PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL FLYNN.
MURRAYS MATCH REPORT
They who laugh last laugh longest and the Bot support had the last laugh in this thrilling derby encounter as the Bot came back from two goals adrift to clinch a win over Cumnock.
Talbot couldn’t really have made a worse start and Cumnock looked the more determined side, forcing a corner within a minute and shortly after Frye turning inside the box but firing well wide of goal.
Therefore it wasn’t really a shock when Cumnock took the lead in the 4th minute. The goal was a poor one to lose from Talbot’s point of view; initially conceding an unnecessary corner down the left & then being caught sleeping by the ball into the near post where FERRY nicked in to power a header home.
It took until the 10th minute before Talbot fashioned a chance. Mason squared the ball inside to find Glasgow in space just outside the area but he curled his shot well over the bar.
In the 16th minute Cumnock won a free kick in a good area after Stafford was penalised for a challenge on Martin. The free kick was swept into the centre where Leishman rose to punch it clear. Talbot now launched a swift counter-attack with Healy finding Wilson down the left & he in turn played it up to Glasgow. Talbot had a good penalty shout when Murdoch tugged the shirt off Glasgow inside the area but the officials waved play on and Talbot had to settle for a corner that came to nothing.
The home side came close to doubling their lead in the 20th minute. Conn latched onto a ball down the right and showed a clean pair of heels to McPherson & McCracken before cutting the ball back across goal where Osadolor ran onto it & steered a shot at goal that Leishman touched onto the bar and over.
One minute later Talbot conceded a dubious penalty following the intercession of the assistant ref. Glasgow jumped & blocked a cross from the right but it appeared to hit his arm just outside the area. Initially the referee gave nothing but following vociferous appeals from Cumnock & a consultation with his assistant he gave the penalty. FRYE took it and sent Leishman the wrong way to put Cumnock 2-0 ahead.
The 2nd goal spurred Cumnock on and they looked well in control & the more likely side to grab the next goal. In the 29th minute a diagonal pass found Martin wide on the left & he teed it up for Frye whose shot was blocked behind by the head of McPherson.
A defensive mix-up by Cumnock gifted Talbot a corner in the 34th minute. A misjudged back pass forcing Hughes to scramble the ball behind for the corner and when it came over Stafford glanced a header wide of target.
Cumnock were forced into a change in the 40th minute when Martin left the field following a facial injury to be replaced by Douglas.
Gradually Talbot began to exert some pressure and ended the half on the front foot. In the 42nd minute Glasgow won a free kick out on the left. He took the set piece & played it into the centre where Samson’s head flick on broke off a Nock defender and drifted wide of the far post.
In the closing minute of the half Healy did well out on the left to cut into the penalty area & float a cross over to the back post where Glasgow headed it against the left post.
The half ended with a traditional derby stramash with players from both sides jostling one another in the centre & when the dust settled the ref booked Frye and called the 1st half to a halt.
Talbot emerged unchanged for the 2nd half but with a greater sense of urgency than they’d shown in the 1st period. The Bot won a couple of free kicks in decent areas in the opening spell but failed to test the keeper on either occasion. Firstly, Mason fired into the wall from 30 yards out and then Glasgow’s free kick into the centre was met by McCracken but he glanced it wide of goal.
Tucker made what proved to be an inspired double switch in the 62nd minute with Boyd & Mason making way for Shankland & Boylan.
Glasgow was very unfortunate not to cut back Cumnock’s lead in the 64th minute when he struck a shot from 20 yards that had the keeper beatne but struck off the crossbar.
Cumnock hadn’t emerged from their defensive shell after the re-start but they had the Bot defence at full stretch in the 67th minute when Conn made a lung bursting run through the centre, leaving players in his wake, before finally being impeded by McCracken just outside the area; resulting in a booking for Talbot’s centre-half & a free kick in a dangerous area. McAusland took it but fired it straight into the wall.
The Talbot fightback commenced in the 70th minute. McCracken gathered the ball out on the right & delivered a superb cross right onto the head of KIER SAMSON who rose to nod it past Hughes from 6 yards out.
The goal rattled Cumnock as much as it energised Talbot & five minutes later it was all square. Shankland released Stafford on the overlap down the right & when he pulled it back across goal Hyslop was fouled as he went to hit it & the ref pointed to the spot for the 2nd time. MARK SHANKLAND took it & thumped it inside Hughes’ right hand post to level the match at 2-2.
Cumnock weren’t done yet though and their main threat was the pace of Conn. He burst forward in the 77th minute & managed to rush into the penalty area but was forced wide and could only steer a tame shot straight at Leishman who immediately bowled the ball out to set Talbot off on the counter. It came to Shankland who played it down the right channel for Stafford & he steered it over to the back post where BRYAN BOYLAN raced onto it to side-foot Talbot into the lead.
Talbot now made a further change with debutant Stafford making way for Lyle and Cumnock made a double switch with McGill on for Osador & Smith replacing Wilson.
Boylan had a half chance in the 83rd minute when a mishit clearance landed at his feet 16 yards out but he snatched at his shot & fired over the bar.
Cumnock now had to push forward in numbers and this left them vulnerable at the back & Talbot had a chance to kill the game off two minutes from time. Boylan swung over a good cross from the left that Glasgow met in front of goal but he couldn’t climb high enough to get above it & sent his header flying over the bar.
The Bot support had one final nervy moment in the closing minute when McAusland’s ball up the right found Douglas inside the area but he couldn’t hit the target from a tight angle; sending his shot into the side-netting.
Talbot then closed the game out well to secure the win to the delight of the large & noisy travelling support.
As wins go this was more enjoyable & dramatic than most & maintained Talbot’s excellent record at Townhead park. Next up Talbot are back on the road as they travel through to South Lanarkshire to face Blantyre Victoria.
Cumnock Juniors – Hughes, McAusland, Ferry, McIntyre, Murdoch, Wilson, Bell, Frye, Osadolor, Conn, Martin
Subs – McGill, Veitch, Smith, Douglas, Berry
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, McPherson, Wilson, Stafford, McCracken, Boyd, Healy, Hyslop, Samson, Glasgow, Mason
Subs – Shankland, Boylan, McDowall, Lyle, White, Pope, Hewitt
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