PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.
MATCH REPORT FROM MURRAY.
Talbot fans enjoyed their trip to the seaside with sunny skies and all 3 points after a hard fought away win.
Troon had an early chance within a minute when Talbot were caught daydreaming at a throw in. The shy was taken quickly and thrown to Montgomerie who prodded a shot across the face of goal and wide of the right post.
The home side were making the early running and had another chance in the 5th minute. A long diagonal ball picked out Jamieson bursting into the area down the left. He tried to take it wide of Leishman but Andy did enough to stop him and McPherson got back to clear.
Talbot’s first glimpse at goal came in the 8th minute when they forced a corner down the left. Wardrope swept it deep beyond the far post where McCracken headed it into the side-netting.
A few minutes later Taylor had a go from distance – lashing a shot over the bar from 25 yards after being set up by McCracken.
The Bot were having a good spell and Samson timed his run to perfection to race clear down the left and cut into the area but his ball across goal for Wilson was cut out by Burgess at his near post.
Slack play midway inside the Bot half gifted the ball to Troon and ended with Ben Black having an effort at goal from the edge of the area but his low drive was easily held by Leishman.
Talbot came close to taking the lead in the 23rd minute. McCracken lifted it down the centre where Samson laid the ball off into the path of Taylor who burst into the area only to see the advancing Burgess parry his shot away.
Two minutes later it was Leishman to the rescue for Talbot. Gilroy latched onto a ball over the top and broke into the area. McPherson got back but Gilroy was able to swivel and get his shot away with Leishman diving low to his left to turn it past the post. Troon then had another opportunity from the resultant corner which Josh Black met at the back post but he sent his header over the bar.
The home side were made to regret this missed opportunity as Talbot went straight down the field and took the lead. Samson bested Sherrie on the left and raced for the bye line before pulling it back across the area where ROSS TAYLOR ran onto it to bury a shot beyond Burgess.
The goal rocked Troon and Talbot had a half chance to double their lead soon after when Wilson & Samson combined to create an opening for Wardrope who fired straight at Burgess from 20 yards.
A minute later Talbot won a free kick wide of the Troon penalty area after McCloskey clipped Taylor’s heels. Wardrope swung a dangerous ball to the back post which Sherrie headed clear but only as far as Armstrong 15 yards out but he didn’t catch it right and the ball bobbled through to the keeper.
The Bot had a good chance to double their advantage in the 31st minute. Taylor clipped a good ball through to find Samson racing into the area down the right. He fired it over the advancing Burgess but his shot cleared the crossbar.
The match was all square after 34 minutes with Troon grabbing a spectacular equaliser. Morrison sent a high hanging cross over from the right touchline which GILROY met 1st time on the volley sending it back across goal and beyond the helpless Leishman.
Talbot tried to find an immediate response and Burgess was called into action in the 36th minute when he produced a good save to keep out Graham Wilson’s header on target.
The Bot ended the half on the front foot. In the 43rd minute Wardrope knocked it wide to find Armstrong and he pinged it to the left wing to find Samson whose cross was headed just over by Wilson.
A minute later Talbot won a free kick wide on the left following a foul on Aiden Wilson. Wardrope lifted it into the area where Sherrie headed it clear but only as far as Healy who hit it 1st time from 20 yards bringing out a good save from Burgess.
As the half moved into added time Talbot had one last chance when Samson laid the ball off to the overlapping Wardrope who burst into the area but saw his shot blocked by Burgess and the half ended all square.
Tucker made a change at the interval with Glasgow coming on in place of Wardrope.
It was Talbot’s turn to be first out the blocks in the 2nd half and the Bot nearly regained the lead within a minute of the restart. Graham Wilson’s ball found Samson running in behind the defence and he prodded it past the keeper only to see it come back off the left post before being cleared.
McCloskey received a caution in the 47th minute for a trip on Taylor resulting in a Bot free kick just outside the area. Graham Wilson shaped up to hit but instead squared the ball across to Stafford whose powerful drive was blocked en route.
The Bot were back on the attack in the 51st minute when Glasgow skipped past several challenges down the left before slinging a ball across goal that just eluded Samson in the centre. Taylor retrieved it & fed it back to Healy whose dangerous cross to the back post was headed behind by Morrison.
Both keepers were then called into action – firstly Leishman moved smartly off his line to read a ball over the top and clear the danger then down the other end Burgess had to deal with Healy’s free kick from the left touchline which was curled to the back post. The keeper came to claim it, dropped it, but no Bot player was on hand to take advantage and the defence cleared.
Armstrong had his name taken in the 54th minute for a foul on Gallagher and minutes later Troon were forced into a change when Josh Black was unable to continue after taking a knock and he was replaced by ex-Bot player Steven Wilson.
Talbot came within a whisker of retaking the lead in the 59th minute. Samson’s shot at goal was blocked for a corner on the left and when Glasgow delivered it to the far post Graham Wilson thought he’d scored but Burgess was able to claw his header off the line and the officials dismissed Talbot’s claims that the ball had went over the line.
The goal wasn’t long delayed though and Talbot moved back in front in the 62nd minute. Taylor played a good ball down the right to release Samson and he drilled it low across the face of goal where GRAHAM WILSON was on hand to turn it home.
Troon now made a further change with Fulton on for Ben Black.
In the 72nd minute Talbot made their 2nd sub of the afternoon with Ally Park coming on in place of Armstrong and Park was soon involved playing a one-two with Taylor before Taylor drilled a shot just wide of the right hand post.
Troon hadn’t really turned up for the 2nd half but they had a chance to draw level in the 76th minute. The ball fell to Gilroy in space on the left of the area but he snatched at it and mishit it across the face of goal. It came to Wilson whose shot was blocked behind for the corner.
Troon then had another chance a minute later. Morrison’s cross was cut out by Aiden Wilson at the expense of a corner. When the corner came over Sherrie met it but mistimed it and sent a free header well wide of goal.
With 10 minutes remaining Taylor’s pass sent Glasgow clear on the left and he whipped over a great ball but there was no one in the centre to turn it home.
In the 82nd minute Park conceded a free kick out on the right near the corner flag. Gallagher lifted it into the centre where it was headed clear. The ball came to Gilroy but his shot was blocked in the crowded area.
Both sides now made a further change with Boylan on for Graham Wilson and Boyd replacing Montgomerie.
With the clock running down Talbot made a late change with the tiring Samson making way for Ballantyne.
In the closing minute there was action at both ends of the field. Firstly Troon had a half chance to snatch a late equaliser when a cross from the right found Wilson in space but he mishit his effort then down the other end Glasgow was hauled back by Sherrie just outside the area resulting in a free kick. Healy took it and curled a shot inches over the bar.
Soon after the final whistle sounded and Talbot had secured their 1st win of the new season. Next week it’s back to Beechwood where Talbot will face Darvel.
Troon FC – Burgess, McCloskey, Sherrie, Ben Black, Montgomerie, Gilroy, Smith, Morrison, Josh Black, Jamieson, Gallagher
Subs – Wilson, Fulton, Boyd, Vernon, Fisher
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Stafford, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, McCracken, Armstrong, Healy, Taylor, Graham Wilson, Samson, Wardrope
Subs – Glasgow, Boylan, Park, Ballantyne, Heaney