TOOTHLESS TALBOT GRAB A POINT
Report: Murray Steele, Media: Lee Conn, Photography: Craig McGhee.
Talbot battled hard for a share of the spoils as they fought out a goalless draw with Troon at Portland Park. It came at a cost though as both Healy and Glavin had to leave the field injured.
The home side had an early chance when Gilroy was fouled just outside the area. Shankland took the set piece and curled it over the wall but Glavin made a good stop low to his right.
Seven mins in and Gillies picked up the night’s first caution. It looked a harsh one but his case wasn’t helped by Fulton’s theatrics.
In the 9th minute Healy collapsed with no one near him as he went for a 50/50 ball. Hopefully, it wasn’t as bad as it looked but he had to be stretchered from the field with Armstrong on in his place.
Talbot’s first real attack came in the 17th minute. Boyd was fouled but managed to release it to Thomson on the right and play went on. He raced past Moore down the right of the area but Sherrie got across to slide it out for the corner and Wardrope’s delivery failed to beat the first man.
A minute later Talbot came close when Boyle went for a snap shot from just outside the area that flew wide of the right hand post.
Fulton had his name taken in the 23rd minute when he caught Glavin late after the keeper had cleared.
There were few chances at either end and one of Talbot’s better ones arrived in the 29th minute. Talbot won a corner on the right which Wardrope delivered straight into the centre where McPherson met it but his header just cleared the bar.
The Talbot fans and bench felt they weren’t getting much joy from the ref and frustrations grew as a series of contentious decisions went Troon’s way.
Both sides were competing fiercely but without any end product and the half ended in stalemate.
Talbot came out with a change at the start of the 2nd half with Smith on for Gillies.
The first threat of the 2nd half went Troon’s way when Fulton looked to be in down the left but McPherson got back to make a timely challenge to put it behind for the corner.
In the 56th minute Talbot won a corner down the right. When it came over Slooves just failed to connect in the centre and the ball came out to Thomson on the left. He squared it for Boyd 15 yards out but his shot flew straight at Burgess.
Troon ought to have been a man down in the 59th minute. Fulton was already on a yellow when he crudely barged into Armstrong as he broke up the wing. It looked a no brainer but the referee bottled the decision and Troon’s management stepped in – subbing Fulton before he got himself sent off with Jamieson on in his place.
The game continued to be a midfield battle with neither side making a great deal of headway in the final third.
In the 70th minute McCloskey was cautioned for a foul on Thomson.
Two mins later the Bot fans were fuming again. Smith was taken out off the ball in the Troon half, nothing was given, and Troon broke on the counter winning a free kick 25 yards out with Armstrong picking up a caution into the bargain. Shankland took it and his shot clipped the top of the wall and went over the bar.
Troon now made a further change with Boyd on for Docherty.
In the 77th minute Smith did well out on the left, carrying it forward past a couple of challenges before cutting it back toward Boyle who failed to connect at the edge of the area.
Troon had a half chance in the 79th minute. Play was switched to Moore on the right of the area but he fired wide of target. Boyle was then cautioned for an earlier challenge.
Talbot then almost gifted Troon the lead when Glavin was slack with a ball out at the re-start. It came to Jamieson on the left of the area but Glavin recovered well to get swiftly off his line and make the block. Unfortunately, he took a heavy knock in the process and after a lengthy stoppage he couldn’t continue and Henry came on. Troon also made a change with Marks on for Shankland.
A minute from the end of normal time Talbot had a late chance to win it. A ball up the right found Langan who squared it into the centre of the box to find Boyd. He had his back to goal but wheeled round and fired wide of the right hand post.
Talbot now made a late change with McMillan on for Boyle.
As the game moved into injury time Talbot won a shy down the right and McMillan arrowed a long throw into the middle where Slooves headed it over the bar.
Deep into added time Troon passed up a good chance to grab the win. Millar slid the ball out to Gilroy in space on the left and he whipped over a dangerous cross that Marks headed over the bar when he looked favourite to score.
Next up for Talbot it is back to Beechwood this Saturday where they face Clydebank.
Troon – Burgess, McLevy, McCloskey, Docherty, Sherrie, Millar, Ben Black, Moore, Shankland, Fulton, Gilroy
Subs – Wilson, Marks, Richardson, Boyd, Strain, Jamieson, Fisher (gk)
Auchinleck Talbot – Glavin, Healy, Wilson, Slooves, McPherson, Langan, Boyle, Wardrope, Boyd, Gillies, Thomson
Subs – Armstrong, Black, Lennox, Trialist, McMillan, Henry (gk)