Match photos from Kathryn MacLeod available HERE
With only two league games left to play Pollok remain firmly ensconced in the relegation mire after a 1-0 loss to Auchinleck Talbot on Saturday.
Manager John Richardson made four changes from the side defeated in midweek by Irvine Meadow XI. In came Scott Morrison, Craig Gupwell, Lee Nichol and Roddy Hunter, with Graham Black, Gavin Lachlan, Kevin Bradley and Brian McGinty the men to drop out. ‘Lok made the worst possible start, falling behind in the sixth minute. Bryan Young’s corner found James Latta unmarked at the edge of the penalty area, and his powerful shot was beaten away by Morrison. Bryan Slavin’s follow-up effort was also blocked, but the loose ball again fell to a Talbot man as KEIR MILLIKEN smashed home the opener. Pollok tried to respond three minutes later with a Nichol corner towards Peter McMahon, who headed across to Hunter, but the striker was unable to bring the ball under control and the chance was gone. Slavin then sent the ball over the bar twice in quick succession, firstly with a shot on the turn, then when getting on the end of a Milliken cross from the left. Slavin had another opportunity in the 17th minute, chasing down a lofted pass from Latta, but Morrison made a brave sliding stop with his legs. At the other end Hunter and Carlo Monti combined to set up Nichol for an attempt at goal, but he sliced wide from 20 yards out. There was a scare for ‘Lok in the 24th minute when a Gordon Pope cross initiated a frantic goalmouth scramble that ended with the ball spinning inches wide of the post for a corner kick. Pope then fired a 35-yard free-kick towards the target, but Morrison made a low save. Brian McGarrity wasn’t called into action until the 32nd minute when he easily gathered a Nichol trundler. Milliken and Slavin then linked up again as the visitors broke quickly, with the latter pulling a shot wide from the edge of the penalty area.
Half-time saw McGinty replace Paul McQuilken, but again it was Talbot who threatened first when an unmarked Young hit the outside of the post with a 51st minute header. Monti then fired narrowly wide from 22 yards out before a Milliken effort with the outside of the boot was kicked away by Morrison. After 65 minutes McGarrity spilled a Monti throw-in, but was saved by his defence when Steven McGregor’s resultant drive was blocked. McMahon then stopped a Slavin attempt before Monti volleyed over from just outside the box. With quarter of an hour remaining Tommy Nolan curled an effort wide, and sixty seconds later Morrison produced an excellent diving save to thwart Milliken. Milliken tried his luck again in the 80th minute, but this time found Gupwell in his way. Auchinleck almost added a second goal in the first minute of injury time when a quickly taken throw-in by Mick McCann caught the home defence off guard, allowing Kyle Faulds to race towards goal. His drive took a deflection off McMahon, but somehow Morrison managed to change direction in mid-air to produce a magnificent save. It was to prove in vain however as proceedings were ended shortly afterwards with all three points heading to East Ayrshire.
Pollok are left waiting on other results this midweek that will have a major bearing on their fate before taking to the field again on Saturday to take on Renfrew in the quarter-finals of the D&D Programmes Central League Cup. Kick-off at Western Park is at 2pm.
POLLOK: Morrison, Carter, McMahon, Gupwell, McGregor, Nolan, Nichol (Lachlan 81), O’Hara, Hunter (Kinney 59), Monti, McQuilken (McGinty 46). Not used: Davies, Black.
AUCHINLECK: McGarrity, Robb, Pope, Pettigrew, McGoldrick, White, Young (McVey 85), Spence (Faulds 67), Slavin (McCann 71), Milliken, Latta. Not used: Paterson, Leishman.
POLLOK: Carter (90+3)
AUCHINLECK: Slavin (63), White (79)
AUCHINLECK: Milliken (6)