Talbot Season Underway With Win At Townhead Park

Cumnock 0 Auchinleck Talbot 1

 

Photos by Rae Irvine

Talbot got their Ardagh Glass campaign underway with a win and three points, that left them fifth and one place behind Cumnock, amongst a group of four sides that all trail leaders Glenafton by three points. With the only goal coming after 19 minutes against the run of play, when Kyle Faulds struck from outside the penalty area.

It was a day in which Cumnock were the more creative of the two great Ayrshire rivals, especially in the first forty-five and made the Talbot defence earn their money for sure. In the end though, their wastefulness with crucial passes and crosses in and around the penalty area and in front of goal cost them dear.

Talbot boss Tommy Sloan said afterwards “I’m having a look at everyone and trying to build a team or squad let’s say. “We’ve got a few too many at the moment, that’s everybody really had a game now apart from Craig Pettigrew. “The last couple of games have been a helluva of two games, so we had eight or nine changes to the side. “I wasn’t expecting a great performance but I thought they showed a lot of character and defended really well at times”

Opposite number John McKeown hoped that his side learn from their performance, saying “It’s a lesson in missed chances and we got punished for it. “I think they had one shot on target and it’s flew straight into the top corner, a wonderful finish. “The boys had five or six right good chances in the first half. “So, I think we need to be far more ruthless in the future, as you can get caught if you’re not as we did this afternoon. “We’ve got a lot of young boys in there today and they’ll just have to learn their lesson from that and do better in future.”

Talbot had a half chance after three minutes when Craig McCracken headed over from a Faulds corner. It wasn’t long before Cumnock threatened themselves when a quick ball forward to Samson was laid wide for Montgomerie. His shot from just inside the box was scuffed, allowing Leishman to gather comfortably, as Samson followed up with a run in at the back post.

They should have maybe done a wee bit better with their next opportunity after Esplin leapt in to intercept just outside the Auchinleck box, then clipped into space behind the defence, leaving McKenna one on one with Leishman but his shot was maybe a little hurried and struck straight at the big keeper. Moments later, a Samson corner was headed just about as wide as possible, by McKenna, from the centre of the six-yard line.

Although Cumnock had taken the game by the scruff of the neck, and looked likely to take the lead, but as is so often the case in football, you’ve got to take the chances when on top. On a rare sortie forward, Auchinleck were awarded a free kick a couple of yards outside the 18-yard line. Samson’s strike went straight to Johnston before being cleared, but the ball was worked back toward the penalty area, where Faulds was waiting to strike right into the top corner.

The goal stunned the home side and it took almost eight minutes before they regained some of that earlier confidence, Muir sending the ball wide from 10 yards, then Anson getting onto the end of a dipping near post ball to glance across goal and wide of the back post. Cumnock continued to batter forward in search of an equaliser before the half time whistle, their only attempt being sent high by Muir and a penalty shout was waved away when Thomson looked to have brought down Samson just inside the box.

The first half wasn’t the greatest of spectacles, the second even less so. Cumnock fans saving their biggest cheer for a gutsy challenge that won a bounce up! Although that’s not to say that both couldn’t have scored, as they carved a chance apiece.

Talbot, in an almost identical copy of Esplin’s earlier interception and pass that left McKenzie one on one with Leishman, was repeated by McIlroy’s challenge and ball through the back that left for Pooler to strike from 12 yards, the outcome was that same with Johnson pulling off a great save. Cumnock’s chance to equalise came in the very last minute of the game, when McKenzie sending a low in at the near post for Anson to slide in and slot past the post!

Cumnock: Johnson, Murray (Wood 65), Crawford, Lundie, McKenna, Montgomerie, Samson, Esplin, Anson, McKenzie, Muir (Forsyth 68). Subs Unused: Barnes, McLaughlin.

Auchinleck: Leishman, Armstrong, Lyle, McPherson, McCracken, Faulds (Pope 56), Kemp (Shankland 75), White, McIlroy, Pooler (Glasgow 70), Thomson. Subs Unused: Hyslop, Weir.

Goal: Faulds 19.

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