Match-day three of the West of Scotland League saw Pollok welcome Glenafton to Newlandsfield on a blisteringly hot afternoon, writes Peter Thomsom.
The home side made one change from the previous week’s disappointing draw with Largs. Christie coming in for Krol.
Pollok kicked off down the slope and enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in the early stages. With five minutes on the clock, the Glenafton defence was happy to see the ball out for a goal kick. The keeper then tried to play out from the back but his kick lacked pace and direction. McCann intercepted and from a tight angle drove the ball home thru the keeper’s legs.
The Southsiders kept on the attack and after a dangerous corner had been flashed across the six-yard box with no takers they doubled their lead in the eighth minute. Dykes showed great skill and close control on the left before delivering a perfect cross for the unmarked Christie. His first touch was excellent and his second was a sweet drive which gave the keeper no chance, the ball ending up stuck between net and stanchion – an oddly satisfying sight which just added to the joy of the home support.
Glenafton looked to get themselves straight back into the game in the eleventh minute when former Northern Ireland internationalist Paton floated in a tempting free kick. It was met with a powerful header from six yards out but Lumsden produced a spectacular save to tip it over the bar.
The Glens were enjoying some decent possession in the attacking third and after a corner was not cleared correctly in the thirteenth minute it was swung back into the danger area. A glancing header from the Glenafton attacker crept inches wide of the far post.
At the other end, some nice interplay between Docherty and Christie saw the latter in some space. His low, curling cross was a beauty and Glen’s defence did well to smuggle it away at the back post with Lyon lurking.
The third goal arrived just seconds before the first-half water break. A goal kick from Lumsden was allowed to bounce and then won by McCann. His flick fell perfectly for Christie whose exquisite technique produced a powerful and accurate finish into the bottom corner to make it three to nil.
To dispel any notion of a comfortable afternoon for the home side Glenafton scored with their next attack. A corner was cleared to the edge of the box and Pettigrew’s low strike deflected off the unfortunate Burns and into the bottom corner giving Lumsden no chance.
The game was now end-to-end. McCann did some sterling work to keep the ball in but his cutback was skied over the bar by Docherty.
In the thirty-seventh minute, Glenafton got themselves another goal back. After a powerful low drive from outside the box was beaten away by Lumsden, McKenzie got to the rebound just ahead of Rumsby. His scuffed shot seemed to deceive Lumsden and the ball crawled agonisingly over the line.
Despite seeing their lead cut to one, Pollok were still showing good intent in the search for more goals. After a great run down the left by Lyon, his cutback found McCann. The striker’s shot looked on target but was deflected wide. From the resultant corner, Esplin appeared to be hauled to the ground and this led to a particularly vociferous shout for a penalty from the fans behind the goal, with referee Gentiles being left in little doubt as to what they thought of his decision to wave away the appeal.
The second half continued in the same vein in terms of attacking intent but goals were to prove much harder to come by. Glenafton had a couple of long-range efforts miss the target whilst at the other end Docherty had a shot straight at the keeper and then Christie blazed over after a lightning-quick breakaway.
With 64 minutes gone, Mullen floated in a free-kick which McCann rose to head on to the top of the bar. And a few minutes later a cross from the right found Duff in space. His volleyed effort was well struck but Glens’ keeper pulled off a wonderful save.
With ten minutes to go substitute Forde let fly from outside the box. A defensive block saw the ball go spinning up in the air before landing just out of reach of the onrushing McCann and just past the far post.
The crowd of 560 went home having topped up their tans whilst watching an entertaining game between two enterprising teams. The well-earned three points for the Southsiders taking them joint top of the league in the early standings.
|August 13, 2022||14:00||West of Scotland Football League Premier Division||2022-23||0'|