Talbot failed to hit the heights but were still more than good enough to claim a single goal victory at Townhead to close in on Hurlford at the top of the table.
The last two derby encounters were chock full of goals & incidents but it wasn’t the case this time round with the game falling flat & neither keeper being in danger of being overworked.
The first chance of the match came in the 5th minute when Shankland towered above Niang to arrow a header across the area toward Graham Wilson but it just slipped past him in front of goal.
A minute later Cumnock had a half chance. McPherson tried to let the ball run out for a goal kick, allowing Patterson in to nick it on the bye line. He cut in on his right foot & fired a shot from a tight angle that Leishman blocked at his near post.
Talbot’s next effort at goal came in the 11th minute. Shankland teed the ball up Harvey who let fly from 20 yards; drilling a shot just wide of Semple’s left post.
It was to be an afternoon when bookings vastly outnumbered chances & the 1st card came in the 12th minute when Murray was cautioned for deliberate handball. Five minutes later Montgomerie joined him in the book for a cynical trip on Graham Wilson as he raced up field. Pope took the resultant free kick & fired a low drive on target from 35 yards that went straight at Semple.
The longer the half went the scrappier it grew & it took until the half hour mark before the next clear chance. Cumnock were awarded a free kick 25 yards out when Harvey blocked Niang’s run with the Talbot defender also receiving a caution for the challenge. Miller took the free kick & curled it past the wall but just wide of Leishman’s right post.
Graham Wilson joined the crime count in the 36th minute when cautioned for an aerial challenge on Montgomerie.
Cumnock conceded a needless corner in the 39th minute due to an over hit backpass. Shankland delivered it into the centre where it broke to White. He caught it clean, firing a 1st time volley from 15 yards on target but fortunately for Cumnock it flew straight at Semple.
In the final minute of the half Talbot picked up another booking. White conceded a free kick for a shove on Montgomerie then received a caution for disputing the decision. Crawford whipped the free kick into the area but the Bot defence were able to clear and the sides trooped off goal less at the interval.
Tucker made a change during the break & when play resumed McIlroy was on in place of Graham Wilson.
The 2nd half pretty much left off where the 1st had ended, with both sides fully committed, but neither side looking like scoring.
With 53 mins gone Lyle received a caution when he brought down Miller 30 yards out. Montgomerie took the free kick but sent it sailing high over the bar.
The referee was running out of space in his notepad as he added two more names to his book in the 56th minute. Cautioning Stephen Wilson for a foul on Miller & then booking Semple after he raced out his goals to remonstrate with the officials.
Both sides now made a switch with Reid coming on for Patterson & White making way for Armstrong.
Talbot gave the Nock defence a fright in their next attack when Lyle whipped a dangerous cross over to the back post but Samson just failed to reach it.
The game had goal less draw written all over it but a moment of madness from Lundie gifted Talbot a penalty in the 65th minute. There wasn’t any danger when the ball was played into Samson just inside the right edge of the area but Lundie breenged into him, bowling him over, and the ref pointed to the spot. GORDON POPE took it & gave Semple no chance; firing it low inside the right post to give Talbot the lead.
Two minutes later it should have been game over. Samson gathered on the right & squared a great ball across the face. Hyslop looked a cert to tuck it home from 6 yards but got his feet wrong & mis-kicked in front of goal.
Talbot were having a good spell & when Samson found Stephen Wilson free on the right his cross had the defence stretched to clear.
Cumnock’s player-manager now joined his team mates in the book for dissent.
Talbot had another great chance to kill the game off in the 74th minute. McIlroy swept a cross over from the left that came to Stephen Wilson. He cut inside past his man but blazed his shot over the bar from 6 yards.
Hyslop received a harsh yellow card in the 75th minute when he slid into a tackle on Dinwoodie. It looked like he’d won the ball cleanly but the ref thought otherwise. This was Dinwoodie’s last involvement as he left to be replaced by a Trialist.
Semple kept Cumnock’s slim hopes alive in the 77th minute. Crawford sclaffed a clearance into the sky & when it came down McIlroy touched it off to Shankland. His volley was heading into the roof of the net til Semple tipped it over the bar.
With 9 minutes remaining Talbot completed their subs when Glasgow came on for Samson.
Cumnock pushed forward in the closing stages but without really offering any threat. Twice Montgomerie had a go from distance but neither effort remotely troubled the Talbot goal.
With 2 minutes remaining Cumnock received a slice of luck when Pope’s clearance cannoned off Niang & flew into the penalty area. It came toward Cumnock’s Trialist on the right of the area but before he could get a shot away Lyle slid in to put it behind for the corner.
In the final minute of regulation time Cumnock were awarded a free kick midway inside their own half. Semple hoofed it down the left where Murray headed it across the penalty area forcing Pope to clear at the back post.
Talbot had one final chance to add to their lead deep into injury time. McIlroy met Pope’s ball up the left & headed it on to Glasgow who cut inside Reid before firing a shot across goal & wide of the left post.
A poor game but a very valuable 3 points that now sees Talbot only 5 points adrift of Hurlford with 5 games in hand. Next week Talbot are back in cup action as they host Craigmark Burntonians in the 3rd round of the West.
Cumnock Juniors – Semple, Niang, Crawford, Lundie, Murray, Dinwoodie, Montgomery, Burns, Patterson, Degnan, Miller
Subs – Reid, Hunter, Trialist, Trialist, McMurdo (gk)
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, McPherson, Harvey, Hyslop, White, Shankland, Graham Wilson, Samson, Stephen Wilson
Subs – McIlroy, Kemp, Glasgow, Armstrong, McCracken
Right from the off Talbot looked the hungrier side & could have taken the lead inside 3 minutes. Pope lifted a ball down the left to McIlroy who laid it inside to Hyslop. He got the break of the ball & carried on into the penalty area where he lifted a shot over the bar from 16 yards.
The opener came in the 9th minute after a messy spell of play out on the right. The ball ricocheted around before being gathered by Glasgow who surged on a diagonal run before releasing the ball to the unmarked SHANKLAND on the left of the area & he coolly passed the ball across goal past Semple to put Talbot 1-0 ahead.
Talbot continued to press & put together a neat move down the left in the 16th minute. Shankland & Glasgow combined well before the move was abruptly ended by a late tackle from Lundie. Shankland took the free kick & curled a dangerous ball over beyond the back post that floated out for a goal kick.
The Cumnock keeper was put to the test in the 19th minute when Shankland gathered on the left, knocked it past Murray, and lifted a cross beyond the far post where Glasgow met it only to see his effort blocked by Semple.
Esplin picked up the game’s 1st caution, in the 21st minute, for a late challenge on Hyslop 35 yards from goal. POPE took the free kick & fired a low shot straight down the centre that slipped through the hands of Semple like a bar of wet soap to put Talbot two ahead.
Cumnock looked a team drained of belief and they nearly fell further behind in the 25th minute. Talbot won a corner which was whipped into the near post where Harvey directed it onto target only for Semple to dive & turn it round the right post.
Talbot were looking very comfortable in their lead but Cumnock slowly began to make some headway & their 1st real chance of the match came in the 36th minute. Anson managed to flick the ball over McPherson & it briefly looked like he would have a sight of goal but the ball ran away from him inside the box.
It was almost game over in the 40th minute when Talbot came close twice to adding to their lead. Pope sent Shankland free on the left of the Nock penalty area & he brought the best out of Semple who did well to turn his drive round the post. When the corner came over Hyslop rose to meet it & did everything right, heading it down, but a Nock defender fortuitously got in the way & the defence cleared.
For all Talbot’s dominance the game was thrown back into the balance 3 minutes before the interval when Cumnock pulled a goal back. Talbot were caught dreaming at a Cumnock shy & when the ball was thrown in from the right ANSON met it to guide a header low inside Leishman’s right post.
On the stroke of half-time Cumnock, much against the run of play, threatened to produce a leveller. Talbot were on the attack and Steven Wilson appeared to be bundled over 25 yards out but the ref waved play on. Cumnock swiftly countered & a ball over the top found Samson running into the Bot penalty area. He had a chance to go for the shot but chose to keep going & dallied on the ball too long before being dispossessed, and so Talbot left the field a goal to the good at the interval.
The Cumnock support had been offered a flicker of hope when they pulled a goal back but it didn’t survive long in a 2nd half where Talbot were in complete control from the off.
The Bot could have extended their lead in the 49th minute. Glasgow’s slide rule pass took the Nock defence out the equation to send McIlroy free on the right but his 1st touch proved too heavy & Semple raced off his line to dive at his feet to smother the ball.
Two minutes later Shankland tried his luck from distance. White’s header found him on space on the right & he drilled a shot on target that Semple parried away.
The pressure finally told & Talbot grabbed their 3rd goal in the 54th minute. Lyle lifted a cross into the centre which glanced off a defender’s head & came out to the left. SHANKLAND ghosted past Muir & arrowed a neat finish across goal & into the bottom corner to put Talbot in command.
Any hopes of a Cumnock fightback were ended on the hour mark when Talbot moved 4-1 ahead.
The Cumnock defence were unable to clear their lines & the ball pinged back & forth 30 yards out before falling to Shankland. He deftly chipped the ball through to GLASGOW who buried it low past Semple.
Cumnock now made a double substitution bringing on Hilton & M McKenzie.
Samson did well out on the right in the 63rd minute. He controlled a long ball over the top & whipped a dangerous cross over that Lyle had to head over his own bar.
Hyslop had his name taken a minute later for a late challenge, resulting in a Cumnock free kick 25 yards from goal. Samson took it but drilled his shot straight into the wall.
An incisive counter-attack almost saw Talbot add to their lead. Glasgow brought the ball out from the back & raced into the Nock half before finding Steven Wilson on the right. He crossed it first time into the centre where McIlroy bulleted a header for goal but it went straight at Semple.
Tucker now made his 1st change with Graham Wilson on for McIlroy.
Glasgow nearly nabbed his 2nd of the afternoon in the 70th minute. He latched onto a loose ball on the edge of the penalty area & sent a low shot skidding off the outside the right post with the keeper well beaten.
Talbot made their 2nd change in the 75th minute with Faulds replacing Hyslop in midfield and a few minutes later Tucker completed his changes when Thomson came on for Steven Wilson.
The scoring was complete in the 85th minute when Talbot added their 5th goal from an unlikely source. Glasgow spread the ball out to Shankland on the left & he fired a low ball across the face of goal which LYLE bundled home from close range.
As the clock ticked down the referee took pity on the hosts with a couple of sympathy vote decisions. In the final minute of regulation time Glasgow was clearly tripped in the penalty box but the ref waved play on & deep into injury time Crawford ought to have been shown a straight red for a crude challenge on Thomson but the ref only booked him.
A great derby win for Talbot to book their place in the last 16 of the Scottish. Next week it is back to league duty & an away day at Pollok.Cumnock – Semple, Muir, Ballantyne, Lundie, Murray, Crawford, Samson, Burns, Anson, Esplin, Montgomerie
Subs – S McKenzie, Hilton, M McKenzie, Hunter, Johnston (gk)
Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, McPherson, Harvey, S Wilson, White, Hyslop, McIlroy, Glasgow, Shankland
Subs – G Wilson, Faulds, Thomson, McCracken, Armstrong
Photographs by Paul Flynn.
Talbot edged this derby encounter at Townhead winning an average game with a wonder goal to notch their first win of the season.
The first opportunity came Cumnock’s way after 4 minutes when McCracken was caught on the ball just outside the penalty area. McKenzie surged into the box but failed to make the most of the opening.
A minute later Talbot had their first chance when Kemp cut in off the left wing & fired a low drive wide of Johnson’s left post.
McKenzie squandered a great chance to put the home side ahead in the 10th minute. Cumnock had a slice of luck when White’s attempted clearance was blocked & spun straight into the path of McKenzie as he bore down on goal but Leishman came off his line & dived at his feet to make the block.
Cumnock wasted another clear opening in the 17th minute. They won a corner out on the right when Esplin’s shot from the edge of the area was deflected behind off White. When the corner came into the near post Anson was in space but glanced a free header well wide of target.
Talbot’s next attack saw Muir bundle Pooler over just outside the box resulting in a Bot free kick. Kemp lifted it over the wall & on target & Johnson just managed to punch it clear under pressure from McIlroy. Cumnock couldn’t clear their lines & when Pooler headed the ball down onto the 18 yard line FAULDS met it to lash an unstoppable effort into the top corner to put Talbot 1-0 ahead after 19 mins.
Crawford became the 1st name in the notebook when he was penalised for a late challenge on Thomson in the 25th minute.
The Talbot defence had a lucky escape in the 27th minute. Murray launched a long throw into the penalty area which the defence failed to deal with. It broke straight at the feet of Muir who missed the target from 15 yards.
Thomson had his name taken soon after for catching Samson late.
Half an hour in Talbot threatened to double their lead when a ball over the static defence found Pooler running in behind. He looked to be in but Johnson raced outside his box to make a crucial tackle & slide it out for a shy.
In the closing stages of the half McKenzie wasted two chances in quick succession to draw Cumnock level. Firstly, Muir swung a dangerous cross in from the left that he failed to connect with at the back post and then a minute later a header through the centre sent him through on goal but he lifted his shot over the bar.
Cumnock started the 2nd half on the front foot & came close to equalising in the 50th minute. McCracken headed Muir’s cross clear but it only came out as far as Montgomerie whose half volley just cleared the bar with Leishman stranded off his line.
Tucker was forced into a change in the 54th minute when Samson cynically took out Faulds in the centre. Samson received a yellow card for the challenge & Faulds had to limp from the field to be replaced by Pope. This led to a re-shuffle with Lyle moving to right-back & Armstrong into midfield.
Talbot had a chance in the 57th minute when McIlroy intercepted the ball midway inside the Nock half. He sent an early ball out right to find Pooler inside the penalty area but he was stretching to reach it & his low drive was saved by Johnson.
Cumnock’s Murray picked up a knock in the 65th minute & unable to continue he was replaced by Woods.
Two minutes later Montgomerie was fortunate to escape a caution when he rashly went in with studs showing.
In the 69th minute both sides made a further change with Forsyth coming on for Muir for the home side & Glasgow replacing Pooler for Talbot.
With quarter of an hour remaining Talbot made their final change with Shankland on for Kemp.
In the closing stages the home side huffed & puffed to break Talbot down without any joy & Talbot were able to close the game out & hold on for the 1-0 win.
A below par performance from Talbot but any win over Cumnock is a welcome one & Talbot now continue their Ardagh group stages with a visit to Rosebank on Wednesday night to face Lugar Boswell.
Cumnock – Johnson, Murray, Crawford, Lundie, McKenna, Montgomerie, Samson, Esplin, Anson, McKenzie, Muir
Subs – Barnes, Wood, Forsyth, McLaughlin
Talbot – Leishman, Armstrong, Lyle, McPherson, McCracken, Faulds, Kemp, White, McIlroy, Pooler, Thomson
Subs – Pope, Shankland, Glasgow, Harvey, Weir
Cumnock 0 Talbot 1 (H-T 0-0) |
Under sunny April skies Talbot leapfrogged Glenafton to climb to the top of the table thanks to a hard fought derby win at Townhead.
The game was a bit of a contradiction, Schrondinger’s match, which simultaneously had very few chances or shots on goal but plenty of incident & talking points.
Talbot started brightly & won a free kick just wide of the penalty area within 2 minutes when Crawford tripped Graham Wilson. Pope whipped a dangerous ball over to the far post but no Bot player read it, and it sailed wide for a goal kick.
The Bot’s next attack saw Graham Wilson cushion Lyle’s cross back toward Latta who was just beaten to the loose ball.
Anson was causing the Talbot defence problems in the air but Cumnock weren’t able to capitalise on any on his head flicks. Anson had the ball in the back of the net after 15 minutes, but only after clearly shoving McGoldrick over & the linesman’s flag was up long before he knocked the ball past Leishman.
Neither keeper was being over-worked. Watt lashed a half volley miles over from the edge of the box following a corner & down the other end Young lobbed a ball across the face of goal which Milliken met at full stretch to direct on target but it lacked power & Johnson held comfortably.
Talbot should have taken the lead in the 24th minute. Pope’s perfectly weighted pass found Latta free on the left & he cut it back into the centre where Graham Wilson ran onto it but sclaffed his shot off target.
Cumnock won a set piece in a dangerous area when Esplin crumpled under an aerial challenge just outside the box. Watt tamely hit it into the wall but got a 2nd bite at the cherry when it came straight back to him & this time his low drive was deflected wide.
Hunter was cautioned in the 27th minute for a late challenge on Steven Wilson.
Cumnock were seeing most of the ball without doing any damage and Talbot weren’t having any joy at the other end.
The Bot did have a half chance in the 40th minute. Milliken swept a cross over from the left that Latta retrieved on the opposite wing. He slid it inside to send Lyle bursting into the area & his cross come shot flew wide of target.
The home side should’ve been a man light in the 42nd minute when Lundie floored Steven Wilson with a poor challenge but the referee only showed a yellow card. Both Graham Wilson & Esplin were cautioned as a result of the fracas following the tackle.
Cumnock were gifted a chance in the last minute of the half. Harvey’s slack pass out of defence was intercepted & ended with Burns who drilled a low shot just wide of the left post from 20 yards.
The home side ought to have moved ahead shortly after the break. Anson’s head flick found Montgomery racing clear through the centre. He strolled through on goal but tamely passed the ball straight at Leishman.
The referee reached for his cards again in the 49th minute. Anson dived inside the area sparking an angry exchange which ended with Anson & Pope being cautioned.
Burns should’ve joined them in the book two minutes later when he flattened Steven Wilson in an aerial challenge but the ref let him off the hook.
Anson was unfortunate in the 53rd minute. Montgomery centred the ball to find him in space 30 yards from goal & his shot flew just wide of the right hand upright.
The cautions kept coming & Wood received a yellow card in the 61st minute for a trip on Young.
Cumnock were the 1st to make a change; bringing on Samson for Watt.
Johnson had spent most of the 2nd half spectating but he was called upon in the 70th minute. Graham Wilson knocked the ball down to Milliken who squared it across to White on the 18 yard line. He drove a powerful shot on target but it flew straight at Johnson.
The referee’s notebook claimed another name when Harvey was booked in the 71st minute for a foul on Samson. A minute later, Tucker made a change with Shankland on for White.
Shankland was only on the park two minutes when he was harshly booked for a shove on Anson.
McGoldrick came to Talbot’s rescue in the 75th minute. Samson’s pass would have sent Burns through on goal had McGoldrick not stretched out a leg to intercept it.
Tucker made a further change in the 82nd minute when Thomson replaced Young.
The referee had a big decision to make in the 84th minute. Harvey was short with a pass back to Leishman & Anson tried to chase it down. He went over inside the area claiming Harvey had impeded him but the ref dismissed his penalty appeal.
The game was finally settled two minutes from time thanks to a strike worthy of winning any game. Wood sent Steven Wilson to the deck as he surged forward & the ref produced a 2nd yellow for the full-back who made the hardest walk; all the way back to the clubhouse.
SHANKLAND took the free kick & Johnson never saw it coming as Shanks curled a peach of a shot over the wall & away to the static keeper’s right to make it 1-0.
Not a classic by any stretch of the imagination but it’s always nice to get one over on Cumnock & the 3 points gained sees Talbot move above Glenafton who crashed to an unexpected defeat at Largs.
Next up for Talbot it is back to cup duty as they head south to face Maybole in the West. Talbot fans travelling to the game should be aware that it is an earlier 1.30 pm kick off.Cumnock – Johnson, Wood, Crawford, Lundie, McKenna, Hunter, Montgomery, Esplin, Anson, Burns, Watt
Subs – Muir, Samson, McRobbie, Shirkie
Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, Harvey, McGoldrick, S Wilson, Young, White, G Wilson, Milliken, Latta
Subs – Pooler, Shankland, Stevenson, Thomson, McCracken