Talbot shot themselves in the foot after squandering a two goal lead against a spirited Meadow side who must have thought Christmas had came early after they were gifted all three goals.
Talbot were on easy street early in the first half thanks to goals by Dwayne Hyslop and Bryan Boylan, but right on half time Andy Leishman spilled a harmless shot in front of goals and ex-Talbot player Mick Reilly slotted home the loose ball.
Half way through the second half Meadow were level when Dillan Young failed to deal with a hefty punt up the park and another ex-Talbot man Dylan Pooler nipped in to stroke the ball past Leishman and into the net via the post. Like the first half Meadow were to score again with the last kick of the ball when a corner kick was handled in the box and Liam Miller sent Leishman the wrong way with the spot kick.
Along with gifting goals Talbot’s finishing was under the spotlight with Jack McDowall squandering too great chances, while Mark Shankland was unlucky with two dead ball efforts, one crashing off the post in the first half, while the home keeper was forced into a superb save in the second.
Only a friendly match, but with the season start in the horizon Talbot will have to up the ante in their next game.
Photographs by Paul Flynn.
MURRAYS MATCH REPORT
The Bot made the perfect start, taking an early lead after only 6 minutes when Glasgow arrowed a cross toward the back post where GARETH ARMSTRONG steered a header past the keeper put Talbot 1-0 ahead.
Talbot missed a golden chance to double their lead in the 8th minute when McIlroy found himself with only Newman to beat but he tried to pass the ball beyond the keeper, who made a good stop with his foot.
Newman was called into action again in the 17th minute when Glasgow tried his luck but his drive went straight at the keeper.
Newman made his second top save of the afternoon on the 26th minute when a net bound Glasgow shot was brilliantly turned round the post
Talbot were made to pay for not taking their chances when Meadow levelled in the 31st minute when Miller went down in the box when challenged by Pope. CARSON took the spot kick and although Leishman went the right way it had enough power and direction to beat him to level the score.
In the 34th minute Talbot had a chance to regain the lead when Armstrong lobbed the ball to the back post where McCracken headed it back across goal but McIlroy and Hyslop got in each other’s way and Gow was able to head it clear off the goal line.
With the half drawing to a close Talbot nearly restored their lead, when Glasgow cannoned a shot off the base of the right hand post.
In added time McPherson lost his footing and gifted the ball to Sharpe but he took a heavy first touch and Leishman was able to race outside his area and clear the danger.
Talbot had an opportunity early in the second half to regain the initiative but McIlroy directed a tame shot at Newman.
After this, the game went into a bit of a lull with both sides struggling to make any headway, however he Bot squandered another good chance when Glasgow looked set to score but he steered his shot wide of Newman’s left post.
The winning goal arrived in the 72nd minute when sheer trickery by Glasgow saw him hit the bye line and whip a cross into the near post where DWAYNE HYSLOP headed home from close range.
Talbot were looking about as comfortable as you can on a single goal lead but McPherson had to look sharp to clear a dangerous attack.
Shankland nearly scored with a free kick after Samson was fouled, but it flew inches wide of the left post with the keeper beaten.
Talbot kept possession and saw out the closing stages without any problems to secure the win.
Irvine Meadow – Newman, Latta, Pearson, Gow, Devlin, Miller, Carson, McLaughlin, Sharpe, Spence, Carnwath: Subs – Paterson, Connolly, Smith
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, McPherson, McCracken, Stephen Wilson, Armstrong, Hyslop, Graham Wilson, McIlroy, Glasgow: Subs – Samson, Shankland, White, Waite
Photographs by Paul Flynn.
Talbot haven’t had much joy against the Glens of late & it was Glenafton who started the stronger; nearly taking the lead in the 3rd minute. Lynass was impeded 25 yards out & McKernon fired the free kick over the wall & inches wide of the right hand post.
With Talbot sitting deep, Glenafton were bossing territory & dominating the game without being able to get in behind the Bot defence.
The game’s next big chance came the Glens way in the 21st minute. Lynass sent a pass through the Bot defence for Park. The ball ran away from him but came to McCann who looked certain to score from 6 yards but Lyle dived in to deflect his shot over the bar.
The Glens threatened again in the 28th minute. McKernon was allowed plenty of time & space on the right & was able to pick out a cross toward Lynass. It took a slight touch before reaching him & that was enough to put him off & he took a fresh air swipe from 12 yards out.
Talbot managed to put the ball in the net in the 34th minute. Hyslop headed the ball on into the path of Graham Wilson who buried a volley past McGarrity from the edge of the area but the linesman flagged him offside.
The next Bot chance came when Armstrong back heeled the ball into the path of Lyle who burst into the area only to see his low drive blocked behind by McChesney. The corner was lifted into the centre where McGarrity touched it away. The Glens couldn’t clear their lines & the ball was fed out to Armstrong on the right. He skinned McChesney & lifted a dangerous cross to the far post which went to waste.
Neither side could make any headway before the interval & the sides went in level at the break.
Talbot got off to a sluggish start to the 2nd half and were fortunate not to fall behind. Two minutes in McAusland picked the ball up in space 35 yards out & under no pressure he hammered a shot at goal that came back off Leishman’s right hand post.
A minute later Talbot were guilty of the same offence, failing to get out to shut down Moore & he crashed a shot off the bar from 25 yards. The rebound came out to Andrew who side-footed it on target only for Leishman to make a crucial stop to turn it behind for the corner.
The close shaves woke Talbot up & they threatened the Glens goal in the 50th minute when Glasgow drilled a low shot on target that McGarrity bundled around his left post. Talbot kept the pressure up & Glasgow did well out on the right, cutting the ball back into the path of Hyslop whose shot was blocked behind for another corner kick. This time the ball was delivered to the back post where CRAIG MCCRACKEN climbed highest to bullet a header home to put Talbot 1-0 ahead.
The goal transformed the game with Talbot now in the ascendancy and they nearly doubled their lead on the hour mark. Graham Wilson’s flick sent Glasgow free on the left & he out-paced the Glens defence to race into the penalty area but unfortunately his final shot lacked the power to beat McGarrity who smothered his low effort.
Within a minute Talbot had another chance. Glasgow beat McGarrity to a ball over the top, knocking it wide of him & gathering out on the right. With the keeper stranded off his line he opted to go for an early shot, lifting it over the bar, to the frustration of Graham Wilson who was free in the centre.
McGarrity made a blunder in the 64th minute bowling the ball straight out to Graham Wilson but the ref spared his blushes, pulling play back to allow the Glens to make a substitution with Dallas coming on for Andrew.
McCracken picked up a booking in the 67th minute for a late challenge on McCann & the Glens took the opportunity to make their 2nd change with Borris replacing Lynass.
Moore was the 1st Glens player in the book, penalised for persistent fouling, when he conceded a free kick out on the right. Pope whipped the ball over & McGarrity did well to punch it away under pressure from McCracken.
McChesney received a caution in the 73rd minute for his reaction after he conceded a free kick 30 yards out. Pope took it & his shot deflected off the wall & spun behind for the corner.
Glasgow had a half chance soon after when he cut inside off the left wing but he pulled his shot wide of target.
Talbot threatened again in the 77th minute. Hyslop headed a free kick on to Graham Wilson who laid the ball out to Glasgow on the left. He hared down the left of the area before firing a shot wide of target from a tight angle.
Tucker made his 1st change in the 84th minute with McIlroy on in place of Glasgow.
The referee got it wrong in the 86th minute. Park blatantly pulled White’s shirt as he broke forward but play went on & seconds later Harvey ended up cautioned for a late challenge. The Glens flighted the free kick into the goal mouth but Leishman came off his line to punch clear.
Two minutes from time Talbot nearly doubled their lead. Park fouled Graham Wilson 25 yards from goal, resulting in a booking for Park & a free kick to Talbot. Graham Wilson’s shot beat the wall & had McGarrity spectating but came back off the top of the bar.
Glenafton hadn’t offered much since Talbot had taken the lead but they threw men forward as the game moved into added time. They won a free kick within shooting range a minute into injury time & McAusland went for power, hammering a shot from 30 yards that flew into the Bot wall, flattening Stephen Wilson. He was unable to continue & wobbled off to be replaced by Thomson.
Talbot saw the game out to secure a hard fought victory & claim the Ardagh cup & bragging rights over their rivals. No game for Talbot this coming Saturday due to the Junior International tournament so a well-earned rest for the squad.
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, Harvey, McCracken, White, Armstrong, Stephen Wilson, Graham Wilson, Glasgow, Hyslop
Subs – McIlroy, Pooler, Thomson, McPherson, Shankland
Glenafton Athletic – McGarrity, McAusland, Cairns, Menzies, McChesney, McKernon, Lynass, Park, McCann, Andrew, Moore
Subs – Dallas, Borris
There was little for the Talbot fans to enjoy but the Indian Summer as Talbot fell to a 1-0 defeat to Ladeside in the Ardagh final.
There wasn’t much to write home about re the 1st half but what little there was concerned Talbot who edged a dull opening half.
Talbot had a half chance in the 4th minute when Graham Wilson sent Young clear down the right. He whipped a cross over to the far post where Hyslop made contact but couldn’t control it under pressure & it broke off him & went wide of the right hand post.
It took until the 22nd minute until either side threatened in the final third & again it was Talbot on the attack. McCracken picked the ball up wide on the right & played a great pass into the centre to find Steven Wilson. He ran onto it 25 yards out but with only Staunton to beat, he hesitated & the Ladeside defender nicked a foot in to halt his progress.
Two minutes later Talbot had a penalty shout waved away. Rafferty blocked McCracken’s low cross in from the right but the ball skipped up off his foot & hit him on the hand; however the ref dismissed Talbot’s appeal & awarded the corner kick. When the corner came over Hyslop glanced a header beyond the back post to find Graham Wilson in space. He tried to side-foot it home but Haxton deflected it behind.
Kilbirnie had a dangerous break in the 27th minute. Lyle lost out to McElroy out on the left & the Kilbirnie striker raced forward before releasing it to Anderson on the right. He only had Pope between him & Leishman but Pope did well making a crucial challenge to clear.
There were few efforts at goal but Hyslop had a decent one in the 36th minute. He started the move, spreading the ball out left to Graham Wilson & when Wilson’s cross was headed out it came to Hyslop 20 yards out & he took it on the half volley, sending a shot just over the bar.
A minute later Hyslop had a real chance to give Talbot the lead. Steven Wilson spun outside the area leaving two Kilbirnie men behind before slotting the ball through to Hyslop inside the area. It came to him 16 yards out in space but he got nothing behind his shot & tamely passed it straight at Hughes.
Talbot had a 2nd penalty claim turned down in the 42nd minute & again it was for handball. Young played a free kick to Graham Wilson on the right of the area & when he laid it back Green appeared to control it with his arm before clearing.
On the stroke of half time Talbot nearly took the lead, forcing the first real save of the afternoon from either keeper. Hyslop won a free kick out on the left which Pope fired into the centre. It was cleared but came straight back to Pope who crossed it to the back post where McCracken’s header was kept out at his left post by Hughes.
There were no changes at the interval & no change in the pattern of the game, with neither side able to retain possession or offer a threat in the final third.
The first near thing in the 2nd half came in the 53rd minute when Boyle misjudged a high ball through the centre. McElroy looked like he might nip onto it but McGoldrick got across to clear the danger.
Talbot’s first effort of the 2nd half came in the 55th minute. Hyslop played it into Graham Wilson who squared the ball across for White. He tried to place it inside the post from 20 yards but Hughes was well positioned to make the stop.
Brannan became the 1st player cautioned when he saw yellow in the 61st minute for barging Graham Wilson over as he broke forward.
Kilbirnie now made their 1st change with McTernan coming on for Anderson.
This proved an inspired change as Kilbirnie took the lead two minutes later through the sub. McElroy created the opening, gathering the ball 25 yards out before sliding it through to find MCTERNAN on the right of the penalty area & he drilled a low shot back across goal inside Leishman’s right post.
Tucker responded by making a double switch with Graham Wilson & White making way for Milliken & Shankland.
Talbot made their final change in the 73rd minute with Stevenson replacing Steven Wilson.
Stevenson was involved soon after coming on when he whipped a good cross over from the right but it was fractionally behind Hyslop who couldn’t adjust to get on the end of it.
Kilbirnie made their own double substitution in the 75th minute with Forde & Donnelly on for McElroy & Rafferty.
McGoldrick received a caution in the 82nd minute for a late tackle on Brannan out on the touchline.
The clock ran down as Talbot huffed & puffed without making any headway with Kilbirnie looking comfortable in their lead.
Right at the end Talbot almost snatched an unlikely equaliser when Shankland dived to meet a cross over from the right but he sent his diving header wide of the right post.
This was a disappointing afternoon for Talbot, who never turned up for the 2nd half & can have few complaints about the result. The Bot have no time to dwell on the result though as they face a tricky away tie in the West next Saturday when they travel to face Cambuslang Rangers.
Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, McGoldrick, Boyle, S Wilson, Young, White, G Wilson, McCracken, Hyslop
Subs – Shankland, Milliken, Stevenson, Thomson, Pooler
Kilbirnie – Hughes, Haxton, Gold, Staunton, Rafferty, Gray, Anderson, Green, McElroy, Grehan, Brannan
Subs – Forde, Donnelly, Malone, Meechan, McTiernan