Pollok 1 – 1 Darvel: 8th May 2024

Ten days after losing to Darvel in the West of Scotland League Cup final Pollok hosted the East Ayrshire side in the penultimate game of the league season, and it took a late Luke Main penalty for Pollok to salvage a point after Darvel had taken the lead in the second half.

The chances came quick and fast in the opening few minutes. A robust challenge on Forde on the halfway line saw Darvel win possession. A pass into Moore gave him a shooting chance but he curled it just wide. Then with three minutes on the clock Duncanson took a throw in to Forde. He turned and lashed home a screamer from twenty-five yards. After appearing to initially award the goal the referee changed his mind and harshly adjudged Forde to have handled the ball.

Adam Forde thought he had given Pollok the lead but it was disallowed.

Forde then had another go from distance after some patient passing play in the Pollok midfield but this time it was well saved by Wilson. Next to have a try was Nelson after a beautiful lay off by Main but he mishit the shot and it trundled wide. In the twenty-fifth minute a rare Forrester mistake – when he missed a header back to goal – allowed Moore in but he lobbed over the bar. A couple of minutes later Main had his first driving run of the evening and when he was crudely taken out the ball broke to Forde. He passed to Mullen who laid it off to Faulds for a crack at goal which went wide.

A strong run from Main led to a chance for Faulds.

At the other end a quickly taken free-kick went badly wrong for Pollok and Fry had to make a good save from the resultant powerfully hit shot. The home side then had a spell of pressure including a couple of corners, a Mullen shot blocked, a tremendous bit of wing play by Forrester which saw the ball flash across the six-yard box and ended with Docherty having a shot well saved by Wilson.

HALF TIME: POLLOK 0 – 0 DARVEL

Darvel started the second half on the front foot. A free-kick was fired over the bar and then when a Faulds cross was blocked they sprung forward. The ball was played into Murphy and he applied a low finish into the bottom corner to give the away side the lead just before the hour mark.

The visitors took the lead just before the hour mark through Murphy.

The Southsiders quickly went in search of an equaliser and Forde’s drive from distance was gathered by Wilson at the second attempt. A McGregor header from a Mullen corner was well saved with Forrester’s attempt on the rebound blocked on the line.

Forrester nearly got an equaliser from a corner.

On the break Darvel then had a good chance to double their lead but Fry got down well to make an important save. A further chance quickly followed as the Pollok rearguard made a mess of playing out from the back but the shot found the side netting.

A fine low save from Ben Fry kept the deficit at one.

Just when it looked like Pollok would fail to find the net at Newlandsfield for the first time this season, McGregor headed a free-kick across goal and Barbour handled. Main stepped up and sent Wilson the wrong way to give the home side a share of the points.

Main makes no mistake from the spot again to level the match in injury time.

Whilst the equaliser came in the second minute of injury time there was still time for Main to get sent off. Gallacher lost possession on the halfway line and Main slid in to prevent a dangerous attack. He was a fraction late and received his second yellow of the evening.

Main trudges off after a very late red card.

 

FULL TIME: POLLOK 1 – 1 DARVEL

Man of the Match: Scott Forrester

It was yet another solid display at the back from the centre back, and he was also a threat at the other end of the park. His trademark mazy runs had the Darvel defence nervous at times, as Forrester again showed how important he is to this squad.

 

Match report by Peter Thomson

Photos from James Graham