click on the scorer’s name to see the goal
Pollok clinched three important Stagecoach Super Premier League points on Saturday, but their fans were made to sweat after a late Kilbirnie Ladeside rally at Newlandsfield Park.
The main talking point from John Richardson’s team selection was the welcome return to action of Tommy Nolan after a nineteen-month absence due to a double leg break. Darren Brady was also recalled, with Lee Nichol and Stephen McKeown the men to miss out. A bright start saw Carlo Monti curl a third minute effort wide for ‘Lok before Kevin Bradley headed over from a Paul McQuilken cross two minutes later. Ladeside responded with a deep free-kick from Yannis Nehdi that was prodded past the post by Andy Gow before a clever backheel by Stevie Miller set up Adam Monaghan for a low drive from the edge of the penalty area, but Graham Black managed to touch the ball around the post. Former Pollok man Scott Gair should have scored from the resultant corner, but he failed to make proper contact with his close-range volley and allowed Black to collect. At the other end Roddy Hunter headed wide from a tempting Nolan cross, and Ciaran McDermott did likewise for Kilbirnie after a Nehdi cross. Nehdi then teed up Raymond Montgomery, but his powerful low strike was stopped by the legs of Black. Black was called into action again in the 38th minute when he tipped over a Monaghan header from a Nehdi free-kick, and sixty seconds later his Ladeside counterpart Paul McCann saved a hooked effort from Jonathan Carter.
The second half opened with a Nolan shot that was creeping into the corner of the net, but McCann managed to get across to make the stop. Hunter then pulled an off-balance shot wide before the breakthrough arrived in the 54th minute. Nolan’s attempt was blocked at the edge of the penalty area but fell to CARLO MONTI, who lofted a dipping effort over McCann and into the net with the aid of a deflection. Monti then sent a free-kick off target before Montgomery directed a Donovan Bonet set piece wide. Pollok doubled their advantage in the 68th minute when a quick throw-in caught out the visiting defence and allowed Bradley to find space behind them. Gow attempted a challenge from behind, but referee Derek Crothers deemed the tackle to be illegal and pointed to the penalty spot. CARLO MONTI stepped up to claim his second goal of the game. Before the game could restart Kilbirnie were reduced to ten men as Callum McGregor took his protestations too far for the liking of Mr. Crothers. McCann then produced an excellent save to keep out a strong Bradley header, but he was left helpless in the 75th minute when CARLO MONTI completed his hat-trick by shrugging off the attentions of a defender before lobbing the ‘keeper. Bradley then had an effort hacked off the line by Monaghan before slicing off target after a fine crossfield pass from McQuilken. With six minutes remaining Kilbirnie pulled a goal back when a wild Gavin Lachlan challenge felled Paul McInnes in the box, and RAYMOND MONTGOMERY slotted home the spot kick. Panic began to set in for the hosts when Ladeside added a second in the 88th minute. Bonet’s corner was met by the head of ANDY GOW, who powered a bouncing header beyond the reach of Black. A mazy Bradley dribble then resulted in a good save from McCann. As the game moved into the second minute of injury time the Garnock Valley side almost snatched an equaliser when Bonet connected sweetly with an 18-yard volley, only for Black to produce a magnificent diving save to preserve all three points for ‘Lok.
Saturday sees Pollok travel to the north side of Glasgow when they take on Bellshill Athletic at Vale of Clyde’s Fullarton Park. Kick-off for the third round tie in the D&D Programmes Central League Cup is at 2pm.
POLLOK: Black, Lachlan, O’Hara, Carter, McMahon, Brady, Nolan (Nichol 69), McQuilken (McGinty 90), Hunter, Bradley, Monti. Not used: Kinney, McGregor, Gupwell.
KILBIRNIE: McCann, Monaghan (McLean 87), McDermott, Gair, Gow, McGregor, Nehdi (Bonet 60), Pettigrew (Blair 80), Montgomery, McInnes, Miller. Not used: Arthur, Neville, Macdonald, Barclay.
POLLOK: McMahon (30), Brady (62), Monti (90+1)
KILBIRNIE: Montgomery (62), Miller (67), Monaghan (67)
KILBIRNIE: McGregor (68)
POLLOK: Monti (54, 68 pen, 75)
KILBIRNIE: Montgomery (84 pen), Gow (88)