Photographs by Paul Flynn.
MURRAYS MATCH REPORT
Talbot turned in a below par performance but did enough to secure the win at a blustery Valefield park in a dour encounter.
The Bot started well enough without really threatening the Ladeside goal. The first dangerous attack came in the 7th minute when Samson fired a low ball across the face of goal that Wilton spilled in the goal mouth but the defence were able to scramble it clear.
Twelve minutes in Talbot had a half chance from a long throw. Samson hurled it into the area where Graham Wilson beat Wilton to the ball near the bye line but unfortunately he couldn’t take advantage of it; hitting a tame ball across goal that didn’t trouble the keeper.
The conditions weren’t helping either side & the ball was zipping about from end to end with little in the way of football.
Both keepers had been underworked but Leishman was called upon in the 24th minute. McPherson misplaced a back pass to give Ladeside a corner down the left. When it came over McCracken headed it out but it came straight to McGill. He guided a header on target that Leishman did well to hold inside his left post.
Having survived a scare at one end Talbot went straight down the other and took the lead. Glasgow slipped a neat pass down the left to find KEIR SAMSON racing forward & he carried on into the box & cut inside his man before bending a right foot shot into the bottom corner.
Samson had a half chance to extend Talbot’s lead four minutes later. Graham Wilson did well to control Leishman’s long ball down the centre before sliding it out right to Samson who burst into the box but lashed his shot well over.
A minute later Talbot tested the Ladeside keeper. The Bot won a corner on the left that the defence only cleared out as far as Stephen Wilson. He played it down the right to Armstrong who whipped a dangerous low ball across that Wilton did well to cut out.
Leishman kept Talbot ahead in the 32nd minute when he produced a top stop to deny Scullion the equaliser. Finlay’s cross from the left was headed clear by McCracken but it fell to Scullion at the edge of the area who met it on the volley. He couldn’t have caught it any sweeter but Leishman was well positioned and held it inside the right post.
In the last minute of the half Graham Wilson went on a mazy run that saw him speed past several players. He burst into the box between two Ladeside defenders & went flying. The away fans were expecting a penalty but instead the ref booked the Talbot man for diving and that was it for the 1st half.
Talbot had a chance to put the game to bed three minutes after the re-start. Pope swept a cross over to find Armstrong in space 8 yards out but he chose the wrong option; going with his foot rather than the header and steered a tame shot at the keeper.
In the 51st min Glasgow had a decent effort at goal. The ball broke to him on the right of the area & he angled a shot across goal and just wide of Wilton’s right post.
With only a goal in it Kilbirnie weren’t out of it but were doing very little in the final third. Scullion showed quick feet in the 58th minute to create an opening but then blazed his shot way over.
Tucker made his 1st change in the 59th min when McIlroy replaced Graham Wilson.
Kilbirnie had a promising break in the 65th min when Scullion switched play quickly out to the right to free Finlay but his shot from 20 yards was blocked just inside the area.
Talbot now made a 2nd change with Kemp coming on for Samson.
There had been little to write home about but Glasgow nearly produced a wonder finish in the 71st minute. The ball came to him just inside the Kilbirnie half and spotting Wilton way off his line he went for goal & his shot sailed just wide of the left post with the relieved keeper scrambling back.
Kemp came close to sealing it for Talbot in the 74th minute. He cut in off the right wing into the area & hammered a left foot effort just over the crossbar.
With quarter of an hour remaining Mitchell had his name taken for a shove on Stephen Wilson. Talbot now completed their changes with McDowall replacing White.
Talbot were making most of the running but lacked the composure in the final third to turn pressure into clear chances.
The home side, although only a goal adrift, were toothless up front and giving Talbot few, if any problems defensively.
The home support were aggrieved 4 minutes from time when Ramsay appeared to be fouled by Glasgow 30 yards from goal but the referee waved play on.
As the game meandered to an end Talbot saw it out comfortably enough & had one final opportunity to grab a second. Pope sent a ball over the top to McIlroy on the left of the area. He drilled a low shot on goal from a tight angle that Wilton initially spilled but gathered at the 2nd time of asking.
Not much of a spectacle for the paying punters but the Talbot fans left content with another 3 points gathered on the road. Talbot are back in league action this Wednesday when they host Irvine Meadow at Beechwood.
Kilbirnie Ladeside – Wilton, Wood, Mitchell, Juskovice, O’Byrne, McGuinness, Finlay, Anderson, Ramsay, Scullion, McGill
Subs – Brown, Gray, McVey, Lafferty
Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Lyle, Pope, McPherson, McCracken, White, Stephen Wilson, Armstrong, Glasgow, Graham Wilson, Samson
Subs – Kemp, McIlroy, McDowall