Talbot produced an accomplished display to beat a hard-working Darvel side 4-1 and advance to the 2nd round of the Ayrshire cup.
The 1st chance came the way of the home side. Pope’s sloppy pass gifted possession to Darvel and Vernon advanced down the right & fired into the side-netting.
After this early scare, Talbot took control & might have moved in front in the 4th minute. White headed it out to Young on the left wing & Gillies met his cross at the back post; however his header went straight at Markey.
The Darvel keeper was called upon twice in succession as Talbot piled the pressure on. Firstly, Markey had to tip Young’s in-swinging corner over the bar and when the subsequent corner came in the keeper again had to flick it away. This time the ball came out to Pope who drilled a low ball across goal that Gaw cleared behind.
When the corner came over the defence managed to clear it out but only to S Wilson who slid a great ball through for Gillies. He was just poised to sweep it home from 6 yards out when Gaw recovered to intercept & put it behind for yet another Talbot corner. The corner again wasn’t cleared by the defence & it came out to Pope 16 yards out but his shot was easily held by Markey.
Darvel survived this siege on their goal but Talbot remained in control with the action largely confined to the Darvel half.
Parris had his name taken in the 20th minute for a late challenge on S Wilson.
The breakthrough came in the 23rd minute. Gillies played a good early ball down the left for G Wilson to chase. He raced into the area where he was tripped by McPherson and the ref pointed to the spot. POPE took the spot kick & sent Markey the wrong way to put Talbot 1-0 ahead.
The referee evened the cautions up in the 31st minute when McCracken received a yellow card for a late challenge.
Leishman had been a spectator for most of the 1st half but he was called upon in the 34th minute. Darvel won a corner on the left which was drifted beyond the far post. Talbot failed to clear their lines & Armour crossed it back into the centre where Ryan headed it goal ward & Leishman touched it over the bar.
Talbot came close to adding to their lead in the 38th minute. S Wilson charged up the right & when his advance was halted, he laid it off to Hyslop. He in turn squared it inside to G Wilson who hammered a shot from 25 yards that flew just past Markey’s left post.
Two minutes later Talbot doubled their lead. Hyslop won a corner on the right and Young hit it deep to the far post. Hyslop climbed to head it back across goal where G WILSON ran onto it to head home from close range.
A minute later & it was game over as Talbot moved 3 ahead. S Wilson broke through the centre only to be caught by Moody 25 yards out. G WILSON took the free kick & hit an absolute beauty, curling it over the wall & inside Markey’s left post to make it 3-0 to Talbot at the interval.
There was no slacking from Talbot after the re-start as they went hunting for more goals.
Hyslop was unlucky not to get on the score sheet in the 54th minute. G Wilson slid the ball across the area to find him in space on the right. He lifted a shot past Markey that cannoned off the face of the bar before being cleared.
Within a minute Hyslop was involved again. He exchanged passes with G Wilson before sliding the perfect ball across the 6-yard line. Unfortunately, Gillies couldn’t reach quite reach it in the centre.
The 4th goal came in the 57th minute. Gillies swung a cross in from the left which G Wilson knocked down into the path of POPE who drilled a low right foot drive past Markey.
Tucker now made a double substitution with Shankland & Love coming on in place of G Wilson & Gillies.
Shankland tested the keeper in the 64th minute when he tried to bend a right footed shot past Markey but the keeper moved to his left to block to it.
Talbot now made their 3rd change with Milliken replacing Young and Darvel made their own changes with Henderson & Gilmour making way for Johnston & Robertson.
The tie was long over but Darvel had a chance to reduce the deficit in the 71st minute. Hyslop barged over Ryan inside the area and the ref pointed to the spot. Moody took the penalty but Leishman dived to his right to make the save. Ryan attempted to put the rebound away but fired over the bar as Leishman raced off his line to pressure him.
Five minutes later Darvel had another chance from the spot after a foul from Lyle. This time, ROBERTSON was entrusted with the penalty and he tucked it away to make it 4-1.
Talbot were soon back on the front foot and had a chance to make it 5 in the 85th minute. Shankland fed the ball out to Love on the right and when his cross came over Shankland looked certain to head home from close range, but he seemed to take his eye off the ball under pressure from a defender and didn’t make a clean contact.
In the final minute Love had one final chance to add to Talbot’s lead as he sped past Moody down the right but he fired into the side-netting from a tight angle.
This was a good display by Talbot who took control of the tie from the off and won with a bit to spare.
Next up for Talbot it is back to league duty as they visit Glasgow to face Petershill.
Darvel – Markey, Walsh, Moody, Gaw, McPherson, Parris, Armour, Henderson, Vernon, Ryan, Gilmour
Subs – Johnston, Lyle, White, Robertson, Caldow, Houston
Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, McGoldrick, McCracken, White, Young, Hyslop, Gillies, G Wilson, S Wilson
Subs – Latta, Shankland, Love, Boyd, Milliken, Johnstone