Match highlights from Mark Donnelly
Match report by Christopher Dodds
A bumper crowd at Newlandsfield off 1125 witnessed a dominant new year display from Pollok as they brushed aside rivals Arthurlie 5-0 to move into 5th in the Super Premier Division in a game where fans said goodbye to old friends John ‘Tiger’ Shaw and Ronnie Keenan. Goals came from skipper Paul Gallacher, Stuart McCann, his brother Gary and Adam Forde who netted his 3rd goal of the season.
The hosts started the match as they meant to go on with dominating, fast flowing football. The first chance of the game fell too Lok midfielder Liam Rowan, with the ball falling to him at the edge of the Arthurlie box, with a good touch he struck a fierce drive and forced a good reaction save out of Lie custodian Grant Hay. The McCann brothers were linking up well and causing problems down the right hand side. The first of very few chances for the away team fell to Marc McKenzie whose free kick couldn?t beat the wall in front of Longmuir?s goal. Playmaker Nicky Little played a fine cross field diagonal to the scintillating Gary McCann who knocked it past Lie?s Macauley Wilson who had other option but to bring the Lok winger down on the right hand side and pick up a booking.
After a succession of corners Lok skipper Paul Gallacher opened the scoring on 30 minutes, Liam Rowan drilled in the corner which Gallacher met at the near post and directed towards goal with a bullet header. This woke Arthurlie up and on 42 minutes ex Lok midfielder and cult hero Kieran McAleenan passed up an opportunity six yards out which looked easier to miss, hitting the ball off the post and sending it away for Lok to counter. This started with the ever present Mark Sideserf playing out to Nicky Little who won the arial duel with James Brough, receiving the ball back from Rowan and played a crisp pass into Stuart McCann who used his pace and ran through one on one with Grant Hay and duly obliged to knock it under the keeper and make it 2-0. On the Stroke of half time, ex lie Captain Ryan McGregor fired wide from the edge of the box for the homesters.Half time: 2-0
Four minutes into the second half Gallacher scored a carbon copy of his first goal to make it 3-0 much to manager Tony McInally?s delight and his own after a brilliantly lofted corner from Rowan again. Adam Forde who lead the line brilliantly, passed up his best chance of the game so far after a neat and intricate one-two between Gary McCann and Nicky Little with the former drilling a cross along the ground into the box with Forde firing over from 12 yards. Arthurlie midfielder Colin Spence was booked on 58 minutes for persistent fouling. Adam Forde curled home on 65 minutes from the edge of the box with a fine snapshot after the ball broke kindly for him on the right hand side of the ?D? and he made no mistake and made it 4-0 to the home side. Forde had another chance on 70 mins after the brilliant Nicky Little won another header in the midfield, capping a dominant display in the middle of the park, flicking the ball instinctively into the path of the striker who fired just wide. A fine piece of illusion from Ryan Mcgregor, with 11 minutes to play, sold his defender with the dummy for Nicky Little to strike first time on the edge of the box only for it to fizzle past the post leaving the No.11 feeling rather hard dun-by. Gary McCann capped off a brilliant performance with 9 minutes to go after Stefan McCluskey, who was brought on for Stuart McCann, played an exquisite reverse pass from halfway through to the winger who latched on to the perfectly weighted pass and proceeded to round the keeper and tap into an empty net to make it 5-0 after being one on one with the goalie. With a classy and professional performance throughout with all 11 players and three subs deserving plaudits, the referee Stephen Brown blew for full time, giving the Lok faithful the perfect tonic to start off 2018.
After the game, Tony McInally said “I’m delighted with that competent and professional performance, especially after being off for a month. I thought Stuart McCann was brilliant and scored a great goal. I?m happy for Paul Gallacher who I felt needed a few goals.” He added, “I thought Gary McCann?s goal was just immense. But most importantly I?m happy that we got the three points against our derby rivals.?
More reaction to the match here
Previous Meeting:?Pollok 1 Arthurlie 0
Match Sponsor: Richard Healey Removals
Referee: Stephen Brown
AR1: Kevin McElhinney
AR2: Chris Hughes