West of Scotland Cup First Round



By Murray Steele

TALBOT boss Tucker Sloan made a host of changes for this West tie but an unfamiliar line-up got the job done, easing past Forth Wanderers at a bitterly cold Beechwood Park.

The first half yielded little to write about and few clear cut chances. One of the few openings came in four minutes following a poor Forth corner kick that went straight out for a goal kick. Andy Leishman launched it down the centre and Law raced out his area to touch it away from Hamish McKinlay. The visitors put together a promising break in 15 minutes. Branks flicked the ball out right to find Stevenson in space and McPherson had to clear his low ball across goal behind for a corner.

Forth had their one clear chance in 28 minutes. A Talbot attack broke down down the right and Forth sprang onto the counter with a quick ball releasing Branks down the left.

He paced into the area but with men over in support he opted to shoot from a tight angle and hit it well wide. The moment that summed up the first half came when McKinlay showed neat footwork to skip past Hutchison and then Anderson as he raced clear only to hit a tame cross into the near post that was easily taken by Law. Talbot came out for the second period in determined fashion and after 10 minutes of relentless pressure ended the game as a contest with two goals in a minute. The opener came when McDowall found Dillon Young, whose cross was met by Jamie Glasgow and he knocked it back across goal where McKinlay tucked it away from close range in 55 minutes.

Before the dust had settled, Talbot doubled their advantage. Jamie Glasgow swung over a good cross which Jack McDowall met six yards out to guide a header beyond Law and inside his right post. The hosts grabbed their third in 70 minutes.

Glasgow sent in a dangerous ball which Anderson did well to cut out. The ball came back out to Glasgow and his cross was met by Bryan Boylan who squared it across to McDowall, who drilled a low left foot effort past Law.

Talbot completed the scoring with six minutes remaining. Forth won a corner and when it came over Stevenson directed a header on target that Leishman held. He bowled it out to find Keir Samson, who played an early ball towards Shankland. A Forth defender let it run past him and Shankland strolled onto it, rounded the keeper and passed it into the net. After a tepid first half, Talbot ran out convincing winners.

AUCHINLECK TALBOT: Leishman; Young, Aiden Wilson, McPherson, McCracken, Pearson, Healy, McDowall, Boylan, McKinlay, Glasgow. Subs: Graham Wilson, Shankland, Samson, Armstrong, Stephen Wilson.