McBookie Premiership



By Murray Steele

A SECOND half surge saw Talbot race through the gears and put Beith to the sword as they started the New Year with a 4-0 win.

The first purposeful attack of the match saw Stephen Wilson play a one-two with Bryan Boylan outside the area and attempt to run onto the return pass. He tumbled over in the area but the ref waved away his appeal.

The opening spell was highly competitive but neither side had anything to show for it other than an exchange of corners. It looked like Graham Wilson had got in behind Beith’s defence in 14 minutes when he raced onto Keir Samson’s pass but a marginal offside call went against him. In 22 minutes, both sides came close. Firstly, Darren Christie slid a pass through toward Ross McKenzie that forced Andy Leishman off his line to smother at the striker’s feet. Leishman then hurled the ball out to the right to find Samson racing away. He sped down the touchline before firing a cross beyond Sheridan that Graham Wilson met on the stretch six yards out but couldn’t keep his shot down.

Two minutes later Talbot had a lucky escape. Ramsay found Gary Wilson just outside the penalty area and his shot was travelling on target before taking a major deflection and speeding wide. The second half was only six minutes old when Talbot made the crucial breakthrough. Stephen Wilson ploughed past a couple of weak challenges and the ball fell to Boylan inside the area and he pulled it back and across to Samson, who stroked it past Grindlay from 15 yards.

The next goal was going to be pivotal and it went Talbot’s way in 71 minutes. Craig McCracken was caught as he burst forward resulting in a free-kick 30 yards out.

With everyone anticipating a direct shot, Shankland instead slid a pass wide of the wall to Graham Wilson who steered a left foot shot across Grindlay.

Tucker made a further change with Kieran Healy on for Samson and the switch paid off as Talbot extended their lead in 76 minutes. Shankland lifted a cross over which was retrieved by Healy.

He whipped it back over where Shankland met it on the volley and his shot back across goal squirmed past Grindlay with Graham Wilson rifling home from close range. Talbot completed the scoring in 86 minutes. Shankland swept over a cross. Two Beith defenders went for it and got in each other’s way as they knocked it straight to Graham Wilson who tucked it home from close range to complete Beith’s misery and a hat-trick.

AUCHINLECK TALBOT: Leishman; Lyle, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, McCracken, Armstrong, Hyslop, Stephen Wilson, Graham Wilson, Boylan, Samson. Subs: Shankland, McDowall, Healy, Pope, White.