Pollok 4 – 2 Largs Thistle

Pollok’s West of Scotland Premier Division campaign continued with a home fixture against a Largs side who had two wins and a draw from a very tough opening six fixtures.

The manager made three changes to the side which won so handsomely at Glenafton as Longmuir replaced the injured Fry in goal whilst the central midfield pairing changed from Lindsay and Main to Hutton and McGregor.

The away side started the brightest, winning a corner then a free kick in a dangerous area. The set piece was delivered low across the box but the resultant shot was fired wide.

With eight minutes on the clock Pollok took the lead. McGregor cut out a Largs clearance and played the ball to Hutton. He spread it wide to Christie. Just as it looked like Largs had him surrounded, Mullen appeared on the scene to curl in a cross to Forde. He took a touch before turning and laying the ball into the path of McGregor who side-footed the ball into the bottom corner for the first goal of his third Pollok spell.

McGregor wheels away after opening the scoring. (JG)

Christie and Mullen combined again to get a cross in a few minutes later which found Gallacher whose shot was blocked by some tremendous defending. The next cross in from the right was delivered by McKenzie but was just too high for Gallacher at the back post.

There was then a lengthy delay for an injury to Liam Lapsley who had chased in a short back pass by Gow and had come off worse in a collision with Longmuir. This stoppage in play seemed to knock Pollok out of their rhythm for a spell and Largs saw a long-range effort well saved and a header put over the bar.

There was a delay to proceedings as Liam Lapsley was stretchered off for Largs.(FT)

At the other end McKenzie sliced a shot wide after a ball-winning tackle and superb through pass by Allan. With half time approaching Pollok were beginning to reassert their dominance when Largs launched a long ball forward. Mullen headed it against Gow and it fell nicely for Sewell who headed just wide.  Largs then came even closer to an equaliser when shot from the edge of the box was pushed wide by Longmuir. McBryde fired it back across goal it flicked off Allan and on to the post. Longmuir couldn’t quite grab it but Forrester was on hand to clear off the line.

Pollok started the second half in blistering fashion. Mullen found McKenzie over the top and his low strike was pushed wide by Wilton. Gallacher picked up the loose ball and dribbled back into the box before firing in a shot which Wilton deflected behind for a corner. McGregor then saw a header go just wide.

With forty-nine minutes on the clock a Largs attack was broken up. Although the ball was there to be won just outside the box, Allan slid in with his studs showing and the referee had no hesitation in showing the red card.

Dejection as Allan is shown red early in the second half. (JG/FT)

Sean Burns was instantly introduced to replace the unfortunate McKenzie but it was not to be a backs to the wall performance from the ten men. They increased their lead a few minutes after the red card. A Mullen free-kick into the box fell at the feet of Gow. He steadied himself before firing a right footed strike into the roof of the net.

Goal machine Gowzer celebrates his third of the season to double Pollok’s lead! (FT)

At the other end Largs fashioned a good chance but McGregor was on hand to deflect it wide. And from the corner Martin curled one wide from the edge of the box.

Just before the hour mark the ten men made it 3-0. Another Mullen free-kick was chested down by McGregor who played a perfectly weighted pass into Forde. He controlled it, flicked it up and then produced a perfect overhead kick over the despairing leap of Wilton in the Largs goal. A touch of real class and a goal of the season front-runner already.

A moment of magic from Forde made it 3-0 to Pollok. (FT)

Largs were presented with a route back into the game from the penalty spot. Mullen blocked a shot with his foot and the ball ricocheted up and hit his hand which was at his side, but the referee saw it as a hand-ball and Sewell made no mistake from twelve yards.

The ten men still looked the more likely to score and in the seventy first minute they got a well-deserved fourth. Gallacher tracked back to win the ball before exchanging a one–two with Forde as he advanced down the left wing. Burns made a superb forward run into the box and Gallacher picked him out. His low cut-back was only half cleared and Christie was on hand to finish with some aplomb on his weaker left foot.

Christie celebrates making it three goals in three games.(FT/JG)

Anderson then saw a low strike well saved at the expense of a corner. From Mullen’s kick Gow’s header was deflected just wide and from the second corner Forrester lobbed just over the bar. Christie then ran from his own half before screwing his shot wide.

Largs completed the scoring in injury time. A dangerous cross was flicked on and as Mullen tried to clear from inside his own six-yard box, former Falkirk forward Daryl Duffy forced the ball over the line.

The win for Pollok was thoroughly merited as once again they had no failures alongside exceptional performances from Gallacher, McGregor and Forde. The Lok therefore retain their second place position in the table behind Beith who maintained their 100% record with victory over Auchinleck Talbot.

Goals

Pollok – McGregor (8′), Gow (52′), Forde (58′), Christie (70′)

Largs Thistle – Sewell (P) (53′), Duffy (90′ +1)

 

Man of the Match – Andrew Gallacher

In what is becoming a regular occurrence, Gallacher was a bundle of energy throughout, stretching the Largs defence and terrorising their full back. It was his strong run which led to Christie’s fourth goal. This boy is getting better every week! (FT)

 

Report by Peter Thomson

 

Photos from James Graham & Finlay Thom

 

Full Match Highlights from Mark Donnelly

 

Post-Match Interview from Stewart Maxwell