Pollok 2 – 1 Clydebank: 11th May 2024

The final league game of the season saw Pollok take on Clydebank at a sun-kissed Newlandsfield. 287 days had passed since an opening day victory over Auchinleck Talbot, and this game ended the same way, with an Andrew Gallacher strike deciding the match in Pollok’s favour after the winger had cancelled out Nicky Low’s stunning opener for the visitors.

Stewart Maxwell’s team selection showed three changes from the midweek draw with Darvel, as Andy Gallacher and Jamie Henry came in for Jay Nelson and the suspended Luke Main. Jordan Longmuir came back in for Ben Fry, and took the captain’s armband in his last game for the club, as he was applauded onto the pitch by both teams, accompanied by his two young children after ten years of service to Pollok.

The Bankies were first to threaten when a lobbed cross from the right was headed over. The home side responded by putting the ball in the net in the tenth minute when Gallacher’s beautifully flighted cross into the danger area appeared to go straight in. The assistant referee raised his flag though and offside was the decision.

Pollok found the net early on, but it was disallowed for offside.

With a quarter of an hour gone the away side upped the pace and had three attempts in quick succession. A long-range effort just wide, Little firing over when clean through and then another shot over after some nice passing play. At the other end Docherty was put clear by a lovely flick from Forde but the ball didn’t quite run for him and his shot lacked power so was easily saved.

As the half wore on Clydebank continued to look the more likely team to score and from a corner Niven fired goalwards but McGregor was well positioned to block. Lee Gallacher then swerved one over the bar from twenty yards.

The Southsiders best chance of the first half came in the forty-fourth minute, as a clearance was returned into the box where Henry did well to bring it down, make space and get a shot away. It was well blocked but the rebound fell to Gallacher who fired a shot into the side net.

Henry saw a shot blocked on the stroke of half time.

HALF TIME: POLLOK 0 – 0 CLYDEBANK

Pollok started the second half on the front foot. Gallacher cut inside and let fly. His shot was deflected and Forde nipped in but Hughes was alert to touch it behind. From the corner Forrester rose highest but headed over from inside the six-yard box.

In the fifty-fourth minute a long-range strike from Clydebank was deflected over the bar. The corner kick was a measured pass to the edge of the box to Nicky Low who met it with a stunning left-foot volley into the roof of the net. Not even Longmuir could stop that one.

The home side responded in magnificent fashion and were level three minutes later. Longmuir played the ball out to Duncanson who laid it off to McGregor to launch forward. Forde challenged and it broke to Docherty who steered it into the path of Gallacher. He cut inside and his low shot took a nick on its’ way into the bottom corner.

Gallacher provided a rapid response for Pollok with a deflected equaliser.

Having not held the lead for long the Bankies found parity even harder to maintain. From kick-off they worked the ball to the edge of the box before losing possession. Forde did exceptionally well to keep the ball in play before some intricate passing play between Duncanson, Lindsay and Mullen ended with the latter clipping the ball down the line for Docherty to chase. Ever the willing runner, he outpaced the defence and crossed it low for Gallacher to apply the finish at the near post.

Docherty celebrates Gallacher’s second goal.

The away side didn’t let their heads drop. A brilliant cross by Little was superbly dealt with by McGregor – heading away from danger. Little then had a great chance himself but Longmuir produced a diving save to prevent the equaliser. A Bankies corner caused a moment of panic in the six-yard box but the chance was headed over the bar.

Docherty had a curling effort well saved by Hughes after good work by Duff and Forde as Pollok saw out the final minutes fairly comfortably to win the three points.

So the season had ended the way it had begun – with Gallacher getting the winner for Pollok. After the full time whistle, it was all about Jordan Longmuir who took the acclaim of the fans and his teammates. He had to work his way through a queue of selfie seekers before getting to spend some time with his family on the Newlandsfield turf that he has graced for ten years.

 

FULL TIME: POLLOK 2 – 1 CLYDEBANK

Man of the Match: Jordan Longmuir

Who else? After ten years and 268 appearances, Jordan goes down in the annals of Pollok history as one of the greats. Beyond sentiment, his performance today was as good as any seen in the last decade, with only an absolute screamer getting past him. Thanks for everything Jordan!

Match report by Peter Graham

Photographs from Katy McGough