West Region Sectional League Cup



SUPER sub Mark Shankland broke brave Beith and sent Talbot soaring into the season’s first cup final at Bellsdale Park last Wednesday, writes Stewart McConnell.

His last minute goal settled a hugely entertaining duel of junior football’s titans. Talbot and Beith have carved out all the honours between them for the past two seasons and this encounter certainly lived up to it’s pre-match billing.

The hosts opened strongly and in four minutes a Jamie Glasgow corner-kick was cleared by the Beith defence. A minute later a cross into the box from Darren Christie was well saved by Andy Leishman. Then in eight minutes Leishman raced out to save at the feet of former team-mate Sean McIlroy.

The hosts then forged their best chance so far when Joe Bradley shot inches wide from 20 yards.

Beith were so close to snatching the lead in 15 minutes when Keir Milliken sent a precision pass to McIlroy to shoot a cross the face of goal.

McIlroy shot inches over the bar from 16 yards in 17 minutes.

A Conner McGlinchey free-kick from 20 yards was brilliantly palmed away by Leishman in 27 minutes.

Talbot should have scored in 43 minutes when a strong effort from 10 yards by Stephen Wilson was well saved by Mike White.

Beith powered into the lead in 48 minutes when former Talbot man McIlroy blasted home a shot from 10 yards.

However two minutes later it was all-square when Glasgow sent home a stunning volley from 12 yards. In 52 minutes, Kieran Healy shot inches wide for Talbot from 12 yards. Christie was through on goal in 59 minutes but was denied by a stunning save from Leishman. A McGlinchey free-kick was deflected wide in 64 minutes.

Kevin Green made two goal-line clearances to foil Corey Pearson in 67 minutes. Mikey White made a superb save to deny Hamish McKinlay from 12 yards five minutes later as Tommy Sloan’s team kept up the pressure. Glasgow was upended inside the box in 75 minutes and the referee pointed to the spot. However the resultant penalty from the same player was brilliantly saved by White. Pearson shot narrowly wide from 16 yards in 82 minutes. A minute from time Shankland blasted home from 12 yards to seal a Talbot victory.

BEITH: White; McGlinchey, Milliken, Docherty, Green, J Wilson, Christie, Frize, McIlroy, Ramsay, Bradley. Subs: Haggarty, Fisher, McMahon, McKenzie, McQueen.

AUCHINLECK TALBOT: Leishman; Lyle, A Wilson, Young, McPherson, Hyslop, Healy, S Wilson, McKinlay, Glasgow., McDowall. Subs: Shankland, G Wilson, Pearson Armstrong, Pope.