Pollok 4-2 Beith Juniors
McBookie Super League Premier Division
Newlandsfield Park, Saturday 7th November 2015
Pollok secured another three league points with a tough 4-2 win over Beith at Newlandsfield Park. The ground staff had worked hard to ensure the pitch was playable after heavy rainfall, and the ‘Lok faithful may have initially regretted that as the visitors started brightly.
Andy Reid had the first sighter with a 35 yard free-kick which sailed past the post, before the same player’s effort was beaten down by home goalkeeper Jordan Longmuir into the path of Paul Frize, the Beith midfielder being denied by the legs of the home custodian.
The Mighty made a deserved breakthrough in the 11th minute, David McGowan’s slide rule pass finding Darren Christie in behind the Pollok rearguard to prod under Longmuir from 6 yards.
The homesters first two efforts were of a speculative nature, a Tam Hanlon cross-cum-shot drifting wide of target, before John Sweeney’s free-kick from an acute angle was tipped over the crossbar by Beith 'keeper Stephen Grindley.
Parity was restored with Pollok’s next attack though, good work by Davie Winters on the bye-line saw him cut back to Sweeney who swept the ball past Grindley.
A half chance apiece closed the opening period out, Davie Winters with a half volley from 20 yards for Pollok, and Jamie Wilson with a try from a similar distance for Beith, neither of which troubled the frame of the goal.
The home side took the lead with the first action of the second half, Sweeney rising highest at the back post to head home Hanlon’s corner.
Some nice interplay between the Winters brothers set up Hanlon, who forced Grindley into a fine double save before Del Hepburn fluffed his lines with the follow up.
Not wishing to be outdone, Longmuir was able to produce a double save of his own after a Grindley kick out was allowed to bounce in behind the ‘Lok defence, Reid and Christie having shots which allowed the Pollok goalkeeper to demonstrate his agility.
Pollok took the lead in the 74th minute after Hepburn was felled in the area by Frize, Sweeney sending Grindley the wrong way with the resultant spot-kick to lay claim to the match ball.
Beith refused to lie down though, substitute Thomas Collins swivelling in the area only to see his shot rebound off the post, before Frize fired a snapshot over from 20 yards.
A Reid free-kick went straight down Longmuir’s gullet, a John Sheridan header from close range doing likewise.
The visitors were made to pay for this wastefulness in front of goal in the 85th minute, a counter-attack saw a strong running Allan MacKenzie brush off two Beith defenders, bear down on Grindley, then show great awareness to square to Davie Winters who rolled the ball into the empty net to notch his half century of goals in ‘Lok colours.
The Mighty rounded off the afternoon’s scoring in the 89th minute, a surging run from Calum Watt gave him space to pick out Reid at the front post who made no mistake.
The final few minutes could have been a lot more nervy for Pollok had Longmuir not been on hand to block from Christie at point blank range.
The last effort on goal came courtesy of a Kieran McAleenan free-kick deep into stoppage time which Grindley did well to palm wide.
Pollok:- Longmuir, McLennan, McAleenan, Gallacher, Walker, Sweeney, Hanlon (15: Bradley 63), Williamson, D. Winters, R. Winters (14: MacKenzie 63), Hepburn (12: McCabe 77)
Subs not used:- 16: Frye, 17: Higgins
Goals:- Sweeney (25, 49, 74 pen), D. Winters (85)
Bookings:- Bradley (80), MacKenzie (90 + 3)
Beith:- Grindley, Ryan, Burke, MacDonald, Sheridan, J. Wilson (14: Collins 72), Christie, Frize, Reid, McLean (15: Watt 63), McGowan (12: Campbell 63)
Subs not used:- 16: McGregor, 17: McArthur
Goals:- Christie (11), Reid (89)
Bookings:- MacDonald (73), Frize(73), Christie (78) Sheridan (90 + 3)