Sectional Cup Final, Beechwood Park, 13/10/19
Auchinleck Talbot Football Club
Founded – 1909
Nickname – The Bot
Honours – Scottish Junior Cup – 1949, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1991, 1992, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015,2018, 2019. West of Scotland Superleague/Premier League– 2005–06, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2018-19. Ayrshire First Division -1977–78, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1985–86, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1989–90, 1990–91, 1991–92, 1994–95, 1996–97. West of Scotland Cup – 1947–48, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1980–81, 1981–82, 1983–84, 1984–85, 1985–86, 1987–88, 1988–89, 2013–14, 2015–16. Sectional League Cup – 2018-19, 2019-20
Current Division – West Region Superleague
Random Fact – You might not hear about this much down Beechwood Park but the biggest defeat suffered by the Bot was 11-0. This was not to just anyone though, but to hated rivals Cumnock in 1972 . They went on to lose the tie 16-1 on aggregate. Sore one
I realise this was “neutral” but ill ban g in Talbots factage anyway. I knew I would end up back at Auchinleck one day. This coming after being down in April for a cup tie against Carluke Rovers. During that visit I met some great people who welcomed me with open arms inclusive of fans and club officials. This also made me realise what a decent club they are. Due to having a gig in Glasgow at night (Canadian metallers Annihilator) I managed to rope my pal into this cup final at Beechwood pre-gig. It was a much better option than heading to watch Scotland v San Marino which was mooted for around one second. I knew he would be keen as he enjoyed Pollok when I roped him in under similar circumstances last season.
I had a feeling this would be Lanark facing a drubbing due to the gulf of two leagues between the sides. To be fair to Lanark they had already defeated two Superleague sides in Beith (who I had watched put Largs Thistle out of this cup in August) and Rutherglen Glencairn en route to this final. But asking them to beat The Bot in their own backyard was one step too far and I was pretty much bang on the money with my prediction.
No sooner than the starting whistle went and the Bot were in the lead. This was after the the United keeper sclaffed a clearance to Boylan who tapped home into an empty net from eighteen yards. The flood gates didn’t open though and The Yowes made sure The Bot knew they were in a game. They didn’t create much but the pretty much kept Talbot at bay. This lasted until half an hour when The Bot found the net for the second time. I thought at the time the keeper was poor here but the goal was clearly handball from Armstrong (after seeing a replay on Talbot TeeVee). Very poor from the lino and ref that neither picked up on it. Refs should always be asking questions when the striker out jumps the keeper. It stood and the Talbot were on course for another trophy in the cabinet.
Then the moment of the match came, this deserves a paragraph to itself. Its moment of the season for me so far. Step forward Paul O’Donnell. The first thing that came to me when I saw the net bulge was it was reminiscent of Eoin Jess’ goal of the season at Ibrox for Aberdeen in 1995. O’Donnell picked up the ball up on his chest ten yards in his own half. He beats off a first challenge, makes headway around ten yards, shrugs off another Bot player then lets fly from thirty five to forty yards. I don’t think any keeper on earth would have saved this perfect bullet. A truly fucking special strike. Pick it out I think you say at times like this. Almost everyone in the ground applauded it and quite rightly so.To add to the goal Rich missed it due to his missus texting him and he was mid reply. 2-1 HT
As the first half started the second was the same with Auchinleck scored straight away via Shankland from the penalty spot. No complaints from the Lanark side as it was a stonewaller. The “Home” side were to go on to blitz the Yowes from here. With the Keepers day being as miserable as the Ayrshire drizzle. The fourth came from a tidy move culminating in a cracker of a finish across the goal from Boylan making it two for the day. The fifth came when McDowall made a fool out of a couple of defenders at the corner flag inclusive of a nutmeg then bared down on goal where he was to beat the poor Lanark keeper at his near post. Another error for the day. Lanark went down to ten making their problems even bigger after a petulant kick out leading to a second for the number eight. The scoring wasn’t finished either and the keeper was to lend his hand to the Auchinleck cause again when he came for a cross, failed to collect leaving a tap in for McCracken
Two visits to Beechwood Park and the Bot have scored twelve over the two. A good side there is no doubting that. Ill probably take Wee Man down at some point in the future
Me still 161. Rich, he wasn’t sure