The goals from Mark Donnelly:
Pollok welcomed Eglinton to Newlandsfield for the 1st round of the South Challenge Cup. The sun was still shining on the south side of Glasgow but the temperature had dropped considerably from the previous week’s game with Glenafton.
Eglinton – based in Kilwinning – were first time visitors to Newlandsfield having only joined the West Of Scotland Football League this season.
Murdie McKinnon made six changes from that league win. Longmuir, MacKenzie, Sideserf, Duff, Buchanan and Forde coming in for Lumsden, Rumsby, Menzies, Esplin, Lyon and Docherty. Some of the changes enforced, others more motivated by squad rotation.
Shooting down the hill the home side dominated from the off. A long ball from Longmuir was latched on to by Forde as he bustled his way through the centre of the defence. His left foot shot was dragged wide of the post. The attacks kept on coming and the second of two inviting crosses in quick succession found Duff alone at the back post. His first touch got away from him a bit and allowed the keeper to block the shot.
With thirteen minutes on the clock Pollok took the lead. Longmuir rolled it out to Sideserf and so began a passing move thru MacKenzie, Dykes and Christie which saw the defence split and as Buchanan ran on to it he was fouled just inside the box. Forde despatched the penalty right down the middle.
Three minutes later another flowing passing move across the pitch saw MacKenzie find Duff down the left. He did well to hold off a challenge before producing the perfect cut-back from the bye-line. Forde was on hand to sweep home a left foot strike into the bottom corner.
Just past the half way mark in the opening period Eglinton had a sight of goal. A midfielder rode a tackle and then curled a shot inches past the post with Longmuir scrambling.
Whenever Pollok injected a bit of pace into either their running or their passing they looked dangerous and chances were created. Seconds after Christie had burst to the bye line and cut the ball back it was recycled to Dykes – playing in a deeper role than usual – who produced an offside trap beating pass to sending Forde through. His trusty left foot duly delivered his hat-trick with seven minutes of the half remaining.
On the stroke of half-time Pollok made it four. Dykes gained possession on the halfway line and passed it forward to Forde who produced a subtle little flick to direct the ball into Buchanan’s path. He set off for goal showing skill and pace to get thru the defence before showing composure to coolly prod the ball past the advancing keeper.
To Eglinton’s credit they came out in the second half with an attacking intent. After winning a couple of corners they produced a decent thirty yard strike which Longmuir was solidly behind.
Pollok soon re-asserted their dominance however and in the fifty first minute came close to another goal. A period of solid passing ended with McCann scampering down the right wing and cutting it back for Dykes whose curling shot was only inches off target. A couple of minutes later a glorious chance was passed up by Duff as he could only head an inch perfect Christie cross wide of the target with the goal beckoning.
With Pollok’s next attack Christie produced a cross of similar quality to his previous one and Buchanan was on hand to head home from six yards out.
The shots and substitutions continued apace as the second half wore on with Christie, Fraser, Lyon and Krol all having off target efforts. Pollok’s sixth goal eventually arrived in the eightieth minute. Good combination play by MacKenzie and Lyon ended with the former whipping in a low cross. Buchanan’s initial effort was partially saved by the keeper but Buchanan was on hand to slide the ball home from a tight angle to complete his hat-trick.
The home fans in the crowd of 440 went home happy having seen a couple of hat-tricks and more than a few decent performances. The reward for Pollok’s victory is a home tie with Clydebank as they look to better last season’s run to the quarter finals where they went down to eventual winners Auchinleck Talbot.