A moment of magic from Carlo Monti was enough to take Pollok into round three of the D&D Programmes Central League Cup thanks to a 1-0 win at Yoker Athletic on Saturday.
Injuries to both Scott Morrison and J.C. Hutchison meant that John Richardson had to add a new goalkeeper to his squad, with Graham Black arriving on loan from St. Anthony’s. Broken ribs prevented Andy Essler from clocking up his 100th Pollok appearance, and Brian McGinty was also ruled out due to injury. They were replaced in the starting eleven by Lee Nichol and Roddy Hunter. A dangerous cross from Monti caused the hosts some concern in the ninth minute, but John Harvey was able to head to ball away from underneath his own crossbar. Stephen McKeown was first to attempt a shot at goal after 15 minutes, but he skewed his effort horribly wide for a throw-in. Monti saw an inswinging corner cleared off the line in the 26th minute before Craig Winslow was called into action for the first time two minutes later, parrying a strike from Hunter. A follow-up effort from Monti was blocked by Neil Schoneville. Peter McMahon then sent a deep free-kick into the danger area, but Hunter’s back-header was gathered low by Winslow. Debutant Black’s contribution to the first half was limited to collecting a low Gary Arbuckle cross in the 39th minute.
Half-time saw Darren Brady introduced for McKeown, and he produced the first chance of the second period with a 20-yard drive that flew over the crossbar. Michael Rogers fired wide for the Holm Park outfit before Monti nodded wide from a Kevin Bradley cross. In the 58th minute Arbuckle ran on to a long ball from defence and aimed goalwards, but McMahon was well placed to make a good block. He erred three minutes later however when he was short with a back-pass, and Arbuckle pounced upon the loose ball. He lifted it over Black, but wide of the target. Stephen Wedlock fired over from distance and Bradley headed over before the only goal of the game arrived in the 78th minute. ‘Lok were awarded a free-kick 30 yards from goal, and CARLO MONTI stepped up to drill an unstoppable effort into the top-left corner of the net. This sparked the hosts into life, with Arbuckle volleying over from 14 yards out four minutes later. With one minute left to play Black made a vital block, denying Wedlock with his legs, with John Dillon’s header from the rebound creeping over the bar. Hunter blazed over in the dying seconds of regulation time, and Bradley missed with a header in injury time, but Pollok held on to book a meeting away to Bellshill Athletic in the next round.
Before then ‘Lok have a vitally important league game when bottom of the table Kilbirnie Ladeside visit Newlandsfield Park on Saturday, with kick-off set for 2pm.
YOKER: Winslow, Wedlock, Harvey, Vickers, Schoneville, McLachlan, Carson, Arbuckle, M Rogers (Murray 79), Bissland (Frew 79), Dillon. Not used: McManus, Tolland, Maxwell, McFarlane, D Rogers.
POLLOK: Black, Lachlan, O’Hara, Carter, McMahon, Nichol, Bradley, McQuilken, McKeown (Brady 46), Hunter, Monti. Not used: McGregor, Davies, Gupwell.
YOKER: McLachlan (80), Wedlock (90+1), Vickers (90+3)
POLLOK: Lachlan (67)
POLLOK: Monti (78)