League: McBookie.com West Region Premiership

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Pollok v Rossvale

Goals from Davie Brown

Att: 378

Match updates

Vale equaliser 1-1

Jamie Henry subbed with a suspected dislocated shoulder

Adam Forde nets his 50th goal in Lok colours – 1-0!

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Beith v Pollok

Highlights from Mark Donnelly

Goal action from Mark Donnelly

Pollok travelled to Beith for match day fifteen of the McBookie West Premiership looking for their first win in five league games. There were five changes in the starting eleven from the previous week?s cup win with Lumsden returning in goal, Evans in at right back, Henry and Stuart McCann back from injury and a debut for new signing Jordan Shelvey.

Pollok ? playing all in red ? started the first half kicking down the famous Bellsdale slope. Beith had the first couple of attempts from outside the box but neither were on target as both teams eased into the game. In the fifth minute Henry took a poor touch and overstretched in trying to redeem the situation. Fortunately the Beith player took evasive action and Henry escaped with a yellow. Five minutes later Beith?s Ramsay sought to even the score with a crude challenge on Henry to pick up a yellow card of his own.

No real pattern had developed when in the twelfth minute a long clearance from Lumsden fell to Esplin who fired an excellent ball to Shelvey on the right wing. The debutant played it first time into Forde whose turn and touch created space on the edge of the box. Forde showed great awareness to decline the opportunity to shoot and passed the ball to Stuart McCann who confidently slipped the ball past Grindlay in the Beith goal.

Pollok were now in the ascendancy and doubled their lead midway through the first half. Some great control on the left of the box by Fraser forced Sheridan into conceding a corner. Although the corner produced nothing Pollok kept Beith pinned in and when a deep cross from Sideserf reached the back post it was Shelvey who rose highest to head to the ball down and over the line for his first Pollok goal.

Almost immediately Beith were back in the game. A short throw near the corner flag was won by the Beith forward who hooked the ball across goal. Sideserf managed to head it to the edge of the box where it was headed goal-wards by McKenzie. A significant deflection wrong footed the diving Lumsden and Pollok?s two goal advantaged had lasted barely a minute.

Beith immediately went in search of an equaliser and Ramsay fizzed one just wide of the post from outside the box and then Lumsden had to look lively to save at the feet of Frize.?

As the game approached half time Pollok carved out a couple of chances with McCann having a header blocked and Forde just failing to connect with a Shelvey header across goal. Then in first half injury time came the game?s most controversial moment. Henry won the ball in the middle of the park as the Beith midfielder lost control of it. The referee deemed Henry had caught his opponent and produced a second yellow. Pollok would take their turn playing up the slope with only ten men.

If the first half had ended badly for the away side the start of the second was no better. Almost straight from the kick off McIlroy was given time and space on the edge of the box and his low strike found the bottom left hand corner. Beith were now level on goals, one up in men and playing down the slope.

It looked bleak for Pollok but with the defence standing firm and Esplin covering every blade of grass in midfield they steadied the ship, and began to display an attacking threat once again. In the 55th minute a slick passing move put Forde clear and although his shot beat the keeper it slid past the far post. This effort was quickly followed up by two more Forde shots ? both on target, both well saved.

With Pollok enjoying a great spell it was important they took advantage and in the fifty ninth minute they did. A beautifully weighted pass from Fraser in the middle of the park found Stuart McCann who ran at Noble and after a bit of trickery was brought down. A stonewaller not protested by the defender. Fraser stepped up and fired the penalty right down the middle to restore Pollok?s lead.????

Although Pollok were now in the ascendancy they had a narrow escape when Beith were allowed a free header at the back post. It was headed back across goal but fortunately went wide of the post.

With Beith looking for an equaliser and Pollok intent on attacking whenever they could more goals seemed inevitable. With ten minutes to go a Beith attack was crowded out inside the Pollok six yard box and Fraser carried the ball out to the halfway line. Substitute Gary McCann took over and dribbled past a couple of players before switching it to Evans. He fed Stuart McCann down the wing and in an almost carbon copy of the previous penalty incident he took on Docherty and the result was exactly the same ? the referee pointing to the spot. This time it was substitute Dallas who took on the responsibility and he calmly slotted the ball into the bottom left hand corner.

With four minutes to go McLean passed up a glorious chance to set up a grandstand finish. After a flowing Beith move down the right wing a low cross into the box was met by a sliding McLean but he could only watch in agony as his effort trundle the wrong side of the post with Lumsden beaten.

It was Pollok who finished the game on top and rounded the scoring off in the last minute. A long ball from Lumsden was missed by everyone and Gary McCann was alert to the possibilities. He ran beyond the Beith rear-guard and coolly slotted the ball home from the edge of the box. A goal each for the McCann brothers and an assist for Lumsden was a perfect end to a sensational ten man performance from Pollok.

Those who had stayed away from a chilly Bellsdale Park to watch Scotland on the television grind out a win in the warmer climes of Cyprus had missed out on a great advert for Scottish Junior football. Seven goals, a red card, numerous yellows and some very attractive and inventive football. It was exceptional entertainment and from a Pollok point of view a very welcome three points ahead of a home tie with Troon in the Scottish Cup this weekend. Peter Thomson

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Pollok vs Kilwinning

Match highlights from Mark Donnelly

Pollok welcomed league leaders Kilwinning Rangers on match-day fourteen of the McBookie West Premiership. With Pollok?s injury woes showing no signs of abating there were two changes from the previous weeks win at Linlithgow. Both were enforced with the McCann brothers ? both taken off injured the previous Saturday ? replaced by Duff and Forde in McKinnon?s starting eleven. The lack of available bodies was highlighted by having a trialist on the bench.

It was a first game at Newlandsfield for six weeks and the referee clearly couldn?t wait. He blew his whistle a couple of minutes early as the crowd continued to trickle in. The late arrivals missed little as the two sides settled into the game.

In the seventh minute a free kick into the box was sliced by the Kilwinning defender and Gallacher couldn?t quite manage to loop his header over the goalkeeper.

Neither team was able to create a clear cut chance until a fast break by Kilwinning in the fifteenth minute. Monti controlled the ball expertly and fed Agnew down the right wing. His measured cross found the diving head of Lewis and he forced Lumsden into a great save. Pollok responded five minutes later with a lightning break of their own. Fraser won the ball in the left back area and got his head up to play an accurate pass to Forde. A great couple of touches took him past his marker and heading for the Kilwinning goal. With a couple of defenders in his way he fed the onrushing Duff in the inside left channel and his powerfully struck effort was palmed away for a corner by Markey.

In the twenty fifth minute Pollok?s injury list lengthened. Frye went clattering into Barron in the middle of the park. Frye got a yellow card, Barron appeared to suffer a potentially serious arm injury. He was replaced by Sideserf with MacKenzie moving into midfield.

After McCloskey picked up a yellow card for a foul on Duff ? with the player himself gutted that advantage wasn?t played ? Forde fired the free kick just over the bar. With half time approaching Forde was again involved. He produced a great bit of hold up play before hooking a pass to MacKenzie. His first time through ball was chased by Fraser but the onrushing Markey got there first. His clearance fell to Esplin on the half way line who tried his luck at the empty goal but his effort drifted wide.

Pollok?s overworked physio was required to return to the pitch from the pavilion where he was treating Barron to attend to Russell who had taken a hefty challenge. Fortunately he was able to continue after treatment.

With Pollok shooting up the hill in the second half they started to dominate. Duff cut in from the right and unleashed a low left foot shot towards the bottom corner. The keeper got down to parry and then did superbly to get up and beat away Russell?s on target effort with the rebound.

On sixty minutes it was the Kilwinning physios turn to be overworked. Having tended to their right winger he was immediately called to the other side of the pitch to deal with what looked a serious injury to McCloskey. After lengthy treatment from both physios and management from both benches offering their support he was carried from the field to be replaced by McGowan.

With Pollok still slightly on top it was therefore against the run of play that Kilwinning took the lead in the seventy second minute. A challenge by Gallacher twenty two yards out where he appeared to get the ball was deemed a foul by the referee. Monti stepped up and curled a beauty over the wall and into the top right hand corner.

Dallas replaced Russell as Pollok went in search of an equaliser but despite having most of the possession the closest they came was a looping Fraser header from a Sideserf cross which went just over the bar with Markey beaten. A penetrating run by Duff was then crudely halted on the edge of the box but Forde?s free kick was blocked before it could trouble the keeper.

After a disappointing October for Pollok, November started in similar fashion.? The squad has been stretched to breaking point ? particularly in midfield ? and it is to be hoped that those missing return soon and a morale boosting run of victories is just around the corner. Peter Thomson

att: 587

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Hurlford Utd v Pollok

Highlights from Mark Donnelly

 

Pollok continued their recent tour of Ayrshire for Matchday 13 of the McBookie West Premiership with a trip to Blair Park to face Hurlford. The team showed five changes from the one which started the previous week against Irvine Meadow with Sideserf suspended, Henry injured and Dallas, Evans and Russell having to settle for a place on the bench. They were replaced by the five who had sat on the bench the previous week ? MacKenzie, Boyle, Barron, Duff and Gary McCann.

With the pitch in superb condition and the sun shining the stage was set for a good game of football. Unfortunately for the fans in attendance ? the majority of whom were supporting the away side – what transpired in the first half was not a good game of football.?

The first real goal mouth incident occurred in the thirty-sixth minute when a long ball from keeper Lumsden was expertly flicked on by Stuart McCann for Forde to run on to. He rounded the despairing dive of the Hurlford keeper and although forced a little wide fired a low shot towards the near post. Unfortunately for Pollok, left back Dickson had made great strides to get back on the goal line and was able to kick clear.

With Robertson marshalling the Hurlford defence superbly and snuffing out Pollok attacks with increasing regularity it looked like the half time whistle would come without a goal been scored. Then in the forty third minute ? with Pollok enjoying the bulk of the possession ? Barron played a loose pass in his own centre circle. With the defence not set Hurlford were able to play two quick passes out to the right and when the inviting cross came in McKenzie was able to find space between the two backtracking centre halves to send an unstoppable header past Lumsden.

Duff had a chance to equalise straight away but fired a well struck shot at the keeper when others were screaming for a pass. So a disappointing half had finished with a flurry of activity and the home side in the lead.

The second half saw Pollok up their domination of possession with Hurlford happy in the main to protect their lead. Half chances came and went with Dickson clearing a McCann header off the line and the keeper making a couple of routine saves. At the other end Lumsden was forced into a point blank save after some unconvincing Pollok defending.

The introduction of Shaun Fraser led to an increase in creativity as Pollok continued their search for an equaliser. Fraser actually had the ball in the net in the eighty fifth minute with a very neat finish from a McCann flick on of a Gallacher through ball but the linesman had his flag up. It looked a contentious decision with Fraser in line with the Hurlford defence and Russell ? not interfering with play ? being the one flagged.

Pollok continued to press but an inviting Stuart McCann cross which no one could get on the end of and a rasping Esplin drive which stung the palms of the well positioned keeper were the closest they came.

So Pollok?s three week tour of Ayrshire ended in a defeat. Hurlford had the star performers on the day but by no means dominated or created lots of chances. It was points given away by the league leaders. Pollok now have a Junior Cup tie at Linlithgow to look forward to before yet another away league game at Rutherglen before a welcome return to Newlandsfield is on the fixture list. Peter Thomson

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