POLLOK 2 – 0 LINLITHGOW ROSE

Pollok’s reward for their win over Camelon was a home tie with Linlithgow Rose of the Lowland League in round four of the South Challenge Cup. A crowd of 782 – mostly huddled under cover – watched the game at a damp and drizzly Newlandsfield. Maxwell made three changes from the defeat to Beith – all in the forward areas of the team, with Grant Anderson, Hugh Kerr and Andrew Gallacher replacing Forde, McKenzie and Duff in the starting line-up.

Some hardy souls braved the rain to watch the game from outside the covered enclosure. (FT)

The home side settled quickest and established the upper hand. Despite not creating anything too threatening in the opening
stages it was no surprise when they took the lead in the eleventh minute. A Mullen free kick from the left touchline was
swung into the box and deflected off McGregor away from goal. Forrester retrieved it and fired a shot across goal on the turn. After two deflections off defenders it fell beautifully at the feet of McGregor who made no mistake when side footing home from six yards.

McGergor celebrates his opening goal. (JG/FT)


A few minutes later a lovely touch by Kerr sent Christie in behind the defence. His low, angled shot was well saved by the right boot of McMinn. Pollok were definitely in the ascendancy now and a long ball from Longmuir created a glorious chance. Anderson flicked on into the path of Gallacher whose cut-back found McGregor. His low shot was brilliantly saved and Kerr’s instinctive shot on the turn with the rebound was deflected away for a corner.

With the rain remaining persistent and getting heavier Longmuir got right behind a long-range effort but saw it squirm
from his grasp and go out for a corner. From the corner Linlithgow Rose flashed a shot wide. Pollok remained on the front foot in the search of a second goal. After a couple of corners – the second of which Forrester headed wide – Christie produced a brilliant run across the park. His pass inside the full back set Gallacher free and his dangerous low cross was brilliantly defended. From the resultant corner Gow headed wide.

HALF-TIME: POLLOK 1 – 0 LINLITHGOW ROSE

With McMullan on as a half time substitute Linlithgow went all out in the search for an equaliser. A cross in the first minute of the second half saw a free header go wide. The flow of the game had most definitely switched with Pollok hemmed in and Rose dominating possession. However, the closest they came to an equaliser during this period of dominance was from two well-taken free-kicks. Longmuir tipping the first one over the bar and then diving full length to tip the second one round the post.

Longmuir tips over a well-struck free kick. (JG)

With twenty-five minutes to go Faulds came on for his debut as Maxwell re-enforced the midfield at the expense of a striker. It was a change which most definitely paid off. The home side regained a foothold in the game and whilst not dominating possession began to look a threat again.

Kyle Faulds looked assured during his second-half debut. (FT)

A breakaway by Rose had the Lok defence stretched but Longmuir stood up well to the initial shot and Gow did brilliantly to block the rebound on the line. As Linlithgow launched one final attempt at finding an equaliser Gow rose to head clear for the umpteenth time. His header found Christie who slipped it past his marker and accelerated away. He passed inside to McKenzie whose first-time shot was saved by McMinn. However, the ball held up on the damp pitch to allow Nelson to run in and slam home to ensure the victory and a place in the next round.

Jay Nelson wheels away after scoring Pollok’s second deep into injury time, and is mobbed by his team mates. (JG)


This was a disciplined and resilient performance from the home side with the defensive line putting on their best performance of the season so far in a merited win. The celebrations at the second goal showed just how much it meant to the players and coaching staff who had put in a tremendous shift against a good side in tough conditions. The only people who perhaps worked harder on the day were the ground staff who deserve tremendous praise for the condition of the pitch throughout the ninety minutes.

A damp Stewart Maxwell acknowledges the Pollok support at full time.
A monumental effort from the ground team to ensure the game went ahead! (FT)

 

FULL-TIME

POLLOK 2 – 0 LINLITHGOW ROSE

GOALS: McGregor (11′), Nelson (90′ + 5)

Attendance: 782

Report by Peter Thomson

Photos from James Graham and Finlay Thom

Man of the Match: Jordan Longmuir

The stopper pulled off two strong saves from Rose free kicks and was consistently reliable in collecting cross balls. His handling and quick distribution was crucial to a solid defensive display from Pollok. (Photographed with match sponsor Chris Marshall)

 

Match Highlights from Mark Donnelly

 

Post-match interview with Stewart Maxwell: