POLLOK v CUMNOCK
After the disappointing display and result at Troon on the Wednesday
evening Pollok returned to the comfort of home for Matchday 21 of the
West of Scotland Premiership and a game against Cumnock.
The manager made seven changes to the starting eleven with only
Gow, Rumsby, Esplin and Christie retaining their places. Mullen was
suspended and joined Sideserf, Barr, Forde and the McCann
brothers on the sidelines.
Josh Lumsden picked up an ankle injury in the final moments of the match against Troon.
In their place were Longmuir, Menzies, Duff,Lyon, Horne, Fraser and Docherty.
The change of formation to three at
the back and the re-introduction of Horne meant that Esplin played a
little further up the park than usual.
Having impressed in recent outings from the bench Docherty was keen to
make an impact and had a shot on target in the opening seconds. It was
not a sign of things to come in the opening period. After a very cagey
opening quarter of an hour the first decent chance arrived when
Menzies played a game of keep ball by himself until a decent pass was
on. He found Christie on the right wing. His cross picked out an
unmarked Lyon whose first touch caused his shot to be rushed and
skied over the bar.
Longmuir miskicked a clearance and did well to tip the resulting shot
round the post as Cumnock started to pose more and more of a threat.
Boyd and Moore combined to set up a chance for the later but his shot
on the turn was screwed wide of the far post.
A clever move down the Pollok left saw Lyon and Duff combine to
create a chance for Docherty but his left foot shot went over the bar.
Cumnock then had the ball in the net but the referee had already blown
for a foul on Gow. As an uninspiring first half drew to a close a dipping
Fraser shot from twenty-five yards had Barclay diving to his right to
make the stop.
The start of the second half wasn’t much livelier than the first half until
the game burst into life in the fifty-third minute. With the ball bouncing
about in the middle of the park Esplin won it and it broke to Christie. He
burst forward, cut inside and passed to Duff. He stepped inside a
defender and produced a quite stunning finish with the outside of his
left foot which kissed the underside of the bar on the way in, giving
Barclay no chance.
Just after the hour mark Cumnock produced the move of the match. A
swift break out of defence saw them work the ball down the right. Play
was then switched to the left and a curling cross found Moore six yards
out. His header was goal bound until Longmuir flung himself to his right
to fingertip it round the post.
At the other end Barclay produced a stunning save to deny Stuart
McCann after he’d been found in the box by an expert pass from his
strike partner and fellow substitute Forde.
A mistake in the heart of the Cumnock defence with twenty minutes to
go allowed Stuart McCann to flick the ball to Forde. He set himself
before firing a low left footed shot into the bottom corner of the net to
give the Southsiders a two goal lead.
With ten minutes left a poor clearance by Gow presented Cumnock
with a way back into the game but Longmuir bailed his centre half out
with an acrobatic tip over the bar from the resultant shot.
The home side were now playing some nice stuff and an incisive pass
from Forde allowed McCann to fire across goal but the ball just evaded
Nelson. It was a different story a few minutes later when Forde
harassed the Cumnock defence into a mistake and McCann was able to
poke the ball to Nelson. He made the most of his unmarked status and
calmly took a touch before rolling the ball into the corner of the net to
give Pollok a three goals to nil victory.
A much improved second half showing saw Pollok collect a well
deserved three points. A slightly disjointed first half saw Cumnock pass
up a couple of presentable opportunities but with the changed
formation in the second half Longmuir’s goal was rarely threatened.
And manager Maxwell will have learnt a little more about his squad.