Pollok kept alive their hopes of ninth place and Stagecoach Super Premier League survival with a late goal flurry against Largs Thistle on Monday evening.
John Richardson welcomed back a number of players rested against Renfrew on Saturday, but his side almost fell behind in the second minute when Creag Little lobbed narrowly off target for the visitors. Kevin Bradley responded immediately at the other end, but his near post shot was gathered by Stephen Connick. Sean Pierce then fired over for Largs before confusion in the ‘Lok defence allowed Gary Phillips a shot at goal, but his effort was hacked off the line by Darren Brady. Pollok made the breakthrough after nine minutes when Carlo Monti played a short free-kick to Tommy Nolan, and his low cross was bundled home by KEVIN BRADLEY. ‘Lok could have doubled their lead in the 24th minute when a through ball found Monti behind the Largs defence. He appeared to be clipped as he rounded Connick, but stayed on his feet, only to see his off-balance shot cleared off the line by Craig Black. Parity was restored in the 32nd minute when Jonathan Carter misjudged a long ball from Connick, and EUAN LINDSAY was on hand to nod over the advancing Scott Morrison and into the unguarded net. Connick then stopped a 25-yard Monti free-kick, whilst Morrison had to be alert to touch away a Paul Coyle cross that nearly dipped under his crossbar. ‘Lok should have retaken the lead one minute before half-time when Monti was left unmarked from a Nolan cross, but he could only direct his close-range header straight at Connick.
Pollok opened the second half brightly with a mazy Bradley solo run, but the finish was lacking as he dragged an attempt wide from 20 yards out. Phillips then embarked upon a similar run for Largs before playing in Gordon Lappin. His shot appeared to be heading wide, but Michael O’Hara made sure as he got back to clear the ball for a throw-in. Connick was the Largs hero after 62 minutes, making a terrific save to keep out a Brian McGinty header from a Monti cross, but he was left helpless as Pollok moved ahead with quarter of an hour left to play. Monti showed superb skill on the right to fashion space for a cross, and DARREN BRADY timed his run to the near post perfectly to plant the ball beyond Connick. Monti was the provider again for goal number three after 86 minutes. This time he cut the ball back from the left to KEVIN BRADLEY, who fired home with the aid of a cannon off Coyle. Sixty seconds later the roles were reversed, with Bradley crossing to CARLO MONTI, who found the target with a diving header to complete the scoring and leave Pollok three points from safety with one game remaining.
Pollok are back in action on Monday evening, taking on Shotts Bon Accord in the semi-finals of the D&D Programmes Central League Cup. Kick-off at Newlandsfield Park is at 7.15pm.
POLLOK: Morrison, Lachlan, O’Hara, McMahon, Carter, Brady (Nichol 83), Nolan (Jones 76), McQuilken, Monti, McGinty (Kinney 68), Bradley. Not used: Hunter, McGregor, Gupwell, Black.
LARGS: Connick, C Black (Monaghan 79), Coyle, Little, McLaughlin, Lappin, Robertson, M Dow (Quinn 82), Lindsay, Pierce, Phillips (Struthers 63). Not used: Barnes, Gault, Connolly, G Black.
POLLOK: Bradley (80)
LARGS THISTLE: Lindsay (62), Little (84)
POLLOK: Bradley (9, 86), Brady (75), Monti (87)
LARGS THISTLE: Lindsay (32)