PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.
MURRAYS MATCH REPORT
Talbot made it 4 wins on the bounce as they eased past Blantyre to record another 3 points away from home.
From the get go it was all Talbot and the Bot threatened in the 4th minute when Glasgow escaped Marshall down the left & slung a dangerous ball across the face of goal that went begging.
Three minutes later Talbot had another opportunity after Glasgow was shoved to the deck. Shankland took the free kick & curled a good delivery into the area that McCracken just failed to reach.
Talbot kept the pressure up & won a corner in the 10th minute when Boylan rolled the ball back into the path of Hyslop whose shot was deflected behind off Marshall’s head. Shankland fired the corner in low & Campbell made a hash of it – coming to claim it but letting the ball sail right through him – but fortunately for the home side a defender was on hand to clear.
The home side had another let off in the 20th minute. Boylan nicked in to rob Campbell of the ball when the keeper was hesitant & took it wide of him before sliding it across goal. His shot came off the base of the post & came out to Glasgow who slotted it home but was adjudged to have fouled Jones in front of goal.
Shankland came close to firing Talbot ahead in the 22nd minute. Boylan chested the ball down into his path & he fizzed a shot just over the bar from 20 yards.
The pressure was telling & Marshall had his name taken moments later when he impeded Boylan down the left wing. Shankland took the resultant free kick & fired it low into the centre where it broke back to Healy 18 yards out but he fired straight at the keeper.
Talbot’s persistence paid off in the 26th minute when they grabbed the opening goal. Wilson did well out on the left, charging forward before drilling it low across the face of goal where JAMIE GLASGOW stabbed it home from close range.
Blantyre huffed & puffed to no great effect without ever offering any real threat to the Bot defence with Talbot well in control of proceedings. They did win a few free kicks midway inside the Bot half but were unable to trouble the Talbot rearguard.
In the 41st minute Glasgow did well to win the ball out on the left & played it early up the line to Boylan who won a corner off Gibson. Shankland swept it into the near post where GARETH ARMSTRONG headed home to send Talbot in 2-0 ahead at the interval.
The 2nd half followed the same pattern as the 1st with Talbot doing the pressing.
In the 52nd minute Shankland chipped the ball through to find Aiden Wilson breaking into the box & Campbell blocked his fierce drive at his near post at the expense of a corner. When Shankland’s corner came over Campbell managed to punch it clear but the ball came back out to Shankland & when he crossed it back over it fell to BRYAN BOYLAN who slotted a low shot home to make it 3-0 to Talbot.
The Bot had a chance to extend their lead on the hour mark. Glasgow fed it down the left to find Healy racing free & he delivered it across the 6-yard area where Shankland met it but his 1st touch broke away from him & the chance was gone.
Talbot made a double substitution in the 66th minute with Glasgow & Boylan making way for Graham Wilson & Mason.
Two minutes after coming on both subs were involved when Aiden Wilson won the ball & played it down the line to find Mason in space. He placed a cross right on the head of Graham Wilson who was denied a goal by a tremendous stop from Campbell who managed to tip his header over the crossbar.
With quarter of an hour remaining Talbot made their final change when McDowall came on for Hyslop.
Talbot had shifted down a gear or two and for the 1st time in the match Blantyre threatened the Bot goal. In the 76th minute Kearney broke down the left after intercepting Stafford’s pass & fired a shot across goal and wide of the far post. Two minutes later Kearney raced onto a good cut back from the right & lashed a shot at goal that Leishman did well to turn behind.
That was it for the home side and Talbot ended the game ended the game strongly – pushing hard for a further goal in the closing stages. In the 84th minute Graham Wilson swept a great ball over from the left that Mason was inches from converting in the centre. Two minutes a ball over the top found Graham Wilson racing free on the left & he played it back to Shankland whose cross was glanced wide of goal by Mason.
Three points, three goals and a clean sheet for Talbot and in truth the margin of victory flattered the hosts. Next up for Talbot is a tough away day in the senior cup when they travel to face Irvine Meadow next Saturday.
Blantyre Victoria – Campbell, Jones, Allan, Gibson, Kerr, Marshall, Eeles, Fee, Hughes, Brennan, Kearney
Subs – Mackenzie, Cunningham, Whitley, McKeown, Garry Campbell, Archer, O’Donnell
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, Craig McCracken, Healy, Armstrong, Hyslop, Glasgow, Boylan, Shankland
Subs – Mason, Graham Wilson, McDowall, Boyd, Lyle, Robbie McCracken