If anything Talbot got rid of the blue strip hoodoo by winning their first ever match in the cursed away strip, but apart from that this was nothing more than a match exercise against a youthful Craigmark side. Talbot traveled to Dalmellington with 12 players and were forced to strip assistant manager Allan McLuckie who joined Willie Lyle on the bench. Talbot introduced trialists Neil McPherson and youngster Michael McGoldrick who is Martin’s brother to the side, both players gave a good account.
Talbot had the dream start to the match when Keir Milliken was brought down in the box by keeper Higgins. However the keeper redeemed himself by saving Gordon Pope’s spot kick. The keeper was again in action when from a cleared corner he turned a Steven Wilson rasper around the post. From the resulting corner Talbot took the lead when Craigmark cleared a Shankland corner back out to him and his cross into the box was headed by McPherson into the path of Milliken who hooked the ball high into the net past Higgins.
Craigmark threatened a few times after that but it was Talbot who were the more dangerous. On the 31st minute they doubled their lead when Milliken left the home defence in his wake before cutting into the outskirts of the box where he sent over a low cross which Shankland swept past the keeper.
A few minutes before the interval in was 3-0 when Steven Wilson sent Milliken clear and this time he lifted his cross above the defence onto the head of Shankland who nodded home.
Talbot replaced James Latta with Willie Lyle but ten minutes after the interval shoddy defending by Talbot left Nisbet in the clear and he made no mistake and curled the ball past the helpless Leishman. Talbot hit back and Higgins did well to save at the feet of McPherson while on the 64th minute Michael McGoldrick managed to pull the home defence out of shape and his intelligent ball to Pope saw the defender hammer a 25 yard screamer which Higgins palmed clear. Three minutes later Talbot were denied by the post when Willie Lyle dispatched a wicked drive past the keeper after Shankland had set him up from a clever corner kick.
Craigmark were still proving to be dangerous and Dyer curled a shot past the post minutes before McLuckie replaced Martin McGoldrick. On 72 minutes Marc Dyer reduced the deficit when he picked up a loose ball out side the Talbot 18 yard box where he unleashed a wicked shot which Leishman got a hand to but couldn’t stop going into the net.
Talbot were finding things difficult as the home side used their luxury of a good sized bench while the Talbot players were being worked hard especially in midfield. The game finished with Craigmark winning a few corners but Talbot should have increased their lead when woeful defending left Milliken with only the keeper to beat but he fired his shot off Higgins legs. With minutes remaining the same player swerved a decent shot past Higgins goals.
Leishman, Latta, Pope, McGoldrick, Drummond, White, McPherson, McGoldrick, Shankland, Milliken, S.Wilson: SUBS: Lyle, McLuckie.