Irvine Victoria v Auchinleck Talbot

Leishman, Lyle, A.Wilson,Young,White,McDowall(G.Wilson 75),S.Wilson(Armstrong 45),Healy(Pearson 45),Shankland (Samson 45),Boyland(McKinlay 9),Glasgow(Kemp 45)

Talbot chalked up a resounding 8-1 victory over Irvine Victoria away from home in a one side pre-season friendly. It was a result many expected but fair do to the Vics who sat in for most of the game before Talbot upped the ante. Amazingly the home side took the lead in the seventh minute from a corner which Talbot failed to clear. A minute later the teams were level when Bryan Boylan chased down a through ball but as the ball headed for the net, Boylan was caught by the keeper and had to be replaced by Hamish McKinlay.  Talbot took the lead on the 19th minute when Jack McDowall headed a cross into the path of Jamie Glasgow who swept the ball past Couser.  Five minutes later Talbot’s lead was extended when Kieran Healy tried his luck from 35 yards which flew over the head of the stranded Couser and into the net.  Credit to the Vics as they held a Talbot onslaught at bay and the only other thing of note in the first half was a yellow card for Steven White for verbals.

Talbot made a number of changes at the interval while Couser was replaced by centre half Ryan Singleton two minutes into the half after he asked to go off complaining of a shoulder injury. Soon after Leishman hammered the ball upfield which was touched on by the heel of Kemp into the path of Samson but he was quickly closed down before he could unleash a shot. The roles were reversed on 54 minutes when Samson left the Vics defense in his wake and his point perfect cross was lashed into the net by Calvin Kemp. Samson was unlucky to get on the scoreline a few minutes later when he again outstripped the home defense but his shot cannoned off the post.  He did get on the score sheet on the 69th minute when a passing movement involving Adrian Wilson, Kemp and then Kier Samson made it 5-1. Graham Wilson replaced Jack McDowell on 75 minutes and it only took him six minutes to grab a goal when he volleyed a superb Samson cross past the makeshift keeper.

With six minutes on the clock Kemp was unlucky to see a decent drive slip past the post, but goal number seven was in the back off the net a minute later when Samson once again tormented the home defense and his cross was met by the head of Graham Wilson who nodded past Singleton. The final goal was once again crafted by Samson who set up Calvin Kemp who gave the keeper no chance.

Irvine Victoria v Auchinleck Talbot

Not a game to live long in the memory but Talbot did enough to grind out a win which secures their place in the Ardagh final where they will face local rivals Glenafton.
There was nothing wrong with Talbot’s start to the match & the Bot scored the game’s one & only goal after only a minute. McIlroy burst away from McNab down the left before squaring the ball to KEMP who fired low past Lamb to put Talbot 1-0 ahead.
Talbot kept the early momentum going & nearly doubled their lead in the 8th minute. Shankland broke on the left before cutting the ball back to Pope & his shot bounced just wide of the left post.
Irvine Vics came within a whisker of equalizing in the 14th minute. Talbot were caught daydreaming at a quickly taken corner & when the cross came over from the right Adam was allowed a free header from 6 yards but it came off the underside of the bar & bounced out to safety.
Harvey had his name taken in the 20th minute. He looked to be in control just outside the penalty area but was deceived by the bounce of the ball & ended up flattening Adam in an aerial challenge. Singleton took the free kick but hit it straight into the wall. Meanwhile, Adam exited the field for treatment before returning after being bandaged up.
The next effort at goal came from Talbot. Pope switched play in field to Kemp & he fired a shot from 20+ yards that just cleared the bar.
A 2nd goal for Talbot would have all but killed the tie off & they came close in the 36th minute. Kemp released Weir down the right side of the area & Shankland side-footed his cutback just over the crossbar.
Talbot wasted a good chance to extend their lead after 40 minutes. McIlroy knocked a good ball wide to Thomson & he sped down the left wing, cut into the box, and slid it across to Shankland who failed to convert from 6 yards.
The home side were forced into a change not long before half-time with Adam leaving the field to be replaced by Adams & in the final action of the half, Shankland fired a shot narrowly over from the edge of the area after being set up by Thomson.
Just as Talbot had scored early in the 1st half, Irvine Vics nearly repeated the feat, coming close within a minute of the re-start. Adams got free down the right & pulled it back for Ablorh who hammered a shot on target that Leishman blocked inside his near post.
The same two Vics players combined again in the 51st minute with Adams squaring the ball inside to Ablorh who toe poked the ball wide of the left post from 15 yards.
Tucker made his 1st change in the 57th minute with Wilson coming on in place of Shankland.
Thomson was unfortunate on the hour mark when he swung a dangerous cross over from the left. It was begging to be turned home but no had gambled on it & the ball curled wide of the far post for a goal kick. Two minutes later Talbot blew a great chance to double the lead. Hyslop’s slide rule pass released Kemp in behind the defence & when he played it across goal McIlroy looked set to side-foot it home from 6 yards but he got his feet in a muddle & somehow the ball ended up stuck between his feet.
Tucker now made two further changes, firstly Armstrong coming on for White and soon after Glasgow replacing McIlroy.
Talbot were denied their 2nd goal in the 77th minute by a poor call from the assistant ref. Weir bent a cross in from the left which Pope ran onto to glance past the keeper. He looked to be comfortably onside but the flag went up on the far side & the goal didn’t stand.
Vics now made their 2nd switch with Wilson on for Hamilton.
With the light fading, Talbot had a couple of opportunities to put the game to bed. In the 82nd minute Thomson’s accurate pass sent Kemp clean through on the right but his final ball across the face of goal had too much on it & no one could get a touch on it. Then, in the final minute Glasgow had a good chance to get on the score sheet. He controlled Pope’s ball over the top but scuffed his shot well wide from 15 yards.
Whilst Talbot weren’t at their best, especially in the final third, they did enough to get the job done.
No game for Talbot this Saturday due to the Glens participation in the senior cup so it will be a week on Saturday before the Bot are back in action when they face Clydebank in the league.

Irvine Victoria – Lamb, Craig, McNab, Young, Bonner, Davidson, Mears, Singleton, Adam, Ablorh, Hamilton

Subs – Hollis, Burt, Wilson, Scott, Adams

Auchinleck Talbot – Leishman, Weir, Pope, Harvey, McCracken, White, Hyslop, Thomson, McIlroy, Shankland, Kemp

Subs – G Wilson, Glasgow, Pettigrew, Armstrong