Irvine Meadow IX 1-1 Pollok
West of Scotland Superleague
Meadow Park, Saturday 12th September 2015
Irvine Meadow XI and Pollok picked up their first League points of the season after a 1-1 draw at Meadow Park.
The ‘Lok had the opening opportunity of the game when a throw-in was cleared to Colin Williamson who sliced wide.
The home side responded when a Mark Sideserf slip allowed Gary McCann to break, sighs of relief were audible from the visiting support when Paul Maxwell miscontrolled McCann’s through ball, and the ball ran safely into Jordan Longmuir’s arms.
Ex-Meadow man Findlay Frye teed up Tam Hanlon for a low driven shot which was denied by Graeme Shepherd at full stretch.
A long ranger from the homesters Chris Wilson was followed at the other end by a Frye shot, neither of which caused concern for either goalkeeper.
Jordan Murch was then short with a backpass which ‘Lok frontman Davie Winters latched onto, the striker being denied by the recovering Marc Twaddle.
Meadow’s best chance of the half came five minutes before the interval when a quick free-kick caught the visiting rearguard napping and McCann found himself bearing down on Longmuir, the Pollok custodian coming out top on this occasion.
Longmuir’s team mates took advantage of this save to open the scoring as the clock ticked over into the final minute of the regulation 45, a deep John Sweeney free-kick to the back post bouncing awkwardly in front of Shepherd, Chris Walker pouncing to net.
The visitors nearly added another in stoppage time, Kieran McAleenan’s ball to Hanlon out by the corner flag being whipped back in to Winters, his header allowed Shepherd to show off his agility as he clawed the ball to safety.
The early stages of the second period were quite tame, two Sweeney sighters from 20 yards, and a Maxwell header from inside the penalty area all sailing over their respective crossbars.
Stevie Rankin introduced ex-Pollok midfielder Ryan Deas to the game in the 62nd minute, this tactical change sparking the game back into life.
Almost immediately McCann had a driving run at the ‘Lok defence before unleashing a shot which was well beaten away by Longmuir.
Pollok responded with a low drive by Frye being palmed by Shepherd into the path of Winters who hit the side netting with his follow-up.
McCann’s trickery set up Deas inside the ‘Lok area, his effort was blocked by some brave defending from Walker.
It was Deas’ persistence that saw Medda restore parity in the 71st minute, chasing down a ball that looked to have been in Longmuir’s possession, and forcing the ball home despite the best attempts of Sideserf, and vociferous protestations from the Pollok players who felt their goalkeeper had been infringed upon.
Another ex-’Lok man was in the thick of the action, this time at the other end of the park to deny his former side, Jamie Darroch’s last-gasp challenge preventing Winters from registering.
Home substitute Chris Hall curled one over the bar, before goalscorer Deas did similar with a free-kick.
The remaining chances of note fell the way of Pollok, McAleenan’s slide rule pass to Winters seeing the striker once more denied by Shepherd.
McAleenan’s corner was hooked off target by Walker, before the homesters were reduces to 10 men, Twaddle receiving the order of the march for comments made to arbiter Stephen Brown.
A Hanlon free-kick was tipped wide by Shepherd, before the 'keeper denied the same player again after he had cut inside when Mark McLennan played him through on the overlap.
McLennan himself had the final shot of the match, the ball falling to him invitingly, but his half volley looped just over.
Irvine Meadow XI:- Shepherd, Girvan, Wilson, Darroch, Twaddle, Murch, G. McCann, Fraser (15: Hall 71), Maxwell, Phillips (12: Deas 62), Halliday (16: Keenan 86)
Subs not used:- 14: Harkins, 17: S. McCann
Goal:- Deas (71)
Bookings:- Fraser (14), Girvan (44), Deas (78)
Sent off:- Twaddle (84)
Pollok:- Longmuir, McLennan, Sideserf, Gallacher, Walker, Frye, Hanlon, Williamson, Winters, Sweeney (14: MacKenzie 82), McAleenan
Subs not used:- 12: McCabe, 15: Bradley, 16: Wild, Gk: Ward
Goal:- Walker (45)
Bookings:- McAleenan (18), Sweeney (78), MacKenzie (90 + 1)