Match photos from ROSS MacDONALD to follow
Match stats from DAVIE BROWN to follow
Pollok edged into the last four of the Euroscot Engineering Central League Cup after a penalty shoot-out victory against Thorniewood United in an entertaining game at Robertson Park on Wednesday.
John Richardson chose to make four changes to his side, with Michael McKinven, Ryan McArdle, Paul McAulay and Stevie Miller drafted in to replace Chris McCluskey, Paul McMenamin, Willie Sawyers and Brian McGinty. His side hit the front after 11 minutes when Mark Daly barged into Miller inside the penalty area. Referee David Munro pointed to the spot, and CARLO MONTI stepped forward to slot home from the 12-yard mark. McKinven made an easy save from a weak Chris Queen strike and a better stop from a Stuart Livingstone drive before the hosts levelled in the 20th minute. Hesitancy in the ‘Lok defence allowed DES BRADSHAW a sight of goal, and he made no mistake from the edge of the penalty area. Two minutes later Livingstone found an unmarked Kevin Hamill from a free-kick, but his header was saved by McKinven. The Pollok ‘keeper then gathered an effort from the same player at the second attempt before launching a long ball downfield to Monti, but his overhead kick was stopped by Barry Fraser. Bradshaw couldn’t find the target after a McKinven clearance landed at his feet and Monti fired narrowly wide before ‘Lok took the lead again in the 42nd minute. STEVIE MILLER pounced upon a McKinven kick-out and, with the hosts appealing for handball, slammed home from an acute angle.
The second half began with a slip from Jonathan Carter that left Hamill through on goal, but McKinven produced a fine save before Ross Dunlop swept the loose ball away. Miller cracked the crossbar with a fierce drive in the 51st minute, and just sixty seconds later the hosts also hit the woodwork when Bradshaw’s lob bounced against the bar. McAulay then found Miller with a low cross, but the striker hit Fraser with his effort. The rebound fell to Monti, and the ‘keeper produced an excellent save to deny the visitors again. He then produced another good stop from Miller before substitute Stephen Mullen lobbed just wide for United. Livingstone shot over after a fine ball from Mullen before the home side equalised again in the 76th minute. Carter misjudged a ball over the top, and KEVIN HAMILL seized upon the mistake to drill home a low finish. The Glasgow side were back in front only five minutes later when McArdle’s ball over the top found Monti, and he squared to substitute WILLIE SAWYERS to sweep home with his first touch of the match. Thorniewood refused to be counted out, and McKinven saved well from both Livingstone and David Campbell before the Viewpark side were rewarded in the third minute of injury time. John Kane bundled over KEVIN HAMILL in the box, and the striker dusted himself off before planting the resultant spot-kick past McKinven with the last touch of the game.
Thorniewood began the penalty shoot-out in disappointing fashion, with Hamill blazing the ball out of the ground. Fraser then saved from Sawyers before Aiden Malone and Paul McQuilken both netted. McKinven stopped Mullen’s effort to give ‘Lok the advantage and, with McArdle, Livingstone and Monti all finding the target, Queen stepped forward knowing that he had to score to keep the tie alive. Instead, he sent the ball wide of the left upright to confirm Pollok’s progress.
Before then Pollok face a make or break battle with Shotts Bon Accord that will determine whether or not they remain in the Stagecoach Super Premier League. Kick-off at Hannah Park next Monday is scheduled for 7.15pm.
THORNIEWOOD: Fraser, Campbell, Daly, Dunnachie, Brophy, McGowan, Queen, Livingstone, Hamill, Bradshaw (Malone 59), Loghlin (Mullen 70). Both subs used.
POLLOK: McKinven, Dunlop, Fraser, Kane, Carter, Brady, McArdle, McQuilken, McAulay, Monti, Miller (Sawyers 80). Not used: McGinty, Deas, Hepburn, McCluskey.
THORNIEWOOD: Queen (37)
POLLOK: Monti (31), Miller (66), McQuilken (84)
THORNIEWOOD: Bradshaw (20), Hamill (76, 90+3p)
POLLOK: Monti (11p), Miller (42), Sawyers (81)