Pollok 3-0 Benburb
Sectional League Cup
Newlandsfield Park, Wednesday 12th August 2015
Pollok secured their maiden victory of the season with a 3-0 win over Benburb at Newlandsfield Park, but it could have been a different story had the Govan side been a little more clinical in the first half.
It was the homesters who had the first opportunity of the game, Mark Sideserf’s free-kick finding Chris Walker at the edge of the six-yard box, the big centre-half heading wide.
The Bens came even closer to scoring after Jamie Boyle laid off to Ryan Monan, his effort with the outside of the boot clipping the upright.
‘Lok debutant Derek Hepburn showed good strength when he held the ball up to create space for Kevin Bradley, the winger struggled to get the ball out from under his feet resulting in a comfortable hold for visiting custodian Robert Tiropoulos.
The play was end-to-end at this point, Scott Jarvie sending in a free-kick that was met by Monan’s head, Jordan Longmuir springing into action with a point blank save.
Tiropoulos then had to deal with a flurry of Pollok half chances, a hooked overhead kick from Walker and free-kicks from Davie Winters and Bradley were all taken with safe hands, while a Walker header and a shot from Colin Williamson sailed over the crossbar.
At the other end Longmuir had to be alert when Sean McGee cut the ball back from the bye-line to the edge of the six yard box, the goalkeeper’s outstretched legs blocking the subsequent shot.
If the first 40 minutes were a flurry of jabs, a killer one-two combination was landed on Benburb’s jaw before the interval. In the 42nd minute Walker rose highest from a Bradley corner to loop a header over Tiropoulos and into the net, while 106 seconds later Bradley’s determined run at the Chooky Hens’ rearguard saw it end with him one on one with the ‘keeper, where he kept his composure and made no mistake.
The Bens could have reduced the deficit before the interval when a deep cross reached Boyle at the edge of the penalty area, but he could only sidefoot off target.
The first chance of the second period came for the home side when Mark McLennan did well to hook a cross over from the bye-line to Findlay Frye, who volleyed wide.
Benburb responded with two good chances, initially Jarvie holding the ball up for Scott Hendry and secondly Boyle outmuscling Walker to bear down on goal. Unfortunately for the visitors neither of the culminating shots found the target.
Bradley nearly doubled his tally for the evening when Winters intricate through ball allowed him to dink the ball over Tiropolous, however a last gasp goal-line clearance from Colin McInnes ensured the Bens arrears remained at two.
Hepburn was impressing on his debut setting up Allan MacKenzie to cut inside and fire in an effort that brought out the best in Tiropoulos.
Tiropoulos was helpless in the 72nd minute though when a similar shot from MacKenzie was curled into the corner of the net after some strong running from the ‘Lok striker.
Pollok trialist Paul Harkins was looking to make an immediate impression when he came off the bench, twisting and turning to find himself space before firing over.
The visitors last chance of the game when Jarvie’s low ball was met by substitute Billy Young at the front post, Longmuir’s leg putting the ball out for a corner.
The closing goalscoring opportunity came in the last minute of the 90, a free-kick from the halfway line was cleared by the Bens defence as far as Winters, who could only prod a half-volley wide.
Pollok:- Longmuir, McLennan, Sideserf (15: Wild 73), Gallacher, Walker, Frye, Bradley, Williamson (17: McNeill 79), Winters, MacKenzie, Hepburn (14: Harkins 75)
Subs not used:- 12: Hanlon, 16: Sweeney
Bookings:- Williamson (29), Bradley (66)
Goals:- Walker (42), Bradley (43), MacKenzie (72)
Benburb:- Tiropoulos, McInnes, K. Wright, McGee, A. Wright (16: Carr 75), Lockhart, Hendry, Monaghan, Boyle (12: Young 80), Monan (14: Blackwood 77), Jarvie
Subs not used:- 15: Duggan, Gk: Sommerville
Bookings:- McGee (13), Monaghan (57), Lockhart (61)