Arthurlie 0-3 Auchinleck Talbot

By Ross Lafferty

WoSFL Premier Division

18:45 Wednesday 19 April 2023

Dunterlie Park, Barrhead

Scorers: Wardrope (5), Park (39), Taylor (48)

FOR the first time in five years Auchinleck Talbot were the visitors to Dunterlie Park as Arthurlie looked to continue their climb away from the relegation zone.

The two old Scottish Junior rivals met for the first time since the establishment of the West of Scotland Football League as midweek action returned to Dunterlie on this sunny Wednesday evening.

Both teams were coming off the back of wins at the weekend and entering the game on a high, but it didn’t take long before the home side were on the back foot and facing an uphill battle to claim consecutive wins.

There were only 5 minutes on the clock when the visitors took the lead, Dale Simeon playing a high bouncing back pass to James Scott, forcing the Arthurlie goalkeeper to take drastic action and stop the ball looping over his head with his left hand. Michael Wardrope stepped up for Talbot and, after the indirect free-kick was touched into his path, he slammed the ball into the top left corner.

Following the early drama, however, very little of note occurred in the next 20 minutes as both teams struggled to break each other down.

The first real chance for the home side came on 25 minutes when Gary Carroll found himself played into space with only Andy Leishman to beat, but the ‘Lie captain sliced his effort wildly off target.

It was a miss they were to regret as on 39 minutes the visitors doubled their advantage, Ally Park getting on the end of Ross Taylor’s knockdown to convert past Scott.

The home side were dealt a further blow at half-time as Connor Bradley was forced off with an injury and had to be replaced by Andy McLaughlin.

Things certainly didn’t get any better as only three minutes after the restart, Taylor got on the end of a low cross into the box to slot home from close range.

Ross Smith came close to adding a fourth on 67 minutes, slaloming past a couple of Arthurlie defenders before lashing the ball over the bar from a good position.

Lewis Warnock had a pop from range with 5 minutes remaining but it was rather emblematic of how the game had went for the Barrhead side as it safely drifted off target, not causing any issues for Leishman, who had largely been a spectator for most of the 90.

The two teams meet again this Saturday in the return fixture at Beechwood Park.

Arthurlie team: Scott, Magee, MacNeil, Bradley (McLaughlin 46), Kerr, Leyden (Strain), Bilham, Roulston, Simeon (Miller 78), Smith (Warnock 54), Carroll (c)

Subs not used: Nolan, Jeanes, McLachlan

Auchinleck Talbot team: Leishman, Crawford, Wilson, McPherson (Lennox 71), Stafford, Park (McCracken 71), Wardrope, Boyle, Boylan (Samson 54), Smith (Ballantyne 71), Taylor

Subs not used: Mason, Armstrong, Shankland