Pollok 0 – 2 Darvel: 28th April 2024

The West of Scotland Cup Final pitted Pollok against Darvel on a sunny, but chilly Sunday at Broadwood Stadium. Pollok had come through tough away ties at Petershill, Clydebank, Hurlford and Auchinleck as well as a home victory over Gartcairn to reach this stage so no one could doubt their status as worthy finalists, but the final was to prove a step too far for the Lok who fell to defeat in Cumbernauld.

With Scott Forrester suspended due to his red card in the semi-final, Maxi was forced into one change and made three additional ones from the midweek draw with Benburb. Longmuir returned in goal in place of Fry with Forde, Faulds and Henry replacing Gallacher, McKintsray and Forrester.

Longmuir returned to the starting eleven. (KM)

Darvel settled quicker and forced a couple of early corners although they did not produce any efforts on goal. The game burst into life with a quarter of an hour gone. A Mullen free-kick was easily gathered by Wilson and he set in motion a quick counterattack. Some slick passing generated a shooting opportunity which Longmuir saved well. Although the rebound was cleared to halfway the Pollok defence never really got set again and when a cross was floated back in Duncanson got in front of Moore to cut it out and it hit his arm. The referee judged it to be a penalty and Graham Wilson gave Longmuir no chance with an accomplished spot-kick.

Wilson makes no mistake from the spot to open the scoring. (KM)

Pollok’s first threatening bit of attacking play came a couple of minutes later when Main worked his way to the bye line before cutting it back for Forde to lay off to Lindsay. His shot was well blocked.

Chances were at a premium at both ends with Darvel shooting over from long range before Burns shot wide from distance after good work by Main and Faulds. On the stroke of halftime Darvel squandered a great chance to double their lead. After a quick break Burns looked to have snuffed out the danger with some good defending but the pitch played a huge role in the ball getting stuck under his feet allowing Moore to gain possession and square it. Longmuir was at his best in keeping out Cairns low shot.

Longmuir saves from close range. (JG)

HALF-TIME: POLLOK 0 – 1 DARVEL

The second half resumed with a very similar Darvel attack only this time when Moore squared it Walker was able to guide the ball past Longmuir and make it two. There had only been twenty seconds played.

Walker doubles Darvel’s lead withing seconds of the restart. (RM)

As Darvel continued to manage the game superbly Pollok struggled to gain any momentum. Some pressure just after the hour mark led to a Docherty volley from the edge of the box but it was straight at Wilson. A corner in the sixty-eighth minute saw the first sign of anxiety in the Darvel defence when it was punched clear but Gallacher sent a volley wildly over the bar.

Pollok were now dominating territorially but Darvel were comfortable with that. A superb Duncanson cross was fingertipped away from Gallacher at the back post as he waited to head in and then Forde had a couple of shots well saved before Nelson drove an effort from the edge of the box over the bar.

Nelson fires over. (JG)

Whilst it was not to be their day and the performance came nowhere near the heights they are capable of achieving the players and coaching staff can be proud of their cup run this season. The sticky, artificial surface did not suit Pollok’s strength of running with the ball and committing the opposition. On the day Darvel’s passing game was more suited to the conditions and they thoroughly merited their victory.

Dejection for Pollok at the final whistle. (RM/JG)

 

FULL TIME: POLLOK 0 – 2 DARVEL

 

Pollok Man of the Match: Sean Burns

In a match where few stood out in black and white, Burns coped admirably playing in an unfamiliar centre half role. Several well-timed tackles and interceptions limited Darvel’s clear-cut chances. (RM)

Report by Peter Thomson

Photographs from James Graham, Ross MacDonald & Katie McGough.