Category: match reports

Pollok 13 – 0 Saltcoats Victoria

Pollok welcomed Saltcoats Victoria to Newlandsfield for their first match in this season’s South Challenge Cup, with last season’s run in this competition having ended in a dramatic and disappointing defeat to Clydebank.

With one eye on next week’s trip to Penicuik in the Scottish Cup, the manager made six changes to the team which started the win against Hurlford. In came Kyle, Hutton, Jay Nelson, Chris Duff, Grant Anderson, Hugh Kerr and Evan Maley for his first appearance since the Kirkintilloch Rob Roy game in early August where he sistained a concussion. Gow, Christie, McGregor, Gallacher, Forde and McKenzie all made way, although the final three would come on as substitutes.

Given their poor start to the season and the difference in league status it was not surprising that the away side tried to remain compact in the opening stages, but it was not long before Pollok started to threaten. Kerr saw an overhead kick and then a header just miss the target after good crosses from the right. This was quickly followed by Maley getting the first shot on target after a quick break.

With sixteen minutes on the clock Kerr produced a brilliant bit of hold-up play before releasing Anderson. His low cross was deflected behind for a corner. From Mullen’s in-swinging delivery Nelson flicked the ball home. Three minutes later another corner from the left was swung in by Mullen and flicked on. Kerr was on hand to volley home for his first Pollok goal.

Kerr got his first Pollok goal as he doubled the home side’s lead.

After Anderson stung the palms of McGlinchey, Lindsay had a try which the keeper dove to his right to push round the post. Just past the midway point of the first half Maley and Mullen combined well down the wing and the latter’s cross was volleyed home by Kerr. Maley was causing the Vic’s defence all kinds of trouble and his cross in the twenty-sixth minute was knocked into his own goal by Selwyn.

Kerr doubled his own tally not long after to make it 3-0.

The next goal arrived two minutes later and originated with a Saltcoats’ free kick into the Pollok box. It was headed out to Kerr who rode a challenge before passing to Maley. His considered cross found the head of Anderson who looped a clever header into the net.

Anderson was next to score as he headed in the fifth.

After a Mullen free-kick was tipped over the sixth goal arrived in the thirty-ninth minute. After a couple of borderline challenges the ball broke to Maley who cut inside and let fly with a left-footed strike from twenty yards into the corner.

Evan Maley about to let fly from range and score Pollok’s sixth.

As half-time approached the away side carved out a decent chance after a nice interchange from a goal kick. However Longmuir was well positioned to save Kamara’s nicely struck effort.


The second half began with another Vic’s chance but this time it was blazed over. At the other end Anderson saw his shot pushed wide to allow Mullen another opportunity to swing the ball in. And as with the first half’s opening goal Nelson timed his run beautifully to glance home a header. Three minutes later it was eight. Once again an Anderson shot was deflected for a corner. Mullen’s delivering was knocked down by McGlinchey and although Nelson’s shot was blocked Duff was on hand to drive home.

Jay Nelson heading home his second of the day for 7-0.

With Nelson having just been denied a hat-trick he produced a great bit of closing down as Saltcoats tried to play out from the back. Kerr was the beneficiary as he was able to win the ball and drive home a low shot to complete his hat-trick.

Kerr pounces to round off his hat-trick and make it 9-0.

The introduction of four subs – Forde, McKenzie, Docherty and Gallacher – did nothing to disrupt the flow of the game. After a Mullen cross flashed through the six-yard box with no takers a great bit of work by Burns presented a chance to Docherty but he side-footed wide. Docherty then set up Maley to drive home number ten with a thunderous strike in the seventy-second minute.

Maley wheels away in celebration after netting his second and Pollok’s tenth.

It was Docherty with the assist again two minutes later after a great pass out wide by McKenzie. Docherty beat the full-back before crossing low for Forde to dink a finish over the keeper. McGlinchey then produced three saves in very quick succession from McKenzie, Burns and then McKenzie again. At the other end Pollok’s clean sheet was threatened when a Longmuir clearance was charged down but the ball looped over the bar.

Forde brought up the dozen after some patient passing through the midfield. It was passed into him by Hutton and he turned and fired into the corner of the net from twenty-two yards. Pollok’s record score set in 1984 against St Anthony’s had just been matched. Forde then turned creator when he slipped the ball into Docherty but his low shot hit the post. McKenzie had a go from distance after a poor kick by McGlinchey and then Burns hit the post with a powerful header from a Mullen corner. Fittingly the thirteenth and final goal would come from yet another Mullen corner. It broke off Burns and was fired home by McKenzie. A new record victory was now in sight for Pollok.

McKenzie fires home what would prove to be a record-breaking goal for the Lok.

Mullen had a chance to score himself in the final minute. With Burrows on Mullen was now playing as a right-winger and when the play was switched after a good move down the left he had a sight of goal but dragged his shot inches wide of the post.

Pollok were safely through to the next round after the biggest win in the club’s history, beating a 39 year old record. Amongst those in attendance was Norrie Tate who had celebrated his ninetieth birthday the previous day. He first saw the Lok at Newlandsfield in 1946, although he didn’t become a full-time supporter until 1967 following the sad demise of his beloved Third Lanark. Fittingly the players had put on a show to help Norrie celebrate his landmark birthday.


GOALS: Nelson (16′, 50′), Kerr (19′, 24′, 55′), OG, Anderson (28′), Maley (39′, 72′), Duff (53′), Forde (74′, 81′), McKenzie (81′)

Man of the Match: Evan Maley

Back after six weeks on the sidelines, the winger looked sharp and was a constant attacking threat all day, culminating in his first two Pollok goals.

Attendance: 374

Report by Peter Thomson

Photos by James Graham

All the goals, filmed by Mark Donnelly:

Post-match interview with Stewart Maxwell:

Hurlford United 1 – 3 Pollok

Sandwiched between cup games, Pollok ventured to East Ayrshire to take on Hurlford United on match day eight of the West of Scotland Premier Division. Hurlford started the day three points behind Pollok but with a game in hand.

There was one change to the starting line up from the Scottish Cup victory over Benburb as Ross Lindsay came in for Kyle Hutton, whilst manager Stewart Maxwell returned to the dug-out after suspension.

Pollok started brightly and won a couple of early corners but found themselves behind after five minutes. A ball over the top turned the Pollok defence and Mullen did brilliantly to back heel the ball to Kerr. He hit a curling shot which Longmuir saved but as Sean Burns slid to block the rebound, the ball hit his hand. Lewis Morrison made no mistake from the spot with a low shot into the corner.

Lewis Morrison beats Longmuir from the spot to open the scoring.

Pollok quickly went about the task of finding an equaliser. A good passing move down the left involving Lindsay, Gallacher and Burns ending with a dangerous low cross into the near post. Adam Forde was on the end of it and his low shot was brilliantly saved by the right boot of Wilson.

Forde comes close to levelling but is foiled by the foot of goalkeeper Wilson.

Although the corner came to nothing, Pollok were quickly back on the attack. A long ball from Calum Gow was flicked on by Marc McKenzie to Forde. He held the ball up before slipping it back inside to his strike partner who tried to guide it into the top corner but it went inches over.

The equaliser looked inevitable, and it duly arrived in the fifteenth minute as McKenzie found the net against his former club. He and Gallacher pressured the Hurlford defence into a mistake and when the ball broke free, McKenzie curled a right foot shot into the bottom corner to deservedly pull Pollok level.

McKenzie wheels off in celebration after scoring the equaliser against his former club.

The game then went into a bit of a lull with a couple of interruptions for injuries affecting the flow of proceedings. Hurlford managed a couple of headers from set pieces, but neither were on target as the away side continued to look the more threatening.

With half an hour gone Christie won the ball in midfield and passed to Gallacher. He made ground before cutting inside but his shot was straight at the keeper. A few minutes later, a free-kick was touched to the side to allow Mullen a strike at goal but his well struck effort was deflected inches wide.

Just before half time Hurlford were afforded some space in the midfield and Whittaker produced a venomous strike from thirty-five yards which Longmuir did well to push away.

The second half started with the Southsiders on the attack. Ryan McGregor played an intelligent ball over the top for Gallacher to chase. As he made his way towards goal Anderson did superbly to hold him up but the ball broke to McKenzie whose first-time strike was cleared off the line.

Pollok’s next attack saw a free-kick floated into the box. Gow headed it across the goal, Forrester flicked it on and Forde got a strike in which was brilliantly blocked by Wilson.

With the away side very much the dominant force in the match they took the lead in the sixty-sixth minute. A Burns throw-in was played back to him by McGregor and his first-time, curling cross was dispatched by Forde. It might not have been an overhead kick but it was an exquisite finish from a striker in fine form.

Grant Anderson and Shug Kerr entered the fray, and and Pollok continued to get behind the Hurlford defence on a regular basis. One such attack saw Kerr throughon the inside right channel before passing inside to Mcgregor who passed to Forde, whose shot was well blocked. From the resultant corner Gow flicked on and McGregor headed home to give Pollok a two-goal cushion for the remaining seven minutes.

McGregor is congratulated by Kerr after scoring the third from close range.

Hurlford never stopped trying to get back into the game and saw one shot go wide before Longmuir saved a free-kick. From that save he quickly rolled the ball out to Mullen whose searching ball released substitute Chris Duff. His first touch took him past the keeper but it was too heavy and he just failed to keep the ball in play.

Pollok’s final chance came in injury time. A Kerr cross was partially cleared and fell to McGregor who produced an incisive pass into the box for Anderson. He steadied himself before shooting across goal. Wilson got down well to get his fingertips to it, taking it agonisingly out of reach for the sliding Kerr.

Following the smashing of the Blair Park hoodoo in February, this was another merited win for the away side. The early setback was brushed off and in the end the victory could have been by a larger margin after a thoroughly impressive all-round performance.


Hurlford – Lewis Morrison (P)(5′)

Pollok – McKenzie (15′), Forde (66′), McGregor (83′)

Man of the Match – Sean Burns

Was unfortunate to concede an early penalty which gifted the hosts an opener, but did not allow his head to go down as he put on an assured display both in defence, where Hurlford got little joy down his side, and in attack, where his dangerous runs created several opportunities and led to the second goal from Forde.


Report by Peter Thomson

Photos from Finlay Thom

Full match highlights from Mark Donnelly


Stewart Maxwell’s Post-Match Interview:

Pollok 2 – 2 Benburb (AET) (3-0 on penalties)

Pollok opened their Scottish Cup campaign with a home tie in the Second Preliminary Round against league rivals Benburb. The recent 4-1 reverse at New Tinto Park was no doubt fresh in both teams’ minds.

There was one enforced change from the win over Largs with Sean Burns replacing the suspended Jordan Allan. Also suspended was manager Stewart Maxwell who was unable to take his usual place in the home dugout at a sun-kissed Newlandsfield.

The sun was shining on Newlandsfield as the Scottish Cup rolled back into town.(FT)

It was the home side who threatened first. Andrew Gallacher won a corner with a burst of pace and dangerous low cross. Fraser Mullen’s delivery was flicked towards goal by Calum Gow and the keeper managed to prevent it creeping over the line by sitting on it.

It was an unorthodox early save, but it kept Gow’s effort out. (FT)

The next presentable opportunity arrived just before the quarter-hour mark. Benburb made great strides down the left and the low cross was touched on to Shaun Fraser. His shot was heading for the corner but Jordan Longmuir dived to his left to push it round the post. Ten minutes later Longmuir was called into action again to beat away an Aaron Black shot after he had turned back inside Gow and Mullen. The away side were generating the better scoring opportunities and they were to take their next one.

A throw from the right was headed up in the air by four successive players until it fell kindly on the edge of the box for Fraser. The ex-Pollok player made no mistake with a powerful, low volley into the corner. And three minutes later it was 2-0. Another throw from the right was back-heeled to the thrower to cross. He found Black at the back post and his hooked finish looped into the top corner leaving Longmuir with no chance.

Pollok now had to find a way back into the game and picked up the attacking pace. A vociferous penalty appeal was waved away, before Forde found McKenzie with a ball over the top, he raced clear only to mishit his shot wide of target. It had been a half-chance. His next opportunity – as half-time approached – was a glorious chance. Mullen’s free-kick into the box fell to Forrester who cleverly back-heeled into space for Gallacher to fire in a cross. It came in with pace and McKenzie only managed to scoop it over the bar.

A penalty appeal was turned down as Pollok chased a route back into the game. (FT)

The encouraging end to the first half was continued into the second half as Pollok went straight on the attack. Christie won a corner which from Mullen’s delivery was fired towards goal by Gow. The keeper made a wonderful save before Forrester put the rebound high and wide.

After a stunning save from Gow’s effort, Forrester’s rebound presented fewer problems for the Benburb stopper. (FT)

Just before the hour mark the Southsiders got themselves right back into the contest. Christie took a quick throw to Gallacher and as he was tackled Mullen strode on to the ball and whipped it towards the near post. It was behind Forde but that just meant the Lok striker could pull off another stunning overhead kick which found the back of the net.

A second overhead kick in two games from Forde halved the deficit. (JG)

After substitute Anderson had a goal disallowed for offside he was involved again in a fantastic move by Burns and Forde down the left which resulted in a corner. Forrester and McGregor challenged for the ball at the back post and it fell invitingly in the six-yard box. Forde accepted the invitation and fairly thumped it home.

Forde wheels away in celebration again after leveling the tie. (JG)

There were just over twenty minutes for the home side to find a winner and they attacked the task with gusto. Gallacher had a shot saved, then Christie curled one just wide. After Fraser sliced wide at the other end, a Mullen free-kick was saved at the second attempt before Forde lofted one over the bar. Pollok couldn’t find a winner so the game went into extra-time.

The home side’s momentum seemed to slow a bit as Benburb created a few chances of their own in the extra period. However McGregor forced the keeper into a good save before Duff fired wide from a good position with a minute to go before the game went to penalties.

Mullen was first up for Pollok and slammed his home with supreme confidence. First up for Benburb was substitute, McCrone whose kick was saved by Longmuir’s legs. Next up was Duff who slotted his kick into the bottom corner. Fraser then hit his firm and straight down the middle, but Longmuir hadn’t moved and once again saved with his legs. The keeper clearly remembered his former teammate’s effort against Arthurlie in March! McGregor continued Pollok’s 100% success rate from before Smith fired over to give the home side a place in the next round.

Longmuir stood firm to keep out two of Benburb’s three penalties. (FT)

A pulsating tie which had provided fantastic entertainment and value for money. After the excitement and exposure last season’s cup run brought Pollok will be delighted to be into the first round proper and looking forward to an away tie at Penicuik Athletic.


Pollok: Forde (59′, 70′)

Benburn: Fraser (27′), Black (30′)

Man of the Match: Calum Gow

An imperious performance from the centre back who took the armband in the second half. Won every header against a team that went long often, and marshalled the back four alongside the equally impressive Scott Forrester. (FT)

Honourable Mentions: 

Adam Forde

A massive second-half from the forward who took his tally for the season to seven, which is just two off last season’s total. Another stunning overhead kick to pull a goal back, and a poacher’s finish for the equaliser demonstrates his depth in what has been a very strong start to the season. (JG)

Jordan Longmuir

In only his second appearance of the season, the stopper showed that even in his tenth season at Newlandsfield, he remains one of the top keepers at this level. Confidently dealt with several dangerous crosses throughout the game, and stood firm to keep out two spot kicks in the shootout. (JG)

Report by Peter Thomson

Photos from James Graham & Finlay Thom

Attendance: 874

Full Match Highlights from Mark Donnelly


Post-Match Interview with Stewart Maxwell

Pollok 4 – 2 Largs Thistle

Pollok’s West of Scotland Premier Division campaign continued with a home fixture against a Largs side who had two wins and a draw from a very tough opening six fixtures.

The manager made three changes to the side which won so handsomely at Glenafton as Longmuir replaced the injured Fry in goal whilst the central midfield pairing changed from Lindsay and Main to Hutton and McGregor.

The away side started the brightest, winning a corner then a free kick in a dangerous area. The set piece was delivered low across the box but the resultant shot was fired wide.

With eight minutes on the clock Pollok took the lead. McGregor cut out a Largs clearance and played the ball to Hutton. He spread it wide to Christie. Just as it looked like Largs had him surrounded, Mullen appeared on the scene to curl in a cross to Forde. He took a touch before turning and laying the ball into the path of McGregor who side-footed the ball into the bottom corner for the first goal of his third Pollok spell.

McGregor wheels away after opening the scoring. (JG)

Christie and Mullen combined again to get a cross in a few minutes later which found Gallacher whose shot was blocked by some tremendous defending. The next cross in from the right was delivered by McKenzie but was just too high for Gallacher at the back post.

There was then a lengthy delay for an injury to Liam Lapsley who had chased in a short back pass by Gow and had come off worse in a collision with Longmuir. This stoppage in play seemed to knock Pollok out of their rhythm for a spell and Largs saw a long-range effort well saved and a header put over the bar.

There was a delay to proceedings as Liam Lapsley was stretchered off for Largs.(FT)

At the other end McKenzie sliced a shot wide after a ball-winning tackle and superb through pass by Allan. With half time approaching Pollok were beginning to reassert their dominance when Largs launched a long ball forward. Mullen headed it against Gow and it fell nicely for Sewell who headed just wide.  Largs then came even closer to an equaliser when shot from the edge of the box was pushed wide by Longmuir. McBryde fired it back across goal it flicked off Allan and on to the post. Longmuir couldn’t quite grab it but Forrester was on hand to clear off the line.

Pollok started the second half in blistering fashion. Mullen found McKenzie over the top and his low strike was pushed wide by Wilton. Gallacher picked up the loose ball and dribbled back into the box before firing in a shot which Wilton deflected behind for a corner. McGregor then saw a header go just wide.

With forty-nine minutes on the clock a Largs attack was broken up. Although the ball was there to be won just outside the box, Allan slid in with his studs showing and the referee had no hesitation in showing the red card.

Dejection as Allan is shown red early in the second half. (JG/FT)

Sean Burns was instantly introduced to replace the unfortunate McKenzie but it was not to be a backs to the wall performance from the ten men. They increased their lead a few minutes after the red card. A Mullen free-kick into the box fell at the feet of Gow. He steadied himself before firing a right footed strike into the roof of the net.

Goal machine Gowzer celebrates his third of the season to double Pollok’s lead! (FT)

At the other end Largs fashioned a good chance but McGregor was on hand to deflect it wide. And from the corner Martin curled one wide from the edge of the box.

Just before the hour mark the ten men made it 3-0. Another Mullen free-kick was chested down by McGregor who played a perfectly weighted pass into Forde. He controlled it, flicked it up and then produced a perfect overhead kick over the despairing leap of Wilton in the Largs goal. A touch of real class and a goal of the season front-runner already.

A moment of magic from Forde made it 3-0 to Pollok. (FT)

Largs were presented with a route back into the game from the penalty spot. Mullen blocked a shot with his foot and the ball ricocheted up and hit his hand which was at his side, but the referee saw it as a hand-ball and Sewell made no mistake from twelve yards.

The ten men still looked the more likely to score and in the seventy first minute they got a well-deserved fourth. Gallacher tracked back to win the ball before exchanging a one–two with Forde as he advanced down the left wing. Burns made a superb forward run into the box and Gallacher picked him out. His low cut-back was only half cleared and Christie was on hand to finish with some aplomb on his weaker left foot.

Christie celebrates making it three goals in three games.(FT/JG)

Anderson then saw a low strike well saved at the expense of a corner. From Mullen’s kick Gow’s header was deflected just wide and from the second corner Forrester lobbed just over the bar. Christie then ran from his own half before screwing his shot wide.

Largs completed the scoring in injury time. A dangerous cross was flicked on and as Mullen tried to clear from inside his own six-yard box, former Falkirk forward Daryl Duffy forced the ball over the line.

The win for Pollok was thoroughly merited as once again they had no failures alongside exceptional performances from Gallacher, McGregor and Forde. The Lok therefore retain their second place position in the table behind Beith who maintained their 100% record with victory over Auchinleck Talbot.


Pollok – McGregor (8′), Gow (52′), Forde (58′), Christie (70′)

Largs Thistle – Sewell (P) (53′), Duffy (90′ +1)


Man of the Match – Andrew Gallacher

In what is becoming a regular occurrence, Gallacher was a bundle of energy throughout, stretching the Largs defence and terrorising their full back. It was his strong run which led to Christie’s fourth goal. This boy is getting better every week! (FT)


Report by Peter Thomson


Photos from James Graham & Finlay Thom


Full Match Highlights from Mark Donnelly


Post-Match Interview from Stewart Maxwell

Glenafton Athletic 2 – 5 Pollok

Pollok’s longest away trip of the league season saw them travel to New Cumnock to take on Glenafton on match day six of the West of Scotland Premier Division. The hosts had started the season with two wins and two defeats in their four games.

Manager Maxwell had looked to start the same side who began the midweek win over Irvine Meadow but those plans were disrupted when Kerr picked up an injury in the warm-up and Forde stepped into the side.

Glenafton were quickly on the attack and Fry had a save to make inside the opening minute. At the other end Christie had a go from outside the box which appeared to be deflected wide but no corner was given. However there was to be no deflecting Christie’s next effort in the fourth minute which was volleyed into the corner of the net from twenty yards after a Forde flick on from an Allan long throw.

A couple of minutes later former Northern Ireland internationalist Paton, playing at sweeper, pinged a beautiful pass over the top of the Pollok defence and Mullen was fortunate that the striker didn’t go down after his tug.

Play was quickly back down the other end and a Mullen corner was headed down by Forrester to McKenzie whose effort on the turn went narrowly wide. McKenzie was involved again in the ninth minute when excellent wing play by Gallacher presented the unmarked striker with a golden opportunity but he headed wide from six yards.

McKenzie came close to doubling the lead with what would have been his second goal in three days.

Pollok were looking dangerous every time they had the ball and the second goal duly arrived in the eleventh minute. Mullen tried a speculative effort from thirty yards and the ball bounced just in front of the keeper but Markey will still feel he should have held the ball. Forde was on hand to smash the rebound into the top corner.

Forde got the second goal from close range.

And two minutes later it was 3-0 and it came from route one football. Fry’s goal kick was controlled by Forde whose quick shot took a touch off Paton before going into the net.

It didn’t take long for Forde to get his second and Pollok’s third.

Glenafton showed they still posed an attacking threat midway through the half when a long-range effort went dipping over the bar then a corner was flicked on but there were no takers at the back post.

Pollok really should have got their fourth in the thirty-eighth minute. Mullen released McKenzie down the right and he burst past a defender before a low cross found Forde sliding in to deflect it goalward. Markey saved but the rebound fell to Gallacher. He could probably have put it in the net himself but opted to set up the onrushing Main. He was thwarted by a despairing defender somehow getting a toe to the shot to deflect it wide.

Pollok started the second half in the same fashion as they had ended the first – with attacking intent. A long ball by Fry was headed down by Forde for Gallacher but his curling effort went over the bar. The fourth goal however arrived a couple of minutes later. A sustained period of pressure on the Glenafton goal was started by a nice run and switch of play by Main to Gallacher with the winger’s shot deflected wide of the post. The corner was never fully cleared and when the ball came back out wide to Christie he made a half yard to clip in a perfect cross for Forde to glance in a header from six yards. For the second time in four days Pollok had a hat-trick hero.

It was Forde’s turn to celebrate a Pollok hat-trick.

Glenafton got one back in the fifty-sixth minute when they won a penalty. A corner was headed up in the air and as it came down Allan was judged to have fouled a Glen’s player right on the edge of the box. The experienced Moffat made no mistake from twelve yards with a cooly taken penalty into the bottom corner.

This setback did nothing to knock the flow of Pollok’s attacking play. Gallacher ran from his own half before a low drive from outside the box was tipped round the post. Forde then chased down a long ball out of defence before making room for a shot which was well saved by Markey with his feet. Main then missed another sitter after more good work by Gallacher and Forde set up the chance which went over the bar.

With just over ten minutes to go Main got the goal his overall play had deserved. Substitute Burns made an overlapping run down the left and crossed for Forde at the near post. His shot was saved but Main was on hand to lash home the rebound.

Luke Main opened his account with Pollok’s fifth of the game.

The scoring was completed at the other end when O’Kane was allowed to dribble inside past a couple of challenges before finding the top corner with a tremendous strike.

So a five-goal, five-star performance meant it was a much happier away day for the large Pollok support than the previous Saturday.


Glenafton: Moffat (56′), O’Kane (83′)

Pollok: Christie (4′), Forde (11′, 13′, 52′), Main (79′)

Man of the Match – Adam Forde

An impressive display from the forward, who followed up his assist in midweek with a fine hat-trick.

Report by Peter Thomson

Photographs by Finlay Thom

Full Match Highlights from Mark Donnelly

Stewart Maxwell’s Post-Match Interview


Match Report: Pollok 3 – 3 Kirkintilloch Rob Roy

Match day three of the West of Scotland Premier Division saw a third game in eight days for both sides as Pollok hosted Kirkintilloch Rob Roy.

Maxwell made four changes for the game against his former side as Mullen and Allan returned from suspension, replacing Burns and a trialist respectively. Gow came back in for Morgan in the centre of defence and Anderson replaced Kerr at centre forward.  

Before the game there was a poignant minute’s silence for Brian McNeil who had served both clubs with distinction before his untimely passing in May.

Pollok were kicking down the slope and started the game on the front foot. An Allan ball over the top was superbly chased down by Anderson, who gathered the ball on the bye line and made his way into the six-yard box before hitting a low shot which was deflected over the bar. From the corner the ball was recycled and sent back in by Christie. Anderson got up highest at the back post and his header was tipped over the bar by Smith.

In the 10th minute Christie made his way across the pitch with a mazy run before slipping the ball to Duff on the edge of the box, whose low shot went just wide.

Against the run of play Kirkintilloch took the lead on 22 minutes. A cross field pass by Christie was mis-controlled by Forrester and set up a quick break. One pass found Tierney who unleashed a screamer from just inside the box into the roof of the net.

Pollok were only behind for five minutes however as Hutton played the ball into Anderson who swept it wide with a first time pass. Christie took it in his stride and went passed Gilday before sending in a tempting cross, which Anderson finished off at the front post.

Anderson slides Christie’s cross in at the front post to equalise.

Christie then tested Smith with an absolute howitzer after a pass inside by Allan, with the goalkeeper doing well to push it out of harm’s way.

Just before half time the home side took the lead. A Mullen corner evaded everyone and came to Duff on the edge of the box. He played a clever pass to Forrester who crossed to the far post where his defensive partner Gow rose well to bullet a header home.

Gow rises highest to give Pollok the lead and then celebrates with Adam Forde.

The second half began with Ryan McGregor on for Rob Roy but the first significant attack was remarkably similar to the action that had ended the first half. A Mullen set piece made its way beyond the back post where it was retrieved by Forrester who curled in another lovely cross with Gow once again leaping highest to head home and double Pollok’s lead. 

And again from Gow!

A slack pass by Christie was picked up 15 yards inside the Rob Roy half and thumped towards goal. Its trajectory had Fry worried for a moment but in the end the audacious effort went wide. It was the first in a series of long-range efforts on the Pollok goal with a couple going wide and a couple saved by Fry. The home keeper was also called into action to clutch a corner cleanly.

In the 83rd minute, Kirkintilloch found themselves a route back into the game. A cross was only partially cleared and when it was passed back into Kettings he took his time before curling a shot into the corner.

This gave the away side an obvious boost and when their next attack seemed to be floundering they were able to keep it alive and find Baber on the edge of the box. He was afforded plenty of time to line up his shot which he dispatched into the top corner for what had seemed an unlikely equaliser.

The Southsiders attempted to raise their game again to find a winner and came desperately close in injury time. A Mullen cross was brilliantly brought down by Kerr who turned and volleyed towards goal. With the keeper beaten it capped a disappointing second half for Pollok when the ball crashed off the junction of post and bar.  

Kerr rattles a late effort off the woodwork.

The elation of beating Talbot the previous Saturday was replaced with frustration and disappointment at two points dropped. There had undoubtedly been positives in the performance but ultimately it’s the result that matters. 

Man of the Match: Calum Gow

After a strong defensive showing last week against Auchinleck Talbot, it was at the other end of the park where his impact was most keenly felt with two well-taken goals which put Pollok two goals in front.

Match Report by Peter Thomson

Photographs by James Graham and Finlay Thom

Full match highlights from Mark Donnelly:

Stewart Maxwell’s post-match interview:



Match Report: Pollok 1 – 0 Cambuslang Rangers

Match day twenty-nine of the West of Scotland Premier Division saw Pollok entertain Cambuslang Rangers in their last game of the season at Newlandsfield.

The manager made three changes from the draw at Darvel: Lumsden replaced Longmuir in goal, whilst Burns and Stuart McCann came in for the Stephen Docherty and Darren Christie. Gary McCann switched from the left to the right wing.

With the sun shining the Lok team which beat Tayport 3-1 to lift the 1997 Junior Cup joined the teams in the centre circle for a minutes applause in remembrance of their teammate Ian Ashcroft who recently passed away aged 60. Gone too soon.

With Cambuslang shooting down the hill they started brightly and had an early sighter from long range which Lumsden had to get his body behind. After a couple of corners for Pollok the away side once again tried their luck from distance but on this occasion they were just off target.

With thirteen minutes on the clock Pollok created the first real opening of the contest. Mullen picked out Rumsby at the far post from a free-kick. He headed back across goal and from four yards out Brownlie headed over.

Rumsby heads across goal.

The home side were starting to build a bit of momentum and Forde collected a Lumsden clearance before a rapid exchanges of passes with Gary McCann sent him down the right wing. His cross was partially cleared to Buchanan whose rasping drive from the edge of the box appeared to be touched over the bar although the officials did not agree.

Buchanan blasts just over.

The passing and tempo were improving as the half wore on. Esplin and Menzies traded passes in midfield as the play was switched from left to right. The ball then went into Forde who got himself turned and slipped in Stuart McCann. His angled drive was well blocked by Wilson.

As the half hour mark approached a misplaced pass was seized upon by Forde. He made good ground up the middle before a reverse pass to Stuart McCann. Once again Wilson was up to the task and pushed the striker’s angled drive away for a corner.

McCann brings a save from Wilson.

After losing the ball in midfield Pollok were stretched by a cross field pass in behind the backline. The eventual shot came from a tight angle and Lumsden was able to smother at the near post. Moments later he had to spread himself to get a strong hand to the ball as an attacker looked to go round him.

Wilson was tested again by a Forde attempt from distance after a short free-kick from Mullen. Once again the Cambuslang keeper was up to the task.

The last chance of the half fell to a marauding Menzies as he got on the end of a Gary McCann flick in behind the defence and volleyed goalwards. As had been the case all half Wilson was well positioned and made the save.

The second half started with Cambuslang showing some good persistence to get in down the left. The cross was mis-kicked by Brownlie and a presentable chance was squandered when they shot straight at Lumsden who had reacted quickly to narrow the angle.

The home side were huffing and puffing as the game approached the hour mark with the only effort of note being a Buchanan shot from the edge of the box which went wide of goal after nice set up play by Forde.

A route one move changed the mood however. A goal kick by Lumsden was flicked on by Stuart McCann to his brother Gary. He wrapped his foot around the ball on the bye-line and delivered a wonderful cross which Burns met to head powerfully down and into the net.

Sean Burns buries his header for 1-0.

Both teams continued to try and create openings but there was not much in the way of goalmouth action. A good move by the Southsiders in the seventy second minute saw Gary McCann pick out brother Stuart with a curling cross. His header couldn’t find the target and drifted wide.

Pollok continued to search for a second goal and substitute Duff produced a mazy run from his own half which ended in an angled drive being touched round the post. That corner came to nothing but the next corner a minute later saw Stuart McCann’s tremendous acrobatic effort blocked and Gary McCann’s follow up saved.

McCann comes close to a spectacular second for Pollok.

If it was to have been a last Newlandsfield appearance in black and white for a number of Lok stalwarts then it was a rather low key ending. For those who do leave in the summer we wish them well.

Neutrals have – in the main – been richly entertained at Newlandsfield this season. For the die hard Lok supporter the undoubted highlight was the cup win against Annan, the lowlights the disappointing cup defeats to Clydebank and St Cadocs. Home league form of nine wins, two draws and four defeats will need to be improved upon next season if a title challenge is to be made.          

Pollok Man of the Match: Gary McCann

The winger was at the heart of every Pollok foray forward and created several good chances with crosses from the right hand side. It was one of these deliveries which found the head of Sean Burns to score the only goal of the game. 

Report by Peter Thomson

Photos from Nathan Bonnar

Match Highlights from Mark Donnelly:


Post-match interview with Stewart Maxwell

Match Report: Darvel 1 – 1 Pollok

After a week’s break Pollok travelled to Darvel for matchday 28 of the West of Scotland Premiership to take on the side sitting one place above them in the table.

The manager made one change to the starting line up from the 5-3 win over Troon with Lyon being replaced by Gary McCann. Buchanan moved into a more central role in midfield.

Gary McCann came into the side for this game after starting the tie against Troon on the bench.

After an initial burst of action in the opening couple of minutes where Truesdale did well to deal with a back pass fired at him from the centre circle and Menzies got a good header away from a dangerous cross the game settled into a midfield battle with little in the way of goalmouth action.

The first shot on target arrived in the seventeenth minute when Stirling powered in an angled drive which stung the palms of Longmuir. Whilst Darvel were dominating possession they were finding it hard to create chances against a hardworking and disciplined Pollok midfield and defence.

Adam Forde looks for a foul in the middle of the park.

Buchanan was one of those hard workers and when he intercepted a pass in his own half he strode forward and got his head up. His pass released Docherty through the inside right channel. When he drove into the box he stumbled and then slipped but managed to retain possession and prodded the ball back to Christie. He knocked the ball passed his opposing defender and was taken out as he went past. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Christie stepped up and calmly sent Truesdale the wrong way to put Pollok one up in the twenty seventh minute.

Darren Christie slots home his second penalty against Darvel in a matter of weeks.

Darvel equalised in the forty-second minute. As Pollok prepared for a free-kick to be crossed into the box it was instead passed out to the left wing. The cross was a good one as it dissected Longmuir and his defence and was bundled home at the far post by Ferguson.

With a minute to go until the break Pollok carved out a great opportunity to regain the lead. McCann intercepted a pass in his own box and dribbled forward to the halfway line. A simple pass back to Mullen was quickly re-distributed to Esplin in the middle of the park. His pass split the Darvel defence and allowed Docherty to run through on goal. He rounded Truesdale but his shot towards goal was superbly blocked by a sliding defender. All square at the break.

Docherty comes agonisinly close to putting Pollok back into the lead on the stroke of half-time.

The second half was a couple of minutes old when a couple of the Recreation Park sprinklers made an unscheduled appearance in the centre circle. Given how much of the game was getting played in the middle third of the pitch it was surprising no one got soaked.

The sprinklers come on early in the second half, delaying play slightly.

Pollok created the first chance of the half after some tenacious work by Forde. He held off a couple of challenges before sliding a pass into strike partner, Docherty. His first touch was good but his low strike was probably heading wide although Truesdale got a fingertip to it to make sure. From Mullen’s corner Brownlie headed wide.

Brownlie rises highest to head towards goal in the second half.

Darvel then resumed their domination of the ball and whilst it wasn’t quite defence against attack if it had been the defence was winning. Just before the hour mark the home side put together some slick passing which presented a good scoring opportunity just inside the box. The shot however was not as accurate as the passing which had preceded it and Longmuir was able to save.

Menzies headed a dangerous free-kick out for a corner from which Syme – playing his third league game against Pollok in seven weeks – headed over. At the other end a curling free-kick from Mullen was met by the head of Brownlie whose effort was well saved by Truesdale.

In their search for a winner Darvel were restricted to long range efforts – one of which Longmuir had to tip over the bar. In the end Pollok’s resoluteness and organisation merited a point.


Longmuir at full-stretch tips a long-range shot over the bar.
It was a frustrating afternoon off the bench for Lyon.

With Beith’s midweek win at Auchinleck Talbot having given them a commanding lead at the top of the table Darvel knew anything less than a perfect run in would probably not be enough to retain their league title. Whilst the game had been less than memorable it did in fact mark the end of an era as it turned out to be Mick Kennedy’s last game in charge of the East Ayrshire side.

For Pollok it was another game ticked off with the defending much improved on the reverse fixture only a few weeks previously at Newlandsfield. A hard won point in a fixture that had an end of season feel to it throughout the second half.


Match Report: Peter Thomson

Photos: James Graham

Full Match Highlights from Mark Donnelly:


Stewart Maxwell’s thoughts on the game:

Pollok v Troon: Match Report

After the Scottish National team gave the country a boost with two Hampden victories, football on the south side of Glasgow continued with Troon visiting Newlandsfield for match day twenty seven of the West of Scotland Premiership.

Pollok manager, Stewart Maxwell, made two changes to the team narrowly beaten by Darvel the previous Friday. Sean Burns and Kenny Barr dropped out to be replaced by Craig Menzies and Adam Forde. Fraser Mullen also switched from right to left back.

Unusually Pollok were kicking up the slope in the first half but it did not take them long to get going in an attacking sense. A free kick on the left was superbly whipped in by Mullen and Rumsby was on hand to bundle the ball home from a couple of yards with only two minutes on the clock.

Scott Rumsby wheels away in celebration.

Docherty then burst down the right and fired over a low cross. Forde tried to leave it to Buchanan but seemed to distract him and he fired over from a good position.

If the home support thought they were in for a comfortable afternoon that notion was quickly eradicated. Another Pollok corner in the fourth minute saw a Buchanan pass intercepted and Troon’s policy of leaving three players up the park reap dividends. Josh Black played a beautiful pass through the middle to namesake Ben who applied a dinked finish over the onrushing Longmuir.

Pollok resumed their attacks and Mullen fired a great ball out to Christie in the seventh minute to switch the play. Christie jinked past his fullback and delivered a dangerous cross that was well defended.

Troon then took the lead. There seemed little trouble as Longmuir comfortably clutched a header into the box. In looking to distribute quickly he rolled the ball out to Lyon who was facing his own goal. Lyon realised he was being pressurised and passed the ball back to Longmuir. In looking to clear long he didn’t connect as well as he would have liked and hit the ball straight into Josh Black. As Black moved in on goal Brownlie got in a great tackle but the ball was still loose and Black just beat Longmuir to it before turning and rolling it into the empty net.

Del Esplin tries to rally the Pollok squad after squandering their early lead.

Troon held on to the lead for slightly longer than Pollok had done but it was two all after twenty-two minutes. Another superb switch of play by Mullen found Christie on the run. He chested it past a defender and burst into the box to apply a classy finish into the bottom corner.

Darren Christie salutes the Pollok faithful after levelling the match.

Pollok then went in search of a third goal with some enterprising attacking play. Brownlie, Docherty – after tireless harassing of the Troon defence – Esplin and Forde all having efforts on goal but all missing the target.

After those missed chances the home side found themselves behind again in the thirtysixth minute. A dangerous free kick in from the left saw Buchanan tug Jamieson and the referee pointed to the spot. Longmuir got a hand to Wilson’s penalty but it was wellstruck and accurate as it found the corner of the net.

After a speculative long-range volley from Forde, Pollok almost equalised with the last action of a pulsating first half. A Mullen free-kick from the right was headed goalwards by Rumsby but it clipped the top of the bar.

Half Time: Pollok 2 – 3 Troon

The home side maintained their attacking intent at the start of the second half. After a corner was only partially cleared Lyon headed a pass out to Mullen who flicked on to Christie. His cross found Forde unmarked and he thumped home a ferocious volley to make it three apiece with forty eight minutes on the clock.

A thumping volley from Adam Forde draws Pollok level.

Troon then had two golden chances in the space of two minutes to regain the lead. First Josh Black saw a shot well blocked but the rebound fell perfectly for him but his shot took a nick off a defender on its way over the bar. From the corner the ball was partially cleared but eventually it was swung back in with the Pollok defence looking for offside. The assistant referee’s flag remained steadfastly at his side and Wilson was left with a gilt-edged chance which he skied over the bar.

Pollok regained the lead in the sixty-fourth minute. With the ball bobbling about the midfield Menzies produced a back heel which may have been meant for Esplin but found Forde. He played a superb reverse pass to his strike partner Docherty who finished with aplomb in off the far post.

Stephen Docherty after restoring Pollok’s lead.

Both teams continued to attack with Troon seeing a glancing header from a corner whistle just over and then Forde had a thunderous strike from twenty-five yards go inches wide with Burgess rooted to the spot. Christie then found Burgess’ midriff with a shot after an exquisite one two with Forde. Burgess was beaten in Pollok’s next dangerous attack after Forde fired Gary McCann’s cutback goalwards but his effort was cleared off the line.

Substitute Gary McCann looks to test the Troon defence.

With Pollok only one ahead Troon continued to believe and pushed men forward at every opportunity but the Pollok rear-guard were playing better than in the first half. With a couple of minutes to go a quick throw by Longmuir found Christie. He drove down the field before flicking a pass into Barr whose shot was tipped round the post.

After Menzies had a word with his refereeing namesake about the time he was adding on the referee seemed reluctant to blow his whistle and allowed play to continue. Pollok were therefore able to launch one last attack and after Barr found Forde with a lobbed pass his cross found Stuart McCann who headed home from six yards out.

Stuart McCann makes sure of the points with a close range header.

Eight different players had found the net in a pulsating encounter which had seen an abundance of attacking threat. Perhaps not a game either defence will remember with great fondness but a merited three points for the home side in the end. And no-one will have left the ground bemoaning a lack of entertainment.

Sponsor’s Man of the Match: Adam Forde

The Pollok forward was at the heart of much of Pollok’s attacking play and his goal early in the second half got the comeback started. Also chipped in with two assists in a decisive performance.

Match Report by Peter Thomson

Photos by James Graham and Nathan Bonnar

Pollok v Darvel: Match Report

The Friday Night Lights were on for match day twenty-six of the West of Scotland Premiership as Pollok entertained title-chasing Darvel. With the fixture brought forward to avoid a clash with the Scotland versus Cyprus game it was Pollok’s third outing in seven days.

After the defeat to Clydebank the manager made three changes to the starting eleven – Menzies and Fraser dropping out along with the suspended Nelson to be replaced by Mullen, Barr and Buchanan. The stretched nature of the squad was shown by the fact only five substitutes were listed.

The home side were straight on the offensive with a burst forward by Lyon in the opening minute. He passed it wide to Buchanan whose cross found a good area but lacked power and was gathered by Truesdale. Five minutes later Lyon again carried the ball forward this time passing out to the right to Christie. He beat his man and whipped in a cross. A defensive header cleared the ball to the edge of the box where Lyon got a strike in but it was straight at Truesdale.

It was Lyon again testing Truesdale a few minutes later when the Pollok attack harried the Darvel defence into a mistake after they had opted to take a short goal kick. Darvel were then seen as an attacking threat with seventeen minutes on the clock. A long throw was flicked on and hammered towards goal. Longmuir flung himself to his left to palm it away with a stunning save.

Four minutes later Pollok opened the scoring. A free kick into the box was headed out wide. As Docherty went to retrieve it at the right-hand side of the box he was rather needlessly shoved in the back and the assistant referee indicated penalty. Christie stepped up and rolled the ball into the bottom corner with Truesdale going the wrong way.

Darren Christie gives Pollok the lead from the spot.

Having opened the scoring with a penalty the home side doubled their lead three minutes later with a superb individual goal from Lyon. He picked up a loose ball just inside the Darvel half and surged between two opponents. As he got into the box it looked like he might be crowded out but a sharp change of direction left a defender in his wake and generated room for an accurate, right footed strike into the same corner as Christie had found minutes earlier.

Johnny Lyon on his way to doubling Pollok’s lead.

Just after the half hour mark Darvel won a corner. It was cleared and Pollok looked to be on the verge of a very dangerous counter-attack when the ball didn’t quite fall into Esplin’s path and his touch got away from him. The ball was quickly returned to the right wing and when the low cross came in Ferguson was there to apply an accurate finish.

From the restart the ball never went out of play again until it was back in the Pollok net and it was a personal disaster for Burns who up until then had been putting in a good performance. A hopeful ball was swung in from the left but Burns was well positioned to deal with it. He got the ball caught under his feet and although he recovered in time to clear his lines he opted to try and dribble out of the box. Having been quickly closed down he tried to pass back to Longmuir but was short and McKenzie nipped in to slot home. A devastating sixty seconds for the Southsiders.

Four goals in thirteen minutes had illuminated the first half but the home side will have been disappointed not to have led at the break.

The second half started with Darvel taking control of the game. A cross in from the right found McKenzie six yards out but his shot was brilliantly saved by Longmuir. A free kick was then floated into the box and headed down. The shot on the turn though crept inches wide of Longmuir’s right-handpost.

With sixty-five minutes on the clock another free kick into the Pollok box led to a stramash with bodies flying everywhere. The ball ended up in the net but the referee had spotted an infringement.

Having been forced back for much of the second period Pollok then refound some attacking momentum. Burns hit the side netting and Christie dug out two superb crosses from the right which Stuart McCann would have loved to attack. Perhaps it was those moments which proved just how costly his harsh suspension was to Pollok.

Darvel had been making use of their strong bench in the second half as they pushed for a winner and a substitute was involved in the goal. A tackle in the Pollok box led to the ball breaking nicely for Kirkpatrick who was suddenly clean through on goal. Longmuir saved well but the rebound fell for former Pollok striker McKenzie to slot home the winner with two minutes to go.

It had been a good contest with both teams having their periods on top. For Darvel the late winner kept their title hopes alive although they will need a near flawless run into the end of the season. For the home side it rounded off a miserable seven days although the performances in defeat had got progressively better over the three games.


Match Report by Peter Thomson

Photos by James Graham