Pollok 2 – 3 St Cadoc’s YC: 9th March 2024

Pollok welcomed St Cadocs to Newlandsfield for match day twenty of the West of Scotland Premier Division. Having lost to St Cadocs in the cup last season and in the reverse league fixture in November the home side were looking for a first ever win over their opponents.

Maxi made three changes from the win over Arthurlie, with Luke Main, Jamie Henry and Andy Gallacher coming in for Ross Lindsay, Chris Duff and Evan Maley.

The away side were first to threaten when McManus got the better of Duncanson and whipped in a dangerous cross which Longmuir did well to scoop away. Pollok responded with a beautifully struck long-range effort from Docherty which whistled past the post.

The Southsiders passed up the first really good chance in the twelfth minute. Good work by Henry was followed up by Main who floated in a cross. It reached Gallacher at the far post who controlled it nicely but didn’t quite manage a clean connection on his shot which went just wide.

A good passing move started by Longmuir ended with the ball dropping to Main on the edge of the box. His volley went wide. Pollok were building up some momentum.

And they took a deserved lead in the seventeenth minute. Gallacher – who was looking threatening – was hauled down as he made progress down the left wing. Mullen swung in the free kick and Gow rose highest to glance the ball into the corner of the net.

Gow forces the ball in from close-range. (JG)

McLaughlin had a shot well blocked by Forrester before Mullen saw a drive go just wide. The action continued at both ends in a frantic five minute spell which changed the course of the game.

A Mullen free kick from deep was headed across goal where Henry produced a tremendous overhead kick which was cleared off the line. After Gow tried to get a head to the ball it fell again to Henry who drove it goalwards and forced Currie into a fantastic stop. The rebound fell to Forde whose well struck shot was once again cleared off the line. It had been an incredibly fortunate escape for St Cadocs who burst up the park and saw a Hughes effort saved by Longmuir.

The Cart End was almost treeated to a third overhead kick off the season but Henry’s effort was blocked on the line. (KM)

Pollok then went straight back down the other end and Currie had to produce a superb reaction save to prevent an own goal. When the game swung back towards Longmuir’s goal the away side found an equaliser. A long ball had the Pollok rearguard looking in vain for an offside flag and a very neat one two between Brady and McLaughlin saw the latter through on goal and he coolly slotted the ball into the bottom corner.

St Cadoc’s levelled on the brink of half-time. (JG)

HALF TIME: POLLOK 1 – 1 ST CADOC’S YC

Shooting up the slope in the second half the home side seemed to lose their fluency and the chances dried up. After a misplaced Faulds pass Longmuir did well to block a shot with his feet.

The away side took the lead in the sixty-fifth minute. Good play by McTaggart dragged Gow out of the centre of defence. When his low cross came in Forrester’s clearance hit off the unfortunate Mullen and trundled into the corner of the net.

A Mullen OG gave SCYC the lead. (JG)

Whilst that own goal could have been put down to bad luck the second own goal of the afternoon will give the Pollok rearguard nightmares. McLaughlin was allowed to wriggle his way into the box before squaring to McTaggart. His shot from eight yards appeared to be going wide but was blocked by Duncanson who then got his feet in a tangle. This allowed McTaggart to get a tackle in which sent the ball rolling towards the goal. Forrester slid in to clear but only managed to hit the ball off Longmuir and over the line. With seventy-six minutes on the clock it left Pollok with a mountain to climb.

Another OG doubled the visitors’ lead, this time from Longmuir. (JG)

After St Cadocs missed a couple of presentable opportunities to increase their lead the home side did manage to produce a rousing finish as they looked to rescue a point. After a Forde cross was just too high for Main they halved the deficit with three minutes to go. Good running by Docherty got him to the bye line. He passed back to Lindsay whose curling cross found Hugh Kerr and he headed it into the top corner with some aplomb.

Kerr halved the deficit late on. (JG)

The last few minutes saw the away side defending for their lives and both McGregor and Gow had shots blocked as Pollok couldn’t generate the clear cut chance they needed in a crowded box.

PO

So Pollok still await a first win over St Cadoc’s after three attempts. They will rue missed chances in an encouraging opening period and the late flurry fell just short of gaining a draw. On a cold day it had been an entertaining game but definitely one to be filed in the missed opportunity category.

FULL TIME: POLLOK 2 – 3 ST CADOC’S YC

Goals

Pollok: Gow (17′), Kerr (87′)

St Cadoc’s: McLaughlin (37′), Mullen OG *65′), Longmuir OG (76′)

Attendance: 597 (Photo: Ronnie Kane)

Match Report by Peter Thomson

Photographs from James Graham, Katie McGough & Ronnie Kane