Pollok 0-0 Hurlford United (4-3 Pens)
ETHX Energy Scottish Junior Cup
SEMI FINAL - Second LEG
Newlandsfield PARK, SATURDAY 23rd APRIL 2016
A crowd of 1,645 were in attendance at Newlandsfield Park to see Pollok advance to the final of the Scottish Junior Cup for the first time in 18 years in the most dramatic way possible. A scoreless 90 minutes was followed by a penalty shoot-out which went into sudden death, the homesters eventually triumphing 4-3.
The opening exchanges showed this would prove to be a livelier affair than the first leg, Hurlford first to threaten when David McClune stung Jordan Longmuir’s palms, Ross Robertson heading wide from the resultant corner.
James Creaney fizzed a ball across the corridor of uncertainty off target, before ‘Lok were denied by the frame of the goal when Chris Walker’s header from a Tam Hanlon corner hit the post.
The home side had the next two sighters, Robbie Winters from 20 yards and a Carlo Monti right foot effort from the edge of the area failing to cause ‘Ford custodian Ally Brown any concern.
The remainder of the first half belonged to the 2014 winners, Chris Robertson’s goalbound header from a Creaney corner being cleared by Kevin Bradley.
Ross Robertson’s through ball found Danny Mitchell in behind the home rearguard where he blazed over, whilst the provider of that chance found himself next up with a header from a Creaney flag kick, Longmuir clutching comfortably.
Stewart Kean and Danny Mitchell chances closed out the first half, neither of them able to locate the target.
The first action of note in the second period came in the 52nd minute. Bradley picked up his second booking of the afternoon, and was duly given the order of the march by arbiter Scott Millar.
This freed up visiting winger Paul McKenzie, who found space at the corner of the area to have a shot across goal and past the upright.
‘Lok’s best chance of the half came via a Longmuir kick out which bounced nicely for Davie Winters, Brown though was alert to the danger.
At the other end Longmuir had to be at his best to fingertip a Kean header to safety from a Richie McKillen cross. McKillen himself headed the resultant corner over.
A Robbie Winters cut back to Findlay Frye saw the midfielder’s shot deflected wide for Pollok, while McClune’s similar ball to Ross Robertson was volleyed over.
The final effort of came in the third minute of stoppage time, a ‘Ford free-kick was cleared into the path of Ryan Borris, Longmuir gathering his 20-yarder at the second attempt.
And so it went to penalties, Pollok first up where Kieran McAleenan eradicated memories of his penalty miss at Hurlford in last season’s quarter-final by giving his side the advantage. Ross Robertson restored parity before the next four spot-kicks were all unsuccessful, Hanlon and Paul Gallacher for ‘Lok, Kean and McKenzie for ‘Ford.
Davie Winters and Del Hepburn netted the home sides next two, with McClune and Ross Chisholm doing the same for the visitors to send the shoot-out into sudden death. Mark Sideserf stepped up and sent Brown wrong way to net what would prove to be the decisive penalty as Chris Robertson saw his effort saved by Longmuir.
Pollok:- Longmuir, Hanlon, Sideserf, Gallacher, Walker, Frye, Bradley, Williamson, D. Winters, Monti (15: McAleenan 77), R. Winters (14: Hepburn 87)
Subs not used:- 12: McCabe, 16: McLennan, 17: Higgins
Bookings:- Bradley (45, 52), D. Winters (89)
Hurlford United:- A. Brown, McClune, McKillen, G. Mitchell, C. Robertson, Chisholm, McKenzie, D. Mitchell, Kean, R. Robertson, Creaney (15: Borris 69)
Subs not used:- 12: Donnelly, 14: Nisbet, 16: M. Brown, Gk: Murchie
Bookings:- D. Mitchell (45), Chisholm (90 + 1)
Their opponents for this showpiece event will be Beith Juniors at Kilmarnock FC’s Rugby Park on Sunday 29th May.
Pollok host derby rivals, Arthurlie on Wednesday night (Kick Off: 18:45hr) on MATCHDAY 18 of the West Super Premier League. This Saturday Pollok begin their Central League Cup campaign with a trip to Carluke Rovers. Kick off at John Cumming Stadium is 2pm.
1st Half Highlights
Second Half Highlights and Penalty Shoot-Out
PENALTY SHOOT-OUT (Gantry View)
PENALTY SHOOT-OUT (GoPro)