Pollok 3 – 0 Gartcairn: 24th February 2024

The fourth round of the Indigo Comms West of Scotland League Cup saw Pollok progress against a strong Gartcairn side in a first ever meeting between the two sides thanks to goals from Scott Forrester, Stephen Docherty and the ever-reliable Adam Forde.

Having received a bye in the first round, Pollok had overcome Petershill and Clydebank away from home to reach this stage. The Airdrie side also got a bye in the first round and went on to dispatch East Kilbride Thistle and St Cadoc’s in subsequent rounds. Maxi made two changes from the starting eleven who drew with Arthurlie, with Docherty and Evan Maley coming in for Hugh Kerr and Luke Main who dropped to the bench.

Young Pollok fans bringing the noise before kick off. (FT/JG)

The home side were shooting down the slope with the pitch looking excellent in the early spring sunshine. Their first attack saw Duncanson cross from the left and it found its way to Maley who fired goalwards. Russell did well to push it round the post. From the corner the ball was cleared to the edge of the box and Maley volleyed just wide.

Evan Maley had two good chances early on in the match. (JG)

With just over ten minutes on the clock, a Fraser Mullen free-kick was cleared to Lee Duncanson whose long ball found its way to Forrester. He tried a pass inside to Forde but it was rebuffed so instead he took on the right winger role and beat the full-back before sliding the ball along the six-yard box. Some good defending saw the ball blocked but it came back out to Forrester who coolly slotted home from a tight angle.

Forrester celebrates his opening goal. (JG)

After further on target efforts from Mullen and Forde were saved by Russell, Gartcairn managed their first attempt on target in the seventeenth minute. Forrester made a rare slip allowing McGuigan to cut inside and shoot. Longmuir got down well to block and Kyle Faulds completed the clearance.

Mullen tests the goalkeeper. (JG)

Despite a disallowed Pollok goal and a tempting cross by Maley which had no takers, Gartcairn were now the dominant side in terms of possession. A header across goal from a free-kick led to a low shot just wide and then a good passing move led to a spectacular volley from outside the box which Longmuir was at full stretch to tip round the post.

A flying save from Longmuir kept out a goal bound volley. (JG)

As half-time approached, the game swung from end to end. Nicol made a mistake on the halfway line and when Forde shot for goal, Russell was very relieved to see it go just wide. This was quickly followed by a Forrester header which was tipped over the bar. From Mullen’s corner Docherty got himself in the perfect spot to head home in the 44th minute against the club he spent most of the season on loan with. There was still time for Gartcairn to force another good save from Longmuir before they went in for the break two goals behind.

Docherty celebrates doubling Pollok’s lead. (FT)

HALF TIME: POLLOK 2 – 0 GARTCAIRN

The Southsiders were first to threaten in the second half. Good hold up play and a nice lay off by Docherty set up a shooting chance for Chris Duff, and although he struck it well, it rose too quickly and went just over the bar.

Duff fires over the bar. (JG)

Gartcairn were once again having more of the ball but not finding many ways to penetrate a solid Pollok rear-guard. At the other end, Docherty did some wonderful chasing to retrieve the ball on the bye-line and fire in a cross but to no avail and then Forrester tried his luck down the flank again and this time his cross was well gathered by Russell.

Longmuir was called into action again in the sixty-fifth minute when McGuigan got in down the right, cut back onto his left foot and shot. Longmuir saved first with his legs and then when McGuigan headed the rebound towards the goal the keeper was up quickly to knock it round the post.

An excellent double save from Longmuir kept his side’s two-goal advantage intact. (JG)

With ten minutes to go, substitute Ross Lindsay took control and played a short pass to Luke Main well inside his own half. He shimmied his way out of a tight spot leaving three players in his wake and strode towards goal. He waited until the perfect moment to thread a pass through the centre of the Gartcairn defence for Adam Forde to take a touch and then poke home an exquisite finish which left Russell with no chance.

Luke Main drives forward before playing a pass to Forde who makes it 3-0. (JG/FT/FT)

It could have been four when Nelson nipped in to nick the ball away as Dunlop tried to guide a header back to his keeper. Nelson’s cut-back was mis-controlled by Rumsby and Anderson slid in to shoot. The ball appeared to hit Rumsby on the hand which prevented it going in but the referee waved away the penalty appeals.

Gartcairn will probably feel a little aggrieved at the margin of the defeat, but Pollok had produced a superb all round team performance with star performances throughout the starting eleven and from the bench.

FULL TIME: POLLOK 3 – 0 GARTCAIRN

Goals: Forrester (11′), Docherty (44′), Forde (81′)

MAN OF THE MATCH: SCOTT FORRESTER

Opened the scoring with a finish that any centre forward would be pleased with, following a run that any winger would be pleased with! On top of this, it was another solid defensive performance as he kept a dangerous Gartcairn attack at bay. (JG)

 

Attendance: 606

Match report by Peter Thomson

Photographs by James Graham & Finlay Thom

Full match highlights from Mark Donnelly:

Post-match interview with Stewart Maxwell: