PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.
Talbot clinched the 2018/19 league title in style as they romped to a 5-0 away win at Troon as Hurlford fell to defeat at the hands of Rob Roy.
From the outset Talbot played at a high tempo and had the hosts on the back foot from the off. There were several near things before Talbot made the breakthrough in the 6th minute. Samson scampered clear on the right and pulled it back into the centre where DWAYNE HYSLOP stroked it past the keeper from 15 yards.
The early goal spurred Talbot on & they laid siege to the Troon defence. McCreadie did well to head Samson’s cross clear at his near post and shortly after Johnstone had to be at full stretch to take Graham Wilson’s cross from the left wing.
Troon hadn’t been at the races but did have an effort at goal with quarter of an hour gone. Pooler squared the ball inside to McCrea who tried his luck from 25 yards; drilling a powerful shot a few feet over the bar.
A minute later, and a needless penalty gave Talbot the opportunity to double their lead. McCreadie blatantly shoved Graham Wilson in the back as he shielded the ball going away from goal and the ref had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. GORDON POPE did the rest; sending Johnstone the wrong way to put Talbot 2-0 ahead.
It wasn’t McCreadie’s evening and he found himself in the ref’s notebook with 20 mins gone when he barged into Wilson. Pope took the free kick & sent it out wide to Graham Wilson whose cross was headed just over the bar by McCracken at the back post.
A minute later the woodwork prevented Talbot from adding to their lead. Hyslop played a ball in behind the defence for Samson to chase down. Johnstone raced out his area to clear but his attempted clearance came straight to Armstrong on the right wing. He lifted a cross into the area where Graham Wilson climbed to head it goal ward only to see it crash off the bar with the keeper stranded.
Talbot worked the keeper again in the 28th minute. Samson brushed Strachan off the ball inside the Troon area. The defender went over easily but the ref waved play on and Samson fired a shot from a tight angle that Johnstone blocked at his near post.
The home side now made a change with McCrea leaving the field to be replaced by Fulton.
The Troon goal had a close call in the 31st minute when Talbot won a free kick out on the right. Glasgow fizzed in a dangerous delivery that flicked off Hyslop’s head before cannoning off McCracken a few yards out and flying over the bar.
McCreadie had a lucky escape in the 40th minute when he sent Glasgow crashing as he broke forward. It looked worthy of a 2nd yellow but the ref contented himself with awarding Talbot the free kick 30 yards out. Graham Wilson took it and fired it up and over the wall but Johnstone was well positioned to pluck it out the air under his crossbar.
Talbot had one final chance to add to their lead before the interval. Glasgow played it into the feet of Samson who returned it back into the path of Glasgow but he couldn’t beat the keeper from 15 yards with Johnstone coming off his line block his shot.
Perhaps aware of the Hurlford score line Talbot took their foot off the gas at the start of the 2nd half and Troon enjoyed a good spell of pressure.
The home side nearly pulled one back in the 52nd minute. Morrison got free down the left and cut it back to Maley whose side-footed finish was brilliantly saved by Leishman at his right hand post.
Two minutes later Talbot were nearly caught on the counter-attack. Glasgow slung a free kick into the Troon box that was cleared out to the right touchline where McCracken lost out to Chatham. Troon then swiftly broke down the right with Maley playing it to Stevenson whose cross into the area was cleared by Lyle.
Talbot needed something to spark them back to life & it duly came in the 56th minute. Hyslop swivelled to leave his marker for dead & played it to Armstrong on the left of the area. He left a couple of defenders in his wake thanks to some nifty footwork; all that was missing was a goal to top off the move but Armstrong’s low drive was blocked by Paterson.
An hour in Talbot had the home defence stretched when Lyle’s pass sent Glasgow free on the right. He whipped a great low ball across the face that only needed a touch but unfortunately there were not takers.
Tucker made his first change in the 64th minute with McDowall coming on for Glasgow.
Talbot are always a threat at set pieces and nearly added to their goal haul in the 65th minute. Samson forced a corner down the right that he took himself. He delivered it into the 6-yard area where Hyslop headed it down into the turf but it skipped up off the hard surface and bounced over the bar.
Two minutes later Samson made a great burst down the left into the penalty box. He left McCreadie in his wake but the ball just wouldn’t sit right for him to get his strike away and Johnstone came off his line to do enough to put it behind for the corner. When the corner came in Troon could only clear it out as far as Pope who drilled a low shot on target that Strachan cleared off the line inside the left post.
Talbot were rewarded for their pressure in the 70th minute when they grabbed a 3rd goal to make certain of the victory. Samson kept the ball well under pressure just inside the Troon half before sliding a pass through to JACK MCDOWALL who raced clean through the centre, knocking it past the advancing keeper, before passing it into the empty net.
Talbot now made a double substitution with Samson and Graham Wilson making way for McIlroy and Shankland.
With quarter of an hour remaining Talbot made it 4-0. McIlroy won a corner on the right when McCreadie cut out his ball across the area and when the corner came in ROSS HARVEY met it unopposed to nod Talbot further ahead.
Troon now made a further change with Reid replacing Green.
McIlroy very nearly got on the score sheet in the 81st minute. A quickly taken corner saw Shankland whip a cross into the near post where McIlroy saw his header deflected off target off a defender.
With 8 minutes remaining Troon completed their changes when Martin came on for Pooler.
Johnstone denied McCracken a goal in the 84th minute. Shankland got away down the right and hung a cross into the goal mouth where McCracken met it to head on target but the keeper did well to save it on the line.
Chatham received a yellow card in the 86th minute for a professional foul on McCracken as he raced toward the box. Shankland took the free kick from 25 yards but suffice to say it wasn’t one of his better efforts as he got under it to balloon a shot well over.
A minute from time Talbot completed the scoring. GORDON POPE surged forward before passing it into the feet of McIlroy on the left of the area. He laid it back into his path and Pope drilled a low shot across Johnstone into the far corner to grab is 2nd and Talbot’s 5th of the evening.
A superb performance from Talbot who were crowned worthy league champions with 4 games to spare.
Troon Juniors – Johnstone, Paterson, Morrison, McCreadie, Strachan, Chatham, Green, McCrea, Stevenson, Maley, Pooler
Subs – Reid, Crawford, McClay, Fulton, Martin
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, Harvey, McPherson, McCracken, Hyslop, Armstrong, Graham Wilson, Samson, Glasgow
Subs – McIlroy, Shankland, McDowall, Waite, Stephen Wilson
Photographs by Paul Flynn.
Talbot ended their competitive fixtures of 2016 on a high note with a valuable away win at Troon.
Troon made the stronger start but squandered a couple of good chances in the opening spell, which they were to rue later on.
The home side should’ve gone one ahead within 2 minutes. A simple ball up the right found Robertson running clear inside the Bot area & he squared it across goal. Moore only had to sweep it home but completely mishit it.
Talbot’s first attack came in the 5th minute. Collins failed to cut out a ball down the right & Milliken raced onto it & whipped a great cross over which Barbour had to turn behind with Shankland waiting to pounce; though Talbot could make nothing of the resultant corner.
Two minutes later McCracken did well out on the left, first winning the ball & then floating a diagonal cross over which Hyslop just failed to connect with in the centre.
Troon very nearly took the lead in the 14th minute. Brown chipped a ball over the Bot defence to send Nisbet through on goal. Leishman was quickly off his line to make the block but the ball cannoned off McGoldrick & looked to be heading in for an own goal until McGoldrick raced back to clear it from the goal mouth.
Two minutes later Troon missed their 2nd sitter. Muir whipped a low cross in from the right which Leishman failed to cut out. Robertson met it in front of goal but somehow managed to steer his header well wide of the left post.
Junior football wouldn’t be complete without puzzling ref decisions & the man in the middle got it wrong in the 20th minute when he booked McGoldrick for winning the ball cleanly.
The opening goal came in the 25th minute. Graham Wilson skipped past the challenge of Collins & raced down the left only to be impeded by Barbour. Shankland took the free kick & curled it perfectly to the far post where BOYLE climbed to head home from close range.
The game’s 1st substitution came before the game could re-start, with Forsyth on for Robertson for the hosts.
The longer the half went the more comfortable Talbot looked with Troon offering little threat. The home side had a flurry of pressure in the closing minutes of the half but without testing Leishman.
Troon opened the 2nd half brightly with Nisbet’s speculative effort forcing a save out of Leishman soon after the re-start but this proved a false dawn.
Graham Wilson came close to putting Talbot two ahead in the 52nd minute. He surged down the left, riding a couple of challenges before racing into the box & firing just over the bar.
A minute later, the game turned decisively in Talbot’s favour. Milliken raced onto a pass in behind the defence & as he went to break into the area was wrestled down by McKnight. The ref sent Troon’s centre half off for denying a goal scoring opportunity & awarded Talbot a free kick on the dee at the edge of the box. SHANKLAND took it & as he’s done so often this season he rocketed a beauty of a shot beyond the wall & past the despairing dive of Semple to put Talbot 2-0 ahead.
Troon made their 2nd change just before the hour mark when Maley came on in place of Brown.
McCracken almost extended Talbot’s lead in the 62nd minute when he turned Brown inside the box before firing over the bar.
The game was wrapped up in the 66th minute when Talbot grabbed their third. White slid the ball out to GRAHAM WILSON on the left & he showed a cool head, cutting inside past Brown & slotting it past Semple.
Within a minute it ought to have been four nil. The Troon defence were posted missing when a ball found Milliken free on the right & he drew Semple before squaring it across for Shankland who hoisted the bar over the bar.
Tucker made a triple substitution in the 68th minute with Shankland, White, & Graham Wilson making way for Pooler, Stevenson & Steven Wilson.
Troon did well to keep their heads up & battling but the game was long lost & Talbot looked well in control.
In the 82 minute Troon made their final change when Curragh replaced Muir & the sub squandered a good chance to grab a consolation two minutes from time. A ball in from the left found him free in the area but he hesitated just a fraction & when he went to hit it Boyle put enough pressure on him to force the mistake and he slid it past the right post.
This was a very good away win for Talbot and puts the Bot within touching distance of the league leaders. Here’s hoping for a good start to 2017 for Talbot and all their supporters.
Troon – Semple, Barbour, Brown, McKnight, Collins, Chatham, Muir, Armstrong, Nisbet, Robertson, Moore
Subs – Curragh, Forsyth, Maley, Fraser
Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Harvey, McGoldrick, Boyle, McCracken, Hyslop, White, Shankland, G Wilson, Milliken
Subs – S Wilson, Stevenson, Pooler, McPherson, Latta
MURRAYS MATCH REPORT
Talbot enjoyed a sunny evening at the seaside as the Bot defeated Troon at Portland Park to book their place in the last 4 of the Ardagh cup.
Talbot were the sharper team for most of the 1st half & should have opened the scoring as early as the 3rd minute. Steven Wilson fired a great ball in from the right to find Milliken in space inside the area but he lashed his shot over the bar.
MILLIKEN made no such mistake in the 11th min when he grabbed the opening goal. Stevenson’s ball through the centre parted the Troon defence & Milliken strolled through on goal & knocked it past Semple.
A few minutes later Talbot almost doubled their lead. Lyle’s cross into the area was only headed out as far as Young, who controlled it on his chest before laying it out to the left to find Steven Wilson. He raced into the area & fired for goal but his shot flew wide of the right hand upright.
Talbot were well in command & Hyslop came close in the 19th minute when he met Pope’s hanging cross & looped a header back across goal and wide of the right post.
The 2nd goal was coming & it duly arrived in the 21st minute. HYSLOP rose to meet Young’s corner from the left & he powered a header home at the back post.
Troon’s defence was almost breached again in the 25th minute. Steven Wilson nodded the ball on into the path of Milliken & Collins was at full stretch as he made a crucial sliding tackle to prevent Milliken going through on goal.
Stevenson won Talbot a free kick 30 yards from goal when he was shoved over by Spence in the 33rd minute. Graham Wilson struck it, and his shot flicked off the top of the wall before speeding just wide of the left post. When Young’s corner came over Hyslop met it but placed his header wide of goal.
Troon had offered little but it was game on when they pulled a goal back in the 39th minute. Moore played it into the feet of Robertson who traversed across the penalty area before sliding a pass through to MUIR who slipped the ball past Leishman to reduce the deficit and set up a competitive 2nd half.
The home side started the 2nd half brightly, keeping the ball well but without doing any damage in the final third. For all Troon’s early possession it was Talbot who were 1st to threaten when Hyslop sent Steven Wilson free down the left. He passed it to his brother & Graham’s low drive was heading on target until Chatham blocked it for a corner. Young delivered a dangerous ball across the 6-yard box where Pope had a chance to restore Talbot’s 2 goal cushion but he didn’t make a clean enough contact & glanced his header wide.
Talbot’s next chance came to Graham Wilson. Harvey lifted a free kick down the middle towards Steven Wilson which Collins headed clear. However, it came straight out to Graham Wilson in space just outside the box but he opted to hit it first time and blazed his shot way over the bar.
Robertson isn’t a great favourite of the Bot support partly due to his Jacques Cousteau antics over the years and he annoyed the travelling fans in the 57th min when he fell over rather easily to win a free kick 30 yards from goal. McKnight lifted it up & over the wall but it didn’t dip quickly enough.
Down the other end Milliken showed Collins a clean pair of heels before cutting it across the area but unfortunately for Talbot Stevenson couldn’t quite reach it.
Talbot played well for the most part but weren’t clinical enough in front of goal and squandered a real chance to put the game beyond Troon’s reach in the 65th minute. Young’s inch perfect pass sent Milliken free down the left & when he squared it across the area Steven Wilson should have buried it but he side-footed it past Semple’s right post.
The next attack from Talbot was a solo effort from Steven Wilson as he surged down the right leaving a couple of Troon players in his wake before knocking it round Armstrong & heading into the box. If he’d been able to beat Semple it would’ve been a goal to remember but Troon’s keeper denied him; getting down well to turn his low drive around the post.
With 20 minutes remaining both sides made a change, Forsyth replacing Nisbet for the home side & Thomson making his Talbot debut in place of Stevenson.
The referee wasn’t giving Talbot much & he seemed to be the only one in the ground who failed to spot McKnight’s shove on Milliken as they went for a high ball in the 79th minute.
Troon were throwing bodies forward, hemming Talbot in, making for a nervous closing spell for the visitors. They won a free kick out on the right in the 81st min when Pope fouled Moore & McKnight delivered it to the near post where Chatham ran onto it but placed his free header straight at Leishman.
Tucker now made a further change with Pooler coming on for Milliken.
There was a close call for Talbot in the 85th minute when a Troon corner was only headed out as far as Spence whose low drive from 19 yards flew just wide of the right post, with the aid of a slight deflection from Pope. When the 2nd corner came over it too was only partially cleared, coming out to Muir who fired a low drive on target that Leishman held inside his left post.
In the closing stages Thomson nearly added a 3rd for Talbot when he finished off a move involving Pooler & Steven Wilson by drilling a low shot to Semple’s left but Troon’s keeper produced a fine save to deflect it wide.
Troon kept pressing but couldn’t breach the Talbot defence & the Bot held on to seal a good away win.
Next up for Talbot is the start of the defence of their league title as they travel through to Barrhead to take on Arthurlie.
Troon – Semple, Chatham, Armstrong, McKnight, Collins, Spence, Nisbet, McCrea, Robertson, Muir, Moore
Subs – Forsyth, Harvey, Keenan, Strachan
Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, Harvey, Boyle, Hyslop, Young, Stevenson, G Wilson, Milliken, S Wilson
Subs – Pooler, McPherson, Thomson, Latta, Hewitt
Troon 2 Talbot 1 (HT 1-0) | Auchinleck Talbot Forum
It was Talbot who made all of the early running and the Bot had a chance to take the lead inside 2 minutes. Wilson sped down the left & fired a low ball across the area which Young ran onto but he steered his shot well wide of target.
Two minutes later Semple kept Talbot out with a magnificent save. Once again Wilson got free on the left & whipped a cross into the near post. Milliken bulleted a header on target but the keeper made a great stop at his right post to keep it out.
Talbot’s next chance came in the 8th minute. Pope chipped the ball into the area where Wilson flicked it into the path of Boyd. He teed it up for Milliken whose low drive took a deflection & went past the far post for a corner kick.
Semple produced another top save to deny Talbot the lead in the 10th minute. Hyslop slipped the ball into Milliken on the left of the area & he twisted & turned onto his right foot before rifling a shot at goal that Semple tipped onto the crossbar.
The home side were forced into a change in the 13th minute when Keenan fell awkwardly & had to be replaced by McCrae.
Milliken passed up a good chance to put Talbot in front in the 23rd minute. Boyd slid a pass in behind the defence to send Milliken through on the left. He looked favourite to beat Semple to the ball but the keeper raced 30 yards out to get there first & clear the danger.
This proved costly as within a minute the home side took the lead with their 1st effort on target. Lyle intercepted a ball through the middle but gave the ball away 30 yards out. It was played to ARMSTRONG on the left & he hammered an unstoppable shot from 25 yards that flew inside Leishman’s right post.
Talbot picked themselves up and continued to enjoy the bulk of the play but without being able to breach the Troon defence. Wilson sent a dangerous ball into the centre from the left wing that Collins sliced over his own bar and then Milliken broke down the left & fired a good ball across to the far post but there were no takers.
As the half wore on Troon came more into it & McGoldrick had to look sharp in the 40th minute to get across & block McGill’s shot at goal.
The Bot’s hopes took a blow early in the 2nd half when they conceded a soft goal in the 51st minute. There looked to be no danger when a high ball went down the right but the ball skited off the top of Lyle’s head & came straight across to FORSYTH, who clean through on goal, took full advantage & rolled the ball under Leishman to make it 2-0.
The 2nd goal knocked the stuffing out of Talbot & with Troon content to sit on their lead the game stalemated with nothing much happening in the final third.
Tucker made two changes as Talbot chased the game, firstly Shankland came on for Boyd and then Love replaced Latta.
Wilson picked up a caution in the 73rd minute for a late challenge.
Talbot set up an action packed ending to the game when they pulled a goal back in the 80th minute. Shankland raced up the right before playing it across the face of goal for MILLIKEN to place inside the right post.
Two minutes later there was a scramble in the Troon goal mouth. Love won a corner & when Shankland delivered it, McCracken guided a header back across goal. Pope tried to force it home from close range but there were enough bodies on the line to block him & clear it to safety.
Collins was cautioned in the 87th minute for a late challenge that resulted in a Bot free kick 35 yards from goal. Shankland squared it for Pope to hit but his low drive went well wide of target.
As the game moved into injury time there were close calls at both ends. Troon almost extended their lead when McGill raced clear of McGoldrick on the left. He carried it into the area but Leishman was swiftly off his line to dive at his feet & smother the ball.
Deep into injury time, Milliken came within a whisker of levelling. He raced onto a through ball down the left of the area & drilled a low shot past Semple that came off the inside of the right post & out to safety.
A disappointing night for Talbot who started the game on fire but fizzled out once Troon got their 2nd goal. There’s no time for dwelling on the result though as Talbot’s next outing is a visit to Lugar to face old foes Cumnock in the semi-final of the West.Troon – Semple, Armstrong, Keenan, McKnight, Collins, Chatham, Harvey, Spence, Forsyth, Muir, McGill
Subs – McCrae, Moore, Curragh, Maley, FraserTalbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, McGoldrick, McCracken, Boyd, Young, Hyslop, Graham Wilson, Milliken, Latta
Subs – Shankland, Love, White, Findlay, Johnstone