SUPER LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION AUCHINLECK TALBOT 1 ARTHURLIE 1 Talbot looked like a team that had played a lot of football in a short space of time as they were held to a draw at home against Arthurlie to provide a glimmer of hope to Hurlford.

It all started promisingly enough as the Bot moved ahead after only 9 minutes. Dwayne Hyslop met Gordon Pope’s cross from the left touchline and headed it down past White to put Talbot in front.

Willie Boyd nearly made it two a few minutes later. He pounced on a loose pass midway inside the Lie half and carried it forward before firing a shot just wide of the right post.

The next effort at goal came from Talbot in the 23rd minute. James Latta gathered the ball 40 yards out and guided an early cross into the centre which Bryan Young met in the area. He tried to guide his header into the top corner but White was well positioned to make the stop.

A simple move almost saw Arthurlie unlock the Bot defence in the 32nd minute. White lifted the ball out to the left wing and onto the head of Smith who headed it down to Dallas. He ran across the area to try and find space for a shot but when he hit it, Martin McGoldrick managed to block it behind.

A second goal would have put Talbot well in control and Hyslop had a golden opportunity to score just before the interval. Boyd lifted it through to Keir Milliken down the left and he laid it back for Young. He placed a great cross onto the head of the onrushing Hyslop but he nodded it over the bar from a good position and the half ended with Talbot leading.

Just as in the first half Talbot made the quicker start and had the visiting defence in trouble two minutes after the re-start. David Gormley turned smartly away from Blaikie and drilled a low ball across the face of goal which Rushford fortuitously directed over his own bar.

The early pressure didn’t lead to the crucial second goal and slowly Talbot’s momentum fizzled out.

The goal was coming and Arthurlie duly equalised on the hour mark and it was a sore one to take as sloppy defending gave the visitors a helping hand. Talbot spurned several chances to clear the ball, allowing McGregor the opportunity to knock it across the area. Latta let it slip past him in the centre and Smith took full advantage rifling a low shot back across goal into the bottom corner.

Sometimes it’s just not your night and luck was certainly not with Talbot in the 74th minute. Cochrane was challenged just outside the penalty area and the ball spun loose to Gormley on the right. He drilled a fantastic ball into the goal mouth where Green slid it against the base of the left post and unfortunately for Talbot it rebounded kindly for the keeper who was able to fall on it.

With 5 minutes remaining White in the Lie goal produced an outstanding save to prevent Talbot taking the lead. Gormley swept past McGlinchey down the right and arrowed a cross into the centre onto the head of Wilson. He met it firmly and headed it back across goal for the far corner only to see White leap to his left to turn it past the post.

This just wasn’t Talbot’s night, with the team a little out of sorts and not getting the rub of the green needed in front of goal.

Talbot now have a break from league duty as they face two back to back cup ties, with the visit of Ardrossan this Saturday in the West and then a trip to the seaside next week to face Saltcoats.

Talbot – Leishman, Latta, Pope, McGoldrick, Campbell, Boyd, Young, Hyslop, Milliken, Gormley, Cochrane Subs; Wilson, Spence, Shankland, White