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.
Talbot travelled to Dalmellington as guests of Ayrshire District League side Craigmark Burntonians and put in a solid display that was rewarded with nine goals. The game itself was in doubt on Friday night as the host club were struggling for players due to holidays and transfer and the side that took to the pitch was a youthful turnout.
Talbot had three trialists in the squad including a well kent face from not that long ago as with the three new signings, Gillies and Wilson started the match with Love coming on later in the second half. The game itself started briskly with the home side showing some good defensive work as Talbot forced some early attacking. However it only took 10 minutes for Talbot to open the scoring when Davie Gillies broke into the box and his cut back was swept into the net by MARK SHANKLAND. It was 2-0 two minutes later when James Latta dribbled into the danger area and his pass into the six yard line was pounced on by STEVEN WHITE who shot took a deflection sending the keeper the wrong way.
Craigmark seemed to rally to the misfortune of being two goals down and held Talbot at bay until the 23rd minute when MARK SHANKLAND went on a solo run which was ended with a superb curling shot which left the keeper stranded. Goal number four came a minute later when Lee Cochrane robbed a defender at the edge of the home box where the ball fell to TRIALIST 1 and he crashed the ball into the net. New boy STEVIE WILSON got in on the act on the 28th minute when a superb ball by Gillies into his feet saw the big midfielder give the keeper no chance.
The game seemed to go into training mode as Talbot took the foot off the gas and both teams headed for the pavilion with Talbot 5-0 up. The second half saw the introduction of Milliken, Trialist 3, Boyd and G.Wilson at the expense og Gillies, Shankland, Trialist 2 and White. The switch seemed to hamper the Talbot as they had plenty of the ball but the red wall of defenders was holding out with some back to the wall defending and in the opening 15 minutes of the second half the only thing of note was G. Wilson header that came off the post.
On the 69th minute the scoring spree was resumed when Keir Milliken jinked his way past a number of defenders before setting up LEE COCHRANE who dispatched the ball into the back of the net. A minute later in was 7-0 When Trialist 3 cut into the goal area to set up GRAHAM WILSON who made no mistake from close in. Talbot introduced ROBERT LOVE for Steven Wilson and on the 87th minute the former Albion Rovers winger thundered a Trialist 3 cut back into the roof of the net. The scoring was ended when Trialist 3 turned provider once again when his pass into the box was swept past the keeper to make it 9-0. In the last minute Cochrane showed some great skill when he killed a cross with his chest and hammered the ball off the bar.
TALBOT: Leishman, Latta, Pope, Trialist 1, Hyslop, White (Milliken 45) Trialist 2 (Boyd 45) S.Wilson (Love 71), Gillies (Trialist 3 45), Gillies (G.Wilson 45) Cochrane