It may sound weird with a World Cup ongoing but it’s the Third Round of the Scottish Cup and Pollok are on TV again. Portugal may be taking on Uruguay but everyone knows the real cracker will be at Somerset Park, where we visit to face Championship leaders Ayr United.
Highlights from Mark Donnelly:
Murdie’s post-match thoughts:
It’s Scottish Cup time again at Newlandsfield, Monday Night Football under the lights, on TV, what’s not to love?
Highlights from Mark Donnelly:
by Peter Thomson
Pollok welcomed Huntly to Newlandsfield for the 1st round of the Scottish Cup on a Friday night under the lights. The game had been due to be televised but events elsewhere left BBC Scotland’s resources stretched and they were unable to fulfil their commitment.
A sell-out crowd of 874 impeccably observed a minute’s silence in memory of Queen Elizabeth II as the teams lined up. Pollok made four changes from the home defeat against Beith. Longmuir, Dykes, Forde and Lyon being replaced by Lumsden, Sideserf, Fraser and Buchanan.
Shooting up the hill Huntly started the brighter side and dominated the early proceedings. With nine minutes on the clock they made a rapier quick thrust down the left before a beautiful cut back. Just as it appeared Lumsden’s goal would be under threat from the subsequent shot Sideserf slide in to block. The home side’s first meaningful attack brought a goal. Sideserf sprayed the ball out to Mullen on the right-hand side. His pass down the line allowed Christie to nip in front of his opponent and head for the bye-line. His cross was perfect for the onrushing McCann to dispatch into the net with a clinical diving header.
Minutes later the roles were reversed but the result was the same. A long ball down the middle was allowed to bounce. McCann was on hand to flick it over the defence and into Christie’s path. He took a touch before dispatching it into the bottom corner to double Pollok’s lead.
As Pollok were now the dominant force they saw a goal disallowed for a foul on the keeper and had two efforts cleared off the line as crosses from the right by Christie and Mullen caused havoc.
Huntly had a shot on target in the thirtieth minute but it was straight at Lumsden as the game continued at a ferocious pace with one or two meaty challenges catching the referee’s attention.
With thirty-six minutes on the clock Buchanan wriggled his way into the box but was crowded out just as he was about to shoot. The ball broke to Lyon – on to replace the injured Fraser – and he blasted just wide from a tight angle. Moments later McCann glanced a header just wide as the Southsiders looked to extend their lead.
As half time approached Huntly stepped up their efforts to get back into the game. A well worked free-kick allowed Thoirs a sight of goal but he slipped in the act of shooting and the ball went wide. And in the last attack of the half a Blacklock shot from outside the box was heading for the corner before Lumsden intervened with a full-length diving save to tip it round the post.
The second half started as the first had ended with a fizzing Huntly strike which clipped the outside of the post. Pollok responded with a sweet strike of their own although Lyon’s shot was inches too high. Just after the hour mark Huntly played in a clever, curling cross from a free-kick that was surprisingly untouched by anyone as it made its’ way across the box. At the other end a similarly inviting cross – after more good work by Christie and Mullen – was touched. The defender slicing towards his own goal where the keeper made an athletic save to touch over. A corner for Pollok in the sixty-fourth minute was only half cleared to the edge of the box where Christie was waiting to smash home off the underside of the crossbar to make it 3-0.
Huntly responded with a good cross which Lumsden did well to collect at full stretch before the scoring resumed at the other end with just over twenty minutes to go. A Mullen cross was collected by McCann who fed Burns. His floated cross was attacked by Brownlie and headed down into the net to add to Pollok’s lead.
The home side were now in full flow and made it five with a devastating counter attack. A pass out of defence found Christie and he raced clear before crossing for Lyon who produced a composed finish over the goalkeeper.
Substitute Forde was determined to get in on the act and after seeing a rasping drive tipped over he was the beneficiary of a brilliant one-two with Lyon and a fortunate rebound from his first shot as he slotted home at the second attempt to make it six.
Pollok came close to adding to their goals tally in the final five minutes thru a goalmouth scramble and then a Duff flick which didn’t quite have enough power to get past the keeper.
It had been a complete performance and a well-deserved win which thoroughly pleased the vast majority in the crowd.
Pollok played in their home top but with white shorts and shocks to avoid a clash with Huntly’s dark shorts and socks. The superstitious amongst the Newlandsfield faithful will see this as a lucky omen and hope it’s repeated when Pollok go on to play in the 2nd round of the Scottish Cup for the first time in their history.
Att: 874 (Capacity)
Friday night under the lights. Scottish Cup. Huntly.
That’s right, Huntly visit Newlandsfield for Scottish Cup First Round action. Although the game won’t now be shown on TV across Scotland, we hope the fans will see a memorable game in the stadium.
Highland League team, Huntly, were formed in 1928. The Black and Golds have won the Highland League seven times, the first time back in 1930, they then had to wait until 1994 to win it again and would win it five times in a row. Their last league title was in 2005.
Huntly have also won the Scottish Qualifying Cup (North) on four occasions. The club reached the Fourth Round of the Scottish Cup in January 2008, going down to Dundee after dispatching Fraserburgh, Annan and Culter.
The Aberdeenshire club are currently 16th in the 18 team league. They have a record of 1 win, 1 draw and 6 defeats in the opening eight matches of the league campaign. Last season they finished 10th. In their last league match they went down 2-0 away to Buckie Thistle.
Pollok manager Murdie MacKinnon gave his thoughts ahead of the match.
“Really looking forward to what will be a huge game for both clubs.” Murdie said.
“Really disappointing that the game is no longer being screened live on TV but the occasion won’t change. There will be a big crowd and a great atmosphere I’m sure.”
Murdie is well aware of Huntly’s Scottish Cup exploits in the past.
“Huntly have a great tradition in the cup and will provide tough opposition so we will need to be at our best to get through the tie.” He said. “Huntly have been given our full respect as we took in their game versus Buckie Thistle. They showed that they are a real threat. We are really looking forward to the game and will be giving everything to get the result and book our place in round 2 of the Scottish Cup.”
The goals from Mark Donnelly:
Murdie’s post-match thoughts:
POLLOK v GIRVAN
After an absence of fourteen years Pollok returned to the Scottish Cup with a preliminary round game at home to Girvan. With the club having attained licence status with the SFA entry into the Scottish Cup will be an annual occurrence from now on.
The crowd of 608 were once again treated to some Newlandsfield sunshine as the teams took to the pitch. Pollok made three changes from the previous week’s South of Scotland Challenge Cup win over Eglinton. Captain Brownlie returned from injury and Esplin and Lyon were restored to the midfield. Missing out were MacKenzie, Duff and Buchanan, one of the hat-trick heroes from that win.
Pollok were shooting down the slope in the first half and pinned Girvan back in the early stages. Burns was getting forward down the left and one of his cross was just inches too far in front of Forde to allow the striker to get it fully under control.
Minutes later a superb cross-field pass by Mullen found Lyon. His cross was met at the near post by Forde but his effort went wide. Pollok’s next attack came down the right and led to a penalty appeal. Christie got himself to the bye line and cut it back for Dykes. He appeared to get to the ball first before being clattered by a defender but the referee clearly felt the defender got the ball and waved play on.
After another Forde shot which was deflected wide and a near miss for McCann from the corner Pollok suffered an almighty double scare at the other end. A free kick was swung in from the touchline and then head back into the box. Mullen stretched his neck muscles to get a touch on it but could only head it towards the top corner of his own goal. Frustratingly for Girvan Longmuir got his fingertips to it to touch it over the bar for a corner. From the set-piece which was delivered low to the near post Girvan’s striker fired in a shot which hit the bar.
Whether these narrow escapes give Pollok a jolt or not is hard to say but they certainly responded well. In the twenty-second minute another nice passing move saw Dykes find Lyon whose pass was perfectly weighted for Burns as he advanced into the box. His low cross found McCann who slotted home from six yards out.
With their next attack the home side almost scored again with Burns being denied by a wonderful save from the keeper as he powerfully headed a Christie cross towards goal.
The lead was doubled in the 25th minute. Mullen produced another excellent delivery from a corner on the left and found McCann unmarked at the back post. He scored his and Pollok’s second with an incredibly clever header which looped over the keeper and into the net.
Just after the half hour mark Longmuir once again had to be on his toes to tip a header over the bar at full stretch and then Girvan had a penalty claim of their own when Brownlie blocked the ball with his arm whilst on the deck before the Girvan striker fired wide.
Pollok then extended their lead in the 37th minute with a move very similar to the first goal. However, this time when Burns burst into the box to latch on to a Lyon pass he felt no need to cross and lashed in a low drive off the far post.
It was Girvan who finished the half on the attack with Longmuir diving to push a long range effort wide of the post but there was no doubt which team had been the more clinical and Pollok deserved their 3-0 lead at the break.
The first attack of the second half saw McCann show fantastic persistence to keep the attack alive before crossing for his strike partner, Forde, whose shot was blocked. Minutes later it was 4-0. Lyon passed to Burns – a familiar theme in the moves that led to goals – and his low cross from the bye line was missed by Christie but McCann was on hand to tap home for his hat-trick.
After Girvan passed up a glorious chance of getting on the scoresheet with a free header which went straight at Longmuir Pollok went up the park and scored again. Burns picked the ball up in midfield and curled an inviting, angled ball into the box. Forde’s first touch took him away from the defender and his second was an accurate finish from a tight angle. It was Burns’ third assist of the game to go with his goal. A very useful contribution for the defender.
Burns was also involved in Pollok’s sixth and final goal just before the hour mark. His first time pass found Christie in behind the defence and his cross was side footed home by Lyon.
The pace and intensity went out of the game a bit on a warm afternoon as the substitutions broke up the flow of play. Girvan created one more great chance with a brilliant quick breakaway which saw their sub have a sight at goal but he shot straight at Longmuir.
The Southsiders’ best chance of the closing period came from a long ball from Longmuir. The ball broke to MacKenzie who delivered a tempting cross toward the penalty spot. McCann left it for Duff whose volley was just off target. And so the home side ran out 6-0 winners for the second Saturday running.
A successful return to the “big” Scottish Cup for Lok and into the first round proper where they will face Huntly at Newlandsfield. Only six more wins needed for a trip to Hampden for the semi-finals. We can but dream.
With only hours to go, Pollok welcome Girvan to Newlandsfield in the preliminary round of the Scottish Cup.
Yes! The actual Scottish Cup!
It’s been a long wait but the ‘Lok are finally back in one of the oldest football tournaments in the world. 2008 was the last time the club played in the tournament in which we went down 1-0 away to Spartans in a replay. This will be the third time we have entered the Scottish Cup.
Pollok entered the Scottish Cup for the first time in 2007, we got off to a winning start down in Kirkcudbright as we dispatched St Cuthbert Wanderers 6-2. We then had a second round match away to Montrose, in what was Pollok’s first competitive match with a Scottish Football League side. A 2-2 draw would see the first Scottish Cup action take place at Newlandsfield as we held the replayed match. Montrose would go through after a 1-0 win in Glasgow in what was a closely contested match, with Pollok having a goal controversially disallowed.
Girvan were founded in 1947, the club were members of the South of Scotland League until 2004 before moving to the Junior ranks. This meant Girvan could take part in Scottish Qualifying Cup every year and since the Scottish Cup reorganisation in 2007 have taken part directly in the tournament each year. Girvan have been South of Scotland League Champions on one occasion in 1990 and the South of Scotland League Cup winners on four occasions.
Nowadays, Girvan find themselves in the West Of Scotland Football League Divison 3, they currently sit 7th in the table, with three wins and two losses from their opening five games.