|April 9, 2022||14:00||West of Scotland Football League Premier Division||2021-22||0'|
Highlights from Mark Donnelly:
Just the goal from Mark Donnelly:
Match Report by: Peter Thomson
Pollok welcomed Irvine Meadow to Newlandsfield for match day 33 of a league campaign.
The manager had to contend with a long list of absentees and even a replacement physio had to be found. Gary McCann, Menzies, Dykes and Forde came in for Lyon, Brownlie, McGregor and Horne as Murdie McKinnon was forced to ring the changes from the cup defeat at Auchinleck.
Pollok started brightly shooting down the hill. A nice move down the left saw Gary McCann deliver a dangerous cross into the six yard box. As Stuart McCann showed interest the Irvine centre-half managed to block whilst in a sitting position before completing a clearance. The ball was not out the danger area for long though and Grant weaved his way to the bye-line before crossing to Stuart McCann. His low shot looked on target but was unfortunately deflected by team mate Fraser and went out for a goal kick.
Moments of skill and composure were lacking as the game failed to settle into any discernible pattern. Martin had an overhead kick easily saved by Longmuir and then in the 28th minute Gary McCann did some sterling work under pressure in the left back area to get Pollok back up the pitch. From the resulting throw in Dykes skipped past a couple of defenders before unleashing a powerful drive just wide.
Irvine responded with a long range effort of their own although this was more of a curler. It was accurate enough to force Longmuir into pushing it round the post for a corner. Pollok’s next effort was a Grant volley on the turn from a throw into the box but although well struck was always rising over the bar.
On the stroke of half time Menzies took a short goal kick from Longmuir as Pollok looked to play out from the back. He then tried to play a pass out to Sideserf which was easily intercepted by Connor Boyd. When the cross came in Graham Boyd was unmarked to head home. A bad goal to lose at a bad time.
The second half started with a Wharton pass over the top. The goalkeeper rushed out of his box to head clear. Stuart McCann headed the clearance to strike partner Forde whose volley was saved by the fast retreating keeper. It was to be Pollok’s only shot on target.
Midway through the half – with Pollok having switched to a 4-4-2 formation – Meadow had a wonderful chance to extend their lead. After a bit of head tennis on the edge of the box it was flicked onto Martin by Connor Boyd. With only Longmuir to beat his shot lacked conviction and was smothered by the Pollok keeper.
As the game petered out Pollok gave a debut to loan signing Taylor and on a very sad note fellow substitute Shelvey was caught by the follow through of a robust challenge and suffered a fractured ankle. It had been a bad day for the home side when a win would actually have taken them back to the top of the league.
It would have been a satisfying footnote to season 2021/22 if the team could have gone unbeaten at home but it was not to be. A first competitive defeat at Newlandsfield since Cumnock scored a last minute winner in early March 2020.
Pollok attempt to keep applying some pressure at the the top of the WoSFL Premier Division with the visit of Irvine Meadow XI to Newlandsfield.
It’s been a difficult few weeks on the pitch but we still sit second in the table at this point and need to try and win as many games as possible and see where it takes us.
Last weekend saw Talbot eliminate Pollok from the South Challenge Cup with a late winner. Medda had a couple of games in the last week, Saturday they went down 5-3 at Meadow Park against Kirkintilloch Rob Roy and then midweek they suffered a 2-1 home defeat against Hurlford.
Meadow currently sit 11th in the Premier Division with a record of 14 wins, 2 draws and 12 defeats, giving them a total of 46 points.
Irvine Meadow were formed in 1897, and are one of the most successful teams to come out the juniors. They have won the Scottish Junior Cup on three occasions, the last time in 1973. Their last trophies came in 2012 when they lifted the West Region Premiership and the West of Scotland Cup.
The last meeting between the clubs was a 2-1 win for Pollok at Meadow Park back on 29th September last year. Goals from Ryan McGregor and a late Adam Forde winner were the difference on the day. Pollok have the upper hand in the last five matches with 4 wins for the ‘Lok and one draw.