Arthurlie 2 – 2 Pollok: 17th Feb 2024

Arthurlie fought back twice to secure a share of the spoils in the first derby match of the season at a rain-soaked Dunterlie Park.

Maxi made four changes to the side which lost at Irvine Meadow with Ben Fry, Andy Gallacher and Jay Nelson dropping to the bench and Ryan McGregor missing through injury. They were replaced by Jordan Longmuir, Jamie Henry, Adam Forde and Lee Duncanson, who had been recalled from loan along with Stephen Docherty who was amongst the substitutes.

Lee Duncanson made his second Pollok appearance after being recalled from his loan at Benburb.
The players remembered Iain Ashcroft before kick off.

After a minute’s applause in remembrance of Iain Ashcroft, the game kicked off in torrential rain with the vast majority of the crowd huddled under the enclosure. Pollok were shooting down the slope and were immediately on the front foot. With a couple of minutes gone Duff was about to unleash a shot inside the box when the referee called the play back for a free-kick outside the box. Mullen curled it in low and Duff stuck out a foot to deflect it in off the inside of the post.

Duff celebrates his early opener.

What was to prove a decisive moment arrived in the twenty-fourth minute. A quick break by Pollok saw good passing by Forde and Main to play in Kerr who was brought down as he ran in on goal.

Kerr is wiped out in the box and the referee points to the spot.

Mullen’s spot-kick was at a good height for a keeper and Black made a smart save. From the resultant throw-in Forde and Henry worked a chance for Main. His shot with the outside of the right foot was heading for the top corner before being clawed away by Black.

Mullen saw his tame spot-kick saved by Black.

With half an hour gone Kerr had a run at the heart of the Arthurlie defence before the ball broke to Main. His low strike was once again well saved by Black. Five minutes later Pollok opted for route one and Longmuir’s punt was headed into the danger area by Main. There was some hesitancy in the home side’s rearguard and Kerr nipped in but couldn’t keep his effort on the stretch on target.

Black was to be the Arthurlie saviour another couple of times before the half was out. Saving with his feet from a Duff shot and then being quick off his line to deny Main after good set up play by Duff. From the resultant corner Forrester headed over.

Forrester rises well but can’t keep his header down.

As the first half ticked into injury time Longmuir made his first save of the day – comfortably clutching a long range free-kick. The home side may have been behind at the break but on the balance of play it was the away side who will have been disappointed with only being one goal to the good.

HALF TIME:

ARTHURLIE 0 – 1 POLLOK

Longmuir had to look sharp in the opening minute of the second half as he raced from his box to head clear before Pollok suffered a blow when the influential Faulds had to come off injured.

The Southsiders burst back into life in the fifty-fourth minute with a tremendous passing move which saw the ball slipped out left to Duff. He beat his full-back and rolled the ball across goal. It reached the recently-introduced Evan Maley beyond the far post and he tried to fire it home from a tight angle but put it out for a throw on the far side. A couple of minutes later Forde was on target with a curling free-kick but Black was in position to make the save.

Disappointment for Maley as he spurns a good opportunity at the back post.

Arthurlie were much more in the game shooting down the slope and were unlucky to see a looping header come back off the bar before Longmuir did well to block the rebound. The ball was never fully cleared however and when the ball was passed back into the box Main tried to nick the ball away from the striker but caught his man and the referee was pointing to the spot again. Former Pollok man Dylan Dykes rolled the ball into the bottom corner and it was all square with just under twenty-five minutes to go.

Dykes slides home a opener from the spot.

The game was now far more stretched and end to end. A Mullen free-kick from inside his own half found its way to Maley inside the box and his shot came back off the post and into a relieved Black’s arms. At the other end Arthurlie headed a good chance from a corner over the bar.

Pollok regained the lead with thirteen minutes to go. Mullen played in a high, looping cross which Forde headed back across the six-yard box to substitute Stephen Docherty who nodded home from close range to open his Pollok account for the season, on his first game back having been recalled from his loan at Gartcairn.

Docherty wheels away to celebrate his first Pollok goal of the season after returning from his loan.

With ten minutes to go Pollok had the chance to wrap up the three points. A long pass over the top by Lindsay allowed Maley to utilise his pace. He and Black got to the ball at the same time and collided. The ball broke free and Maley gathered before curling a shot just over the bar.

Maley takes advantage of some defensive hesitancy to skip past Black but his shot goes over the bar.

Having not taken their chances Pollok were made to pay with four minutes to go. Bolger curled a free-kick over the wall and into the bottom corner for the equaliser. And the home side almost nicked it from a corner with a goal bound header deflecting off Gow before being cleared by Forde.

Bolger finds the bottom corner with an expertly taken free kick.

 

FULL TIME

ARTHURLIE 2 – 2 POLLOK

Goals:

Arthurlie: Dykes (P) (66′), Bolger (86′)

Pollok: Duff (3′), Docherty (77′)

Report by Peter Thomson

Photographs from James Graham

Full match highlights from Mark Donnelly:

 

Post-match interview with Stewart Maxwell: