Pollok welcomed Saltcoats Victoria to Newlandsfield for their first match in this season’s South Challenge Cup, with last season’s run in this competition having ended in a dramatic and disappointing defeat to Clydebank.
With one eye on next week’s trip to Penicuik in the Scottish Cup, the manager made six changes to the team which started the win against Hurlford. In came Kyle, Hutton, Jay Nelson, Chris Duff, Grant Anderson, Hugh Kerr and Evan Maley for his first appearance since the Kirkintilloch Rob Roy game in early August where he sistained a concussion. Gow, Christie, McGregor, Gallacher, Forde and McKenzie all made way, although the final three would come on as substitutes.
Given their poor start to the season and the difference in league status it was not surprising that the away side tried to remain compact in the opening stages, but it was not long before Pollok started to threaten. Kerr saw an overhead kick and then a header just miss the target after good crosses from the right. This was quickly followed by Maley getting the first shot on target after a quick break.
With sixteen minutes on the clock Kerr produced a brilliant bit of hold-up play before releasing Anderson. His low cross was deflected behind for a corner. From Mullen’s in-swinging delivery Nelson flicked the ball home. Three minutes later another corner from the left was swung in by Mullen and flicked on. Kerr was on hand to volley home for his first Pollok goal.
After Anderson stung the palms of McGlinchey, Lindsay had a try which the keeper dove to his right to push round the post. Just past the midway point of the first half Maley and Mullen combined well down the wing and the latter’s cross was volleyed home by Kerr. Maley was causing the Vic’s defence all kinds of trouble and his cross in the twenty-sixth minute was knocked into his own goal by Selwyn.
The next goal arrived two minutes later and originated with a Saltcoats’ free kick into the Pollok box. It was headed out to Kerr who rode a challenge before passing to Maley. His considered cross found the head of Anderson who looped a clever header into the net.
After a Mullen free-kick was tipped over the sixth goal arrived in the thirty-ninth minute. After a couple of borderline challenges the ball broke to Maley who cut inside and let fly with a left-footed strike from twenty yards into the corner.
As half-time approached the away side carved out a decent chance after a nice interchange from a goal kick. However Longmuir was well positioned to save Kamara’s nicely struck effort.
HALF TIME: POLLOK 6 – 0 SALTCOATS VICTORIA
The second half began with another Vic’s chance but this time it was blazed over. At the other end Anderson saw his shot pushed wide to allow Mullen another opportunity to swing the ball in. And as with the first half’s opening goal Nelson timed his run beautifully to glance home a header. Three minutes later it was eight. Once again an Anderson shot was deflected for a corner. Mullen’s delivering was knocked down by McGlinchey and although Nelson’s shot was blocked Duff was on hand to drive home.
With Nelson having just been denied a hat-trick he produced a great bit of closing down as Saltcoats tried to play out from the back. Kerr was the beneficiary as he was able to win the ball and drive home a low shot to complete his hat-trick.
The introduction of four subs – Forde, McKenzie, Docherty and Gallacher – did nothing to disrupt the flow of the game. After a Mullen cross flashed through the six-yard box with no takers a great bit of work by Burns presented a chance to Docherty but he side-footed wide. Docherty then set up Maley to drive home number ten with a thunderous strike in the seventy-second minute.
It was Docherty with the assist again two minutes later after a great pass out wide by McKenzie. Docherty beat the full-back before crossing low for Forde to dink a finish over the keeper. McGlinchey then produced three saves in very quick succession from McKenzie, Burns and then McKenzie again. At the other end Pollok’s clean sheet was threatened when a Longmuir clearance was charged down but the ball looped over the bar.
Forde brought up the dozen after some patient passing through the midfield. It was passed into him by Hutton and he turned and fired into the corner of the net from twenty-two yards. Pollok’s record score set in 1984 against St Anthony’s had just been matched. Forde then turned creator when he slipped the ball into Docherty but his low shot hit the post. McKenzie had a go from distance after a poor kick by McGlinchey and then Burns hit the post with a powerful header from a Mullen corner. Fittingly the thirteenth and final goal would come from yet another Mullen corner. It broke off Burns and was fired home by McKenzie. A new record victory was now in sight for Pollok.
Mullen had a chance to score himself in the final minute. With Burrows on Mullen was now playing as a right-winger and when the play was switched after a good move down the left he had a sight of goal but dragged his shot inches wide of the post.
Pollok were safely through to the next round after the biggest win in the club’s history, beating a 39 year old record. Amongst those in attendance was Norrie Tate who had celebrated his ninetieth birthday the previous day. He first saw the Lok at Newlandsfield in 1946, although he didn’t become a full-time supporter until 1967 following the sad demise of his beloved Third Lanark. Fittingly the players had put on a show to help Norrie celebrate his landmark birthday.
FULL TIME: POLLOK 13 – 0 SALTCOATS VICTORIA
GOALS: Nelson (16′, 50′), Kerr (19′, 24′, 55′), OG, Anderson (28′), Maley (39′, 72′), Duff (53′), Forde (74′, 81′), McKenzie (81′)
Man of the Match: Evan Maley
Report by Peter Thomson
Photos by James Graham
All the goals, filmed by Mark Donnelly:
Post-match interview with Stewart Maxwell: