead. Armstrong’s slide rule pass found McDowall inside the area & Johnson dived at his feet to put it behind for the corner. When the corner came over Samson got his head on it and his header was cleared off the line inside the left post.
McDowall was next to threaten for Talbot when he burst in off the right & hammered a shot at goal that was deflected behind for a corner. The Glens defence were again caught out when Shankland opted to pull the corner back to the angle of the box but Healy got under it and lifted his shot well over.
The Glens were now forced to sub their sub with Fisher limping off to be replaced by Ryan and McIlroy moving back to fill in at centre half.
Talbot made their first change in the 67th minute with Boyd on in place of McDowall.
Glenafton had been bit part players for most of the night and were feeding off scraps. They did have a chance of sorts in the 72nd minute courtesy of a long throw in from the right which came to McKee but he sent his header wide.
The clock ticked on without the Glens looking like scoring and with 8 minutes remaining Tucker made a further change with Hyslop making his first appearance in a long while when he replaced Mason.
In the closing stages Shankland had a chance to get on the score sheet when Samson’s pass found him inside the area. He jinked inside his man but wanted a fraction too long to get his shot away & his effort was blocked.
As the game moved into injury time the Glens had a late chance at a consolation. Talbot gave the ball away inside their own half & it was played down the right channel to find Ryan who raced down the right edge of the area before firing across goal & wide of the far post.
A good win, in front of a big crowd, and next up Talbot are back on the road when they travel through to face Rutherglen Glencairn this Saturday.
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, White, Armstrong, McDowall, Healy, Graham Wilson, Shankland, Mason
Subs – Boyd, Samson, Robbie McCracken, Hyslop, Hewitt
Glenafton Athletic – Johnson, Marlow, Cairns, Bennie, Curtis, Pettigrew, McKee, Gilmour, McIlroy, Miller, Sherrie
Subs – Ryan, Fisher, Thomson
MURRAY’S MATCH REPORT
Talbot moved joint top of the league table after this hard fought win over Largs – in the first match to be played under floodlights at Beechwood.
The Talbot line-up had a slightly unfamiliar look to it with Armstrong partnering McPherson at the back in the absence of Craig McCracken.
It was the visitors who settled first and they squandered a decent chance early on. A Largs free kick was flicked on into the path of William Sewell sending him through on the out-rushing Leishman. He lifted it round Leishman but McPherson recovered to get back & make the clearance.
Largs had another chance in the 5th minute when a ball down the right found William Sewell & he drilled a low shot that Leishman held at his near post.
Talbot’s first real threat came after 10 minutes. Leishman found Shankland on the right & he released McCracken down the wing. He whipped a great low ball across goal between the defence & keeper but there was no one there to tap it in.
Shankland came close to opening the scoring in the 14th minute. McPherson flighted a free kick out to the left where Graham Wilson headed it down to Boylan. He teed it up for Shankland & McGowan did well to tip his shot over the bar.
The keeper did well again moments later when he punched Shankland’s corner clear just before Graham Wilson could get on the end of it.
The Bot were having a good spell and Graham Wilson came close after 17 minutes when he gathered outside the box and sent a left foot shot just wide of McGowan’s right post.
Talbot’s next attack saw the Bot countering through Shankland whose diagonal pass found Boylan racing clear on the left. He cut into the heart of the penalty area but didn’t catch his shot cleanly from 12 yards and it ended up a comfortable save for McGowan.
Largs keeper was having a good night and he was quickly off his line to thwart Talbot’s next move. Armstrong’s diagonal ball out of defence arrowed towards Boylan as he raced in behind the defence but McGowan read it & just got there first to punch the ball to safety.
Thistle had a half chance in the 26th minute from a corner. George Sewell got his head to it but he was coming away from goal & sent his header well over.
With half an hour gone Talbot again tested the visiting keeper. Leishman launched it up field where Graham Wilson rose to challenge for it. The ball broke into the path of Shankland 20 yards out & he forced a good stop from McGowan who dived to turn his shot round his right post. Once again Shankland whipped a dangerous corner into the goalmouth but McGowan was again equal to the challenge & punched clear under pressure.
Talbot’s next opportunity came from a corner. Armstrong meeting Shankland’s corner at the near post where he glanced it narrowly over the bar.
Boylan was next to test the keeper when he raced onto Graham Wilson’s header down the right side of the penalty area & hit it 1st time only to see McGowan parry it away.
Largs forward William Sewell got a sore one in the 34th minute when he closed down Leishman as he went to make a clearance & caught the clearance full on the face but he was able to continue after receiving treatment.
McGowan was having a good night & it was going to take something special to break the deadlock and Shankland duly supplied it a minute before the interval. MARK SHANKLAND latched onto a loose ball 25 yards out and sent a screamer flying into McGowan’s top left hand corner to send Talbot in 1-0 ahead at the break.
Talbot started the 2nd half quite lively and won a free kick just outside the penalty area when Aiden Wilson’s pass found Graham Wilson down the left & he was bowled over by Love. Shankland took it & crossed it over beyond the back post but got too much on it & it went for the goal kick.
In the 52nd minute Shankland hit a superbly weighted cross field pass to pick out Boylan down the right. He raced into the penalty area and had Graham Wilson waiting in front of goal but he didn’t get his final ball right allowing the keeper to smother it at his near post.
A few minutes later Healy played the ball up the left channel to Boylan who laid it inside first time for the run of Shankland but George Sewell beat him to it to fire it behind for the corner.
Around the hour mark William Sewell won Largs a corner down the right. Before it could be taken Talbot made a substitution with McDowall coming on for McCracken. When the corner came over KEIR MILLIKEN got on the end of it to head towards goal. Leishman saved it and Milliken followed up to stab the rebound for goal. Healy appeared to clear it off the goal line but after a short delay the stand side assistant signalled it had crossed the line and the ref awarded the goal.
Healy had his name taken in the 66th minute for a late challenge.
The loss of the goal had unsettled Talbot and McBryde was allowed plenty of time & space in the 68th minute to pick out his cross; forcing Leishman to come out and punch clear.
The referee was turning card happy and booked Graham Wilson in the 70th minute for an innocuous aerial challenge.
Tucker now made a double substitution with Boylan & Boyd making way for Glasgow & Samson.
Talbot regained the lead in the 76th minute. Love made a mess of a clearance, hitting it straight at Shankland, and fortunately for Talbot the ball broke straight to the feet of KIER SAMSON who slotted it past the keeper.
The Bot were then guilty of sloppy play a minute after scoring. Glasgow lost the ball 25 yards out and Ballantyne fired just wide of the right hand post.
Largs now made a double switch with McBryde & McMaster making way for McGinty & Adam.
In the 82nd minute Talbot had a wobbly moment when defending a Largs free kick from wide. It went beyond the back post where Adam steered it back toward goal and Leishman blocked & cleared before Sewell could get to it.
Ballantyne then picked up a caution for a foul on Graham Wilson.
Graham Wilson was unlucky with 5 minutes remaining when he met it on the volley. His effort was heading on target but was deflected wide and two minutes later he came close again when he darted in off the right & sent a left foot shot narrowly wide of McGowan’s left post.
With 2 minutes remaining Talbot threatened again; this time via Samson, who sped clear on the right before firing it across the face of goal where Ballantyne deflected it behind.
In the final minute, Armstrong received a yellow card for a professional foul. The free kick was lobbed up the centre where Leishman rushed out to punch clear. It came to Adam outside the area but he was closed down before he could hit it.
As the game moved into injury time Talbot found themselves a man down. Glasgow caught George Sewell late with a mistimed challenge. A booking would have sufficed but the ref produced a straight red and also managed to book Shankland for dissent. It was too late though for Largs to take advantage of the extra man and Talbot held out for the win.
Next up for Talbot are new opponents as the Bot travel to Kilmarnock to face Bonnyton in the league.
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Armstrong, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Robbie McCracken, Boyd, Healy, Graham Wilson, Shankland, Boylan
Subs – Glasgow, Samson, Mason, McDowall, Pope, White, Hewitt (gk)
Largs Thistle – McGowan, George Sewell, Ballantyne, Hughes, Love, Faulds, Docherty, McBryde, Milliken, William Sewell, McMaster
Subs – Adam, McGinty, McPhee, Lindsay, Farrell (gk)