Pollok 3 – 1 Arthurlie: 2nd March 2024

Match day nineteen of the West of Scotland Premier Division saw Pollok welcome local rivals Arthurlie to Newlandsfield just two weeks on from a two-all draw at Dunterlie Park in the reverse fixture, and this time they were able to secure the three points thanks to another two goals from Stephen Docherty and one from Adam Forde.

Pollok made one change from the impressive cup win over Gartcairn with Ross Lindsay replacing Jamie Henry in the middle of the park.

The opening period of the game was extremely bitty. Misplaced passes and niggly fouls predominated and whilst Arthurlie settled quicker, they did not threaten Jordan Longmuir’s goal.

The first decent bit of play did not arrive until the eighteenth minute when Longmuir rolled the ball out to Kyle Faulds and he played a long pass to Evan Maley. His first touch was superb and he slipped Docherty in down the right. His cross was gathered by Black at the second attempt.

Five minutes later, Forde managed the game’s first attempt on target. Chris Duff won a header and Forde had a go on the turn from twenty yards but Black saved comfortably. The home side were just beginning to get out of first gear and a Fraser Mullen free-kick into the box found its way to Scott Forrester beyond the back post. He produced a wonderful nutmeg before cutting back to Duff whose goal-bound shot was blocked.

With five minutes to go until half time Lindsay picked out a beautiful pass to Docherty who fired a shot from just inside the box off the bar. Pollok now had some momentum.

Docherty nearly opened the scoring, but his shot came back off the bar. (JG)

With forty-three minutes on the clock a Mullen throw-in found Faulds. As he tried to turn his marker he went over but managed to stab the ball forward as he fell. The Arthurlie defence hoped it was going to make it into Black’s hands and stood still. Docherty however was on the move and nipped in to take the ball round the stranded keeper and slot home from a tight angle. It hadn’t been a great half of football but the better team were in the lead.

Docherty gets his goal on the stroke of half-time. (KM/JG)
Jubilation on the terraces as Pollok take the lead. (KM)

HALF TIME: POLLOK 1 – 0 ARTHURLIE

The second half was to prove more entertaining. Arthurlie showed more attacking intent and Pollok played better. Another good forward pass from Faulds found half-time substitute Andy Gallacher – his first touch was sublime and having beat a man picked out Docherty with a low cross, but his goal-bound shot was blocked.

There was to be no blocking his next attempt in the fifty-seventh minute. Forde hooked the ball over his head from a throw down the touchline. There didn’t appear to be any danger until a bit of mis-control by the Arthurlie defence. Docherty was on to the mistake in a flash and running in on goal. He showed all the confidence and composure you would expect of a man in form and coolly slotted past Black to double the home side’s lead.

Docherty doubles the lead, and celebrates. (JG/KM)

Docherty was taken off as part of a triple substitution and received a rapturous ovation from the home support. He has scored four goals in a little over one hundred and sixty minutes on the pitch since his return from his loan at Gartcairn.

St Johnstone loanee Kodi McKinstray came off the bench for his competitive Pollok debut. (JG)

With just under twenty minutes to go Arthurlie found themselves back in the game. A free-kick from the left touchline was curled in and Bolger flicked it into the far corner of the net.

Bolger halves the deficit. (JG)

There was to be no dramatic comeback however. Instead the Southsiders upped the pace. Good work by Nelson allowed Faulds to play the ball into Kerr who played it out to Gallacher. He cut inside and curled his shot just wide of the post. A couple of minutes later the two-goal lead was restored. Kerr flicked on a Lee Duncanson throw for Forde. He worked his way expertly past a couple of defenders before a break of the ball fell to his right foot. He made no mistake with an unerring finish. All three goals had come from moves started with throw-ins.

Forde beating the defenders before finishing. (JG)

Pollok could have extended the margin of victory in the final ten minutes. A Gallacher strike was deflected over the bar and from the corner Forrester headed against the outside of the post. A flowing move from box to box involving Forrester, Jay Nelson, Hugh Kerr and Gallacher ended with Luke Main’s shot beating the keeper and taking the efforts of two Arthurlie defenders on the line to prevent a fourth goal for the home side. Kerr then had a good effort from outside the box tipped round the post by Black after great midfield work by Main.

Main came close as the clock ticked towards 90. (JG)

A solid all-round performance by the Lok – which got better and better as the game wore on – saw them take a deserved three points in front of a healthy crowd of 888. For Arthurlie the next two home games could prove crucial in their bid to avoid relegation as they are then faced with a very tough looking run of five away fixtures.

FULL TIME: POLLOK 3 – 1 ARTHURLIE

Pollok: Docherty (43, 57′) Forde (77′)

Arthurlie: Bolger (72′)

MAN OF THE MATCH: STEPHEN DOCHERTY

It was another tremendous performance from the in-form striker who never stopped running, as he terrorised the Arthurlie defence throughout and was rewarded with two fine goals. (KM)

 

Attendance: 888 (JG)

Match report by Peter Thomson

Photographs from James Graham & Katie McGough