After back-to-back trips to East Ayrshire, Pollok returned to home ground for match day 19 of the West of Scotland Premiership and welcomed Kilwinning to Newlandsfield. The Buffs were looking for a new manager bounce as the new management team of Chris Aitken and Iain Durrant made their debut in the away dugout.
Stuart Maxwell made just the one change from the previous week’s defeat – Stuart McCann replacing Johnny Lyon in a slightly more attacking formation.
Kicking down the slope in the first half on a dreich afternoon Pollok took the game to their opponents who are struggling at the wrong end of the table. After a commanding defensive header by Gow, Stuart McCann cushioned the ball into the path of Christie who ran at the heart of the Kilwinning defence. He timed his pass to perfection allowing Gary McCann to run in on goal. His low shot was well saved by the keeper’s legs.
Kilwinning responded with a curling Macklin cross which just evaded his strike partner and went inches wide of the far post. And in eighteen minutes they should probably have taken the lead when a corner was headed over from six yards out.
Pollok then had a glorious chance of their own. Forde flicked a clearance out to the left for Gary McCann who found his brother Stuart with an accurate pass. Stuart McCann got down the left before a low cross into Forde. His low shot on the turn was deflected into the path of Barr who had only the keeper to beat. His shot was magnificently touched over the bar by the diving trialist in the Kilwinning goal.
Barr screwed his next effort wide after good link up play by the McCann’s as Pollok looked gain a first half advantage. Christie was looking a threat down the right and from one of his runs he slipped in Stuart McCann, his low right foot strike went just past the far post.
Pollok threatened once more at the beginning of the second half. Gary McCann was taken out on the edge of the box and Mullen’s well struck free-kick was deflected just over the bar. Kilwinning then had a good chance when a long ball was flicked over the defence but the attacker placed his shot wide of Lumsden’s right hand post.
Burns then received two yellow cards in quick succession for clumsy rather than malicious challenges. Rather than demoralise the home team being down to ten seemed to inspire them. With twenty minutes to go they broke the deadlock. Christie did well down the right and when his cross went beyond the back stick Docherty collected it and played it back to Gary McCann. His clipped cross found his brother Stuart who produced the deftest of headers to find the bottom corner.
Docherty then brought down a clearance, turned, beat a man before shooting for goal. His shot was maybe not quite as well struck as he would have liked but still needed a smart stop by the keeper with his legs.
Kilwinning’s attacks were tending to flounder on the Pollok eighteen-yard line and on eighty-six minutes one such attack was pounced on by the home side for a great breakaway goal. Esplin passed to Christie who made some ground before releasing Docherty down the right wing. He got to the bye-line and curled over a wicked cross to the back post. Fellow substitute, Duff powered a header towards goal and although the keeper made a fine save, he was powerless to prevent Duff from prodding in the rebound.
The scoring was completed in injury time when some incisive passing from the midfield set Christie away down the right. His low cross across the six-yard box was swept home by Docherty to cap an impressive final twenty minutes for the ten men.
A comprehensive win and a happy home support had not looked the likely outcome when Burns received his marching orders but good substitutions saw the ten men continue to offer an attacking threat. Sideserf helped ensure Lumsden was untroubled in goal whilst upfront Docherty was involved in the first two goals and scored the third.
Full Match Highlights
Post Match with Maxi
Match Report by: Peter Thompson
Photos by: Nathan Bonnar
Videos by: Mark Donnelly