Report: Murray Steele, Photography: Craig McGhee, Media: Lee Conn.
Talbot’s steady climb up the table continued thanks to a hard fought win over a stuffy Benburb at Beechwood.
The opening exchanges were fiercely competitive but virtually chance free, other than a low drive from McAvoy on the right edge of the area that flashed across goal and wide.
The game was being played at a frenetic pace with the ball pinging from end to end and both defences coming out on top.
The first real opening came in the 18th minute when a quickly taken shy sent Thomson scurrying down the left where he swung a good cross into the centre toward Boyd but he was well challenged as he went to head it.
At the other end Menzies chipped a ball into the box to find McDonald in a dangerous area but he was challenged before he could get a shot away.
Neither keeper had been called upon and Hay’s first job of the afternoon was to pick the ball out the back of his net in the 22nd minute. Boyd did well down the left to get away from Halliday and lift a cross into the middle where KYLE MCAVOY hung in the air to meet it & glance a header inside the left post.
In the 26th minute the Bens had a half chance when hesitant defending saw the ball fall to Menzies just outside the area; however he fired his shot well over the bar.
A minute later Talbot broke forward through Thomson who was taken out by Fraser. The ref gave advantage as the ball was with McAvoy but his cross floated through harmlessly to Hay. The referee then called Fraser over and booked him for the earlier foul
Glavin was called into action in the 28th minute. A shy from the left skated off the top of McPherson’s head & fell to Taylor 16 yards out who drove it low & straight at the Bot keeper who made the stop.
The referee managed to upset the home support twice in quick succession when Benburb were flagged for offside by his assistant but he opted to over-rule him and allow play to continue but nothing came of either attack.
The Bot were given a chance to extend their lead in the 42 minute when McAvoy won a free kick just outside the area when he was felled by Livingston. The Bens defender received a yellow card and Schoneville took the set piece – firing it low into the wall and behind for a corner. When Thomson’s corner came over Boyd met it unopposed but steered the free header well wide of the right post.
Into added time Talbot had another chance to add to their lead. A cross from the left was heading for Boyd but a defender did just enough to head it clear. It came out to McPherson on the wing who sped past Allan before swinging over a perfect cross that Boyd headed over the bar from 6 yards and Talbot had to content themselves with a single goal lead at the interval
Talbot continued their recent habit of starting the 2nd half strongly and were nearly in for a 2nd within 3 minutes of the restart. McAvoy did well to get on the end of a ball in behind the defence and cut it back from the bye line only to see the referee run interference and take out two Talbot players as they tried to meet it.
Benburb then threatened when McDonald got away from Schoneville and raced down the wing before speeding a low ball across the face of goal. Glavin couldn’t hold it but fortunately Thomson was there to knock it clear.
In the 53rd minute Boyd gathered a loose ball inside the Bens half and surged forward before firing over the bar.
Two minutes later Talbot threatened again. Boyd swept the ball out right where Livingston looked favourite but Thomson slid in to dispossess him on the touchline and then carried on up the wing. He then cut it back into the path of Boyd who looked set to side-foot it home only for Taylor to nip in with a crucial interception to slide it away.
With 58 mins on the clock Boyle knocked a ball on that came to McAvoy outside the area and he wheeled his marker and fired off a shot that Hay had to turn round his right hand post. The corner was taken short and crossed to the back post where Hay again did well – stopping McAvoy’s net bound header with his feet. The rebound came out to Slooves who blasted over the bar from 8 yards.
A minute later though Talbot did manage to convert their pressure into a goal as they doubled their advantage. McAvoy slipped a ball in behind Halliday to find LUKE GILLIES down the left of the penalty area and he slotted it through Hay to make it 2-0.
Benburb now made a change with Durham on for Menzies and Talbot made a double switch with Thomson & Langan making way for Glasgow & Armstrong.
Glasgow was involved not long after joining the fray as he turned on the right of the area and fired a left foot shot wide of target.
In the 69th minute Talbot made a further change with Wardrope on for Schoneville & Gillies moving to left-back.
With quarter of an hour remaining Black had his name taken for a late challenge on Glasgow.
Two minutes later Benburb who hadn’t offered much at all in the 2nd half had a half chance when a ball was pulled back from the left into the path of Black and his low drive from 15 yards was deflected wide. When the corner came over Clark got his head to it but put it well wide of target.
The visitors huffed & puffed but without offering much in the final third and the win was sealed when Talbot added a third from the spot in the 86th minute. Talbot countered quickly from a Bens corner with Boyle feeding it out wide to Gillies. He slid a pass through to find McAvoy who was shoved over by McDonald and the ref awarded the penalty. CONNOR BOYD took it and sent the keeper the wrong way to make it 3-0.
Tucker now made a final change with Smith coming on for McAvoy.
Two minutes from time Boyd received a caution for a sliding challenge
As the game moved into added time Benburb nearly grabbed a consolation. Allan fired a ball in from the left that bounced off Glavin and out to McGlaughlin who should have scored but his header was saved by Glavin’s trailing leg. Talbot then raced down the other end where Glasgow was flattened just outside the box by Livingston who received his 2nd yellow and made the short trip into the clubhouse. Wardrope took the free kick but didn’t generate enough power to test Hay in what proved the last kick of the match.
A well-deserved win that sees Talbot leapfrog Benburb in the table. Next week Talbot are back on their travels as they head through to Cumbernauld to face Rob Roy in the West of Scotland cup.
Auchinleck Talbot – Glavin, McPherson, Schoneville, Slooves, Wilson, Langan, Boyle, Gillies, Boyd, McAvoy, Thomson
Subs – Smith, Glasgow, Urquhart, Wardrope, Abed, Armstrong, Henry (gk)
Benburb – Hay, Halliday, Allan, Livingston, Clark, Fraser, Menzies, Taylor, McDonald, Black, Lovering
Subs – Bow, Smith, Durham, McGlaughlin, Likkish, McMillan, Low (gk)
TALBOT INTO THE SEMI’S
impressive home form continued as they dispatched Hurlford 3-0 to book themselves a place in the semi-finals of the Scottish Junior cup.
The Bot made a nervy start to the game and the first half chance went Hurlford’s way in the 4th minute. A long punt down the centre looked like it was running through to Glavin but in the absence of a shout Slooves took no chances and headed it clear. The ball came out to Whittaker who fired a shot wide of the right hand post.
Talbot’s first attack came in the 13th minute. McPherson’s ball down the line found Smith in behind R Love who conceded the free kick. Glasgow whipped it into the centre where Boyd met it but his header deflected off a defender and went behind for a corner.
The next effort at goal came in the 18th minute. Wilson launched a free kick up the left that the defence headed clear. It came out to Boyd who met it on the half-volley and fired wide of target.
The inconsistency of match officials was there for all to see soon after. Whittaker was guilty of a cynical foul to halt a Bot attack which resulted in no more than a lecture then within a minute Glasgow received a yellow card for a shirt pull.
In the 22nd minute Glavin tried to be too cute with a kick out – attempting to lob it out to McPherson on the right touchline. It was intercepted by A Love and crossed to the far side of the box towards Mullen but Talbot were able to clear it out for a shy.
Two minutes later the visitors had a half chance when Hurlford won possession just outside the Talbot box and shifted it left to find Love whose low drive was blocked en route by McPherson and trundled through to Glavin.
In the 29th minute Smith sent Gillies away on the overlap and he fired a dangerous low ball into the centre. The defence cleared it out but only as far as Boyle who drilled it wide of the right post.
Frew had his name taken in the 31st minute for high feet.
The Bot’s next chance came courtesy of an error from the Hurlford goalie. Wilson didn’t deal with a passback and played it straight out to Boyd whose left foot effort slid wide of target.
A minute later Talbot had another opportunity. McPherson’s diagonal ball found Boyd racing in behind the defence and he cut in on his right foot and tried to pass it into the far corner but Wilson got down to make the save.
The breakthrough came in the 38th minute. A shy from the right wasn’t dealt with by the Ford defence and CONNOR BOYD reacted to lash a low finish inside the right post to put Talbot 1-0 ahead.
Having gained the lead Talbot nearly conceded an equaliser within a minute. Morrison & Mullen both had chances to hit it inside the Bot penalty area but hesitated and Talbot were able to scramble it clear.
In the 40th minute a defensive mix-up just outside the area gifted the ball to A Love who fired it across goal and wide of the left post.
A minute later Miller swung over a cross from the right touchline that Love headed home from close range but the assistant’s flag went up and it was chalked off for offside.
Talbot were hanging on and had another scare just before the interval. Glavin’s goal kick up the centre was headed back into the Bot half where Morrison got goal side of McPherson and headed into the box where his net bound shot was well saved by Glavin. Talbot were able to see out the remainder of the half to go in a goal ahead at the break.
The Bot came out the traps quickly at the start of the 2nd half and had a half chance in the 49th minute. Glasgow lifted a good cross into the near post which just floated over the head of Boyd.
Two minutes later Talbot doubled their lead. A quick corner on the right was worked to Glasgow who swung a cross into the 6-yard area. The defence cleared it out to the edge of the area where Langan hit it. His shot deflected off a defender and broke kindly to LUKE GILLIES 8 yards out who rifled it into the roof of the net.
In the 57th minute Talbot had a chance to all but kill the tie off. McCracken played a great ball down the right to find Glasgow racing in on goal but he took one touch too many & Frew raced back to recover and put it behind for the corner.
A minute later Boyle did well to win a 50/50 out on the right touchline before switching the ball across to find the run of Gillies. He fired off a shot on target under pressure from Miller that Wilson held.
In the 59th minute Robertson received a caution for a shirt pull on Glasgow.
On the hour mark Glavin maintained Talbot’s two goal cushion with a fantastic save. Hurlford countered down the left where Morrison swung over a cross to find Mullen unmarked in the centre. He looked set to score as he headed it down and back across goal but Glavin dived low to his right to keep it out.
Both sides now made changes – Talbot made a double switch with Thomson & Armstrong coming on for Glasgow & Langan & Hurlford brought Allan on in place of Love.
In the 66th minute Talbot made a further change with McAvoy replacing Smith up top.
Two minutes later Talbot were nearly in for a third. Boyd played a good ball across the face of goal toward Gillies who was set to sweep it home until Miller got back to turn it behind for the corner. When the corner came over to the back post it was headed toward goal and the defence managed to clear it from the goal line.
Talbot were back in control and looking the more likely to score. The next attack saw Thomson cut in off the right and float a cross into the box that just cleared McAvoy.
With quarter of an hour remaining Hurlford made a 2nd change with Robertson making way for Lidington.
A minute later Thomson pinged the ball into the feet of McAvoy inside the box and he laid it back to Boyd who turned and shot on target but it flew straight at Wilson.
With 10 minutes remaining Talbot made their final change with Urquhart on for Gillies.
In the 83rd minute Whittaker received a caution after clattering in late on McCracken.
Talbot had a strong shout for a penalty turned down in their next attack. McAvoy flicked it into the path of Boyd who appeared to be bundled over inside the area but the ref waved play on.
Three minutes from time Hurlford nearly pulled one back. Morrison’s cut back from the left found McKenzie inside the area and his shot hit off the bar before being cleared.
As the game moved into added time Talbot put the game beyond all doubt with their 3rd. McCracken carried it forward and with Hurlford playing a high line he slipped a pass through to KYLE MCAVOY who raced clear before slotting it low inside the right post to complete the scoring.
A good win for the Bot who return to league duties next Saturday when Benburb visit Beechwood.
Auchinleck Talbot – Glavin, McPherson, Wilson, Slooves, McCracken, Langan, Boyle, Gillies, Boyd, Glasgow, Smith
Subs – McAvoy, Thomson, Armstrong, Urquhart, Abed, Wardrope, Henry
Hurlford United – Wilson, Miller, R Love, Frew, Robertson, Watt, McKenzie, Whittaker, Mullen, Morrison, A Love
Subs – McKnight, Allan, Kerr, Anderson, Hughes, Lidington, Taylor
TALBOT GET THERE IN THE END
Report: Murray Steele, Photography: Craig McGhee, Media: Lee Conn
Talbot maintained their 100% record in local derbies with a fine win over Glenafton at Beechwood.
The windy conditions made it tricky for both sets of players and the game got off to a slow start with the first real threat coming in the 8th minute when the ball broke to Glasgow just outside the area. He played it through towards Smith but Rowe did well to intercept and clear.
In the 11th minute the Glens won a corner down the left that was taken short and worked to O’Kane just inside the penalty area who saw his shot for goal charged down.
The visitors threatened in the 17th minute when Viviani cut in off the right but as he set up to shoot he was impeded by a team mate and the chance was lost.
Talbot were on the attack in the 21st minute when Smith sent Gillies free on the left. His cross took a slight deflection and flew across goal and behind for the corner. Glasgow hit the corner into the near post where it was headed clear. It came out to Boyle who sent it wide right to find Glasgow who whipped a good ball into the centre. The ball broke back out to Slooves who fired a half-volley over the bar from 15 yards.
A minute later Talbot took the lead. Smith cut in off the left and swirled an in swinging cross into the goal mouth. Markey flapped at it on the goal line and RUARIDH LANGAN was on hand to bundle it over the line to make it 1-0.
Talbot now stepped up a gear or two and in the 26th minute Smith burst into the left of the Glens area only to see his low drive blocked by Pettigrew. The ball was recycled out to the right touchline where Glasgow fired a good cross into the near post for CONNOR BOYD to flash a header into the far corner to double Talbot’s lead.
Two minutes later Talbot added their third of the afternoon. Smith hit a short free kick to Boyle who slid a pass through toward Glasgow who was bundled over from behind inside the box and the ref pointed to the spot. ROSS SMITH took it and gave the keeper no chance as he placed it inside the left post.
The Glens looked shell-shocked at this stage with Talbot looking likely to add to their tally. A slick passing move ended with Wilson firing the ball into the feet of Gillies inside the area but it cannoned off him and behind for the goal kick.
In the 35th minute Boyd turned and fired on target but he was slightly off balance and his low drive was held by Markey.
McCracken then joined the attack, bursting forward into space, before drilling a powerful low shot on target that Markey spilled and just managed to gather at the 2nd attempt before Glasgow reached it.
Five minutes from half-time Talbot had a great chance to make it four. Boyd played an inch perfect pass from the right touchline to find Smith in space inside the area. He tried to place it beyond Markey who did well to save with his feet.
Markey again had to look lively in the 42nd minute when McPherson raced down the right and slung over a cross that was heading inside the near post til the keeper got across to punch it clear and Talbot had to content themselves with a 3 goal advantage at the break.
Talbot started the 2nd half positively and in the 47th minute Glasgow did well to hold the ball up before releasing it to the overlapping Gillies whose low ball across the area was cut out by Sinnamon.
A minute later Talbot won a free kick in a good area when Glasgow was fouled 22 yards out. Smith took it and found the target but his low drive lacked the power to test Markey.
The Glens keeper then launched a quick ball down the left where O’Kane got goal side of McPherson inside the box and when he caught his heels the ref pointed to the spot. MOFFAT hit it down the middle and Glavin almost stopped it with his trailing leg but it floated up and into the back of the net to make it 3-1.
Talbot looked for an immediate response and won a corner down the left. Glasgow curled it beyond the far post where Boyd ran onto it to place a header on target that Markey held comfortably at his left hand post.
In the 53rd minute Talbot were on the wrong end of an officiating blunder. The ball came out wide to a Glens player on the stand-side touchline who clearly handled the ball when he miscontrolled it. Everyone in Beechwood seemed to spot it bar the ref and his assistants and play was allowed to continue. He cut in off the left and won a free kick 25 yards out. MCLEAN then hit a peach of a free kick into the top right hand corner to reduce the deficit to 3-2.
Talbot made their first change in the 61st minute with McAvoy on in place of Smith.
The Bot were unlucky in the 64th minute. Wilson hit a good deep cross to find Glasgow beyond the back post and he guided a header back across the face of goal that just went behind McAvoy.
With 20 minutes remaining Talbot made a double switch with Langan & Glasgow making way for Armstrong & Thomson.
There was then action at both ends of the field – firstly Viviani cut inside Wilson and hammered a low ball across the face but there was too much on it for any Glens player to get near. Then Talbot’s next attack saw Boyle carry the ball forward before drilling a left foot shot wide of the right hand post.
The Glens hopes of a spectacular comeback were scuppered with quarter of an hour remaining when Talbot moved 4-2 ahead. Wilson fed the ball into CONNOR BOYD on the left of the area and he made something out of nothing – pinging a perfect lob into the far top corner to give Markey no chance.
The Glens had a half chance to pull one back a few minutes later when McLean drilled a low ball in off the right but it went slightly behind Viviani who steered it well wide for the goal kick.
Talbot were then back on the attack – Boyle winning a free kick that Thomson fed out to Gillies on the wing and his ball sped across the face of goal with no takers.
In the 82nd minute Boyd fired a shot wide of the right hand post.
Talbot now completed their substitutions with another double change – Gillies & Boyd being replaced by Schoneville & Urquhart.
With 6 minutes remaining Talbot had another half chance. A hanging cross from the left saw McAvoy out-leap Markey in the goal mouth but his header drifted wide of the right post.
The scoring was completed in the 86th minute. Thomson’s corner from the right wasn’t dealt with by the defence and broke off McCracken into the path of ROSS URQUHART who steered a low left foot shot past Markey to make it 5-2.
In the closing stages Talbot nearly added a sixth when a cross was only cleared as far as Boyle who fired just over the bar from the edge of the area.
A good performance and result that sees Talbot climb to 7th in the table. Next up it’s back to Beechwood when Talbot host Hurlford United in the quarter-finals of the Scottish Junior cup.
Auchinleck Talbot – Glavin, McPherson, Wilson, Slooves, McCracken, Langan, Boyle, Gillies, Boyd, Glasgow, Smith Subs – Thomson, McAvoy, Urquhart, Armstrong, Abed, Schoneville, Henry
Glenafton Athletic – Markey, McLean, Sinnamon, Pettigrew, Paton, Fraser, Viviani, Moffat, Buchanan, O’Kane, Rowe Subs – McWaters, Caddis, McMullen, Holding
TALBOT EDGE PAST TROON IN FIVE GOAL THRILLER
Report: Murray Steele, Photography: Craig McGhee, Media: Lee Conn.