Pollok claimed a spot in the last sixteen of the Emirates Scottish Junior Cup in the most dramatic style after a pulsating finish to their match with Beith at Newlandsfield Park on Saturday.
John Richardson made two changes to the side that had defeated Glenafton Athletic three weeks earlier, with Brian MacKay and Kevin McBride making way for Tony Fraser and the newly re-signed Paul McMenamin. The dangerous Kenny McLean missed out for the visitors due to injury, as did the cup-tied Chris Mackie. Carlo Monti was first to try his luck with barely thirty seconds on the clock, but his shot from 20 yards out passed wide of the post. Beith responded with a low David McGowan drive that missed the target before the same player sent a weak header wide of goal. Andy Reid fired over from just inside the penalty area and Brian McGinty had a half-volley easily gathered before ‘Lok made the breakthrough in the 20th minute. McGinty lofted a precision pass over the heads of the visiting defence to CARLO MONTI, who took one touch to control the ball before delivering an exquisite lob beyond the reach of the back-pedalling Adam Strain. Monti and Paul McQuilken both sent efforts wide and Jonathan Carter had a venomous drive charged down before the Ayrshire side equalised in the 35th minute. Jay Lang floated over a corner kick, Marc McShane rose highest to win the header, and ANDY REID delivered the finishing touch with an acrobatic overhead kick. John Sheridan then headed over from another Lang corner before Fraser deflected a Calum Hardie attempt over the bar. With just over one minute remaining in the first half ‘Lok netted the goal that sent them into the interval ahead. Monti jinked away from the attentions of the Beith defence before squaring for TONY FRASER to slide the ball home at the far post.
It was the visitors who threatened first after the resumption, with Gary Wilson firing wide from 25 yards out. McGinty then saw a header saved before Stevie McNeil reacted well to tip a Reid effort over the crossbar. Reid found the net again in the 62nd minute with a close range finish from a McGowan cross, but his celebrations were cut short by the raised flag of assistant referee Ivan Stankovic. Strain then made an excellent stop to deny McGinty after his shot changed direction thanks to a Sheridan deflection. Beith should have equalised with just five minutes to go when Kris Irvine crossed to an unmarked Reid, but he somehow managed to glance his free header wide from inside the six-yard box. The away side almost levelled in the final minute of regulation time when a Ross Brash corner caused chaos in the home box, with Reid seeing a header cleared off the line before an almighty scramble that resulted in Irvine’s header landing on the roof of the net. The Bellsdale outfit thought they had secured a replay when they made it 2-2 in the 92nd minute. Gary Wild crossed from the right, and MARC McSHANE leapt to nod home at the back post. The drama wasn’t over however, as play raged to the other end. McQuilken released substitute RYAN McARDLE on the right, and his first time effort sailed past a helpless Strain to put ‘Lok back in front with 93 minutes on the clock. There was still time for Sheridan to send a header wide before the final whistle sounded to conclude a memorable cup tie.
Pollok return to Stagecoach Super Premier League action on Saturday when they take on Clydebank at Holm Park. Kick-off is at 2pm.
POLLOK: McNeil, Dunlop, McMenamin, Carter, Reilly, McGinty (Miller 87), Mills (McArdle 90+1), Hepburn, McQuilken, Monti, Fraser. Not used: McBride, Docherty, Black.
BEITH: Strain, McShane, Wilson, Wild, Sheridan, Docherty (Howarth 83), Hardie, Lang (Brash 53), Finnegan (Irvine 66), Reid, McGowan. Not used: Callaghan, Greenwood.
POLLOK: McGinty (78), McMenamin (84), Monti (90+5)
BEITH: Wilson (83)
POLLOK: Monti (20), Fraser (44), McArdle (90+3)
BEITH: Reid (35), McShane (90+2)