League: West of Scotland Football League Premier Division

Pollok v Auchinleck Talbot

The goals from Mark Donnelly:
After last weeks 4-1 win over Clydebank at Newlandsfield, Pollok are again at home in the West of Scotland Football League Premier Division, this time with Auchinleck Talbot the visitors.
Talbot find themselves in the unusual position of 9th in the early league standings, with a record of two wins, a draw and a defeat from their opening four league games. Talbot opened their league campaign with a 2-1 win at Troon, followed by a 3-0 defeat at home to last season’s champions, Darvel. They returned to winning ways by beating Cambuslang, 1-0 away and then followed with a 1-1 draw away to Petershill. In the past two weeks the club has beaten Syngenta 4-2 away in the Scottish Cup and then last time out beat Rossvale in the Scottish Junior Cup by the same score line. They recently transferred Jamie Glasgow, who scored against Pollok last season.
Pollok and Talbot played three times last season, with a draw and two wins for Talbot. The corresponding fixture last season would see one of the most memorable games of the season when it finished 3-3 here at Newlandsfield. Pollok went into a 2-0 lead, only for Talbot to come back to 2-2, Pollok then took the lead again before Talbot equalised late in the game, Pollok had three players sent off and played the last 22 mins with eight players.
Talbot are one of the biggest and well known teams at this level, they have won the Scottish Junior Cup a record 13 times, the first in 1949 and last 2019. They were formed in 1909 and are managed by Tommy Sloan who has been at the helm since 2003.

Advanced tickets can be purchased online via Fanbase – BUY TICKETS

Supporters should note that strike action on the railways may affect your journey to Newlandsfield so please check the Scotrail site before you travel.

1 - 1
Full Time

Pollok v Clydebank

Highlights from Mark Donnelly:

Goals from Mark Donnelly:

Post-match with Murdie:

Match day five of the West of Scotland Premiership saw Pollok welcome Clydebank to Newlandsfield on a sunny afternoon. Pollok made one enforced change from the side which beat Huntly – Lyon replacing the injured Fraser whilst Clydebank started with former Lok strikers Little and Weir.

The game exploded into life virtually from the kick off. Clydebank clipped a ball over the top and in stretching for the ball Sideserf could only flick it into Little’s path. He flashed a powerful volley inches wide of the far post. Pollok’s response to this early scare was immediate. Lumsden launched a goal kick long down the right. After a header up into the air the ball was there to be won and Christie flicked it on to Buchanan who stabbed it forward. The Clydebank defence looked to usher it out of play but Buchanan showed great tenacity and wrapped his foot round the ball on the bye-line to get it across goal. McCann was waiting at the near post to apply a sublime finish from a tight angle to give Pollok the lead in the third minute.

After the early flourish the game settled down and chances were less frequent and predominantly from set pieces with neither keeper really tested. That changed in the twenty seventh minute. Under pressure Lumsden launched the ball towards the halfway line. McCann challenged for it and it broke for Buchanan. He strode forward before passing to Lyon who burst past a defender before flighting a cross towards the back post. The keeper palmed it away before a poor defensive header saw the ball land at the feet of Buchanan. His shot was not struck as sweetly as intended but it allowed McCann to divert home from eight yards out.

Although two behind Clydebank were far from out of it with Mullen doing well to concede a corner under pressure as a cross was whizzed across the goal-line and then Rumsby clearing a header off the line. On the stroke of half time Pollok produced another bit of incisive play as Buchanan floated in a cross after good work by Burns. The ball fell at the feet of Lyon who showed great close control to jink past two defenders and calmly roll the ball past the keeper. Unfortunately for the home side Hodge did brilliantly to clear the ball off the line.

The start of the second half was as frenetic as the first. A Clydebank move from the kick-off saw Little do well to get a cross in from the right and McGonigle volleyed towards the corner of the net. With Lumsden beaten Sideserf was on hand to slide in and clear off the line. Pollok’s first attack of the second half also ended in drama. McCann timed his run perfectly to latch on to a Christie pass over the defence. He got there well before Donnelly and touched it past him before being clattered. The referee reached for the red card and Bankies were down to ten men. After a lengthy delay, Clydebank made a substitution and the new keeper was immediately called in to action to save Burns’ free-kick. With fifty-seven minutes on the clock the ten men were right back in the game. A free-kick into the box was allegedly handled by Rumsby. The referee saw nothing amiss but his assistant flagged after vociferous appeals. Little calmly stroked the ball down the middle from twelve yards as Lumsden guessed wrong.

The loss of a goal had a positive effect on Pollok’s performance as they went up a gear to take a stranglehold on the match. Just after the hour mark a corner from the right was recycled from the left by Lyon who’s cross was headed against the bar by Burns. As Brownlie looked poised to head over the line two Clydebank defenders challenged him and McCann was left to apply the finishing touch from about an inch out. With just under half an hour left the home side led 3-1.

Five minutes later Burns was up for another corner – this time from the left. His beat his marker and kept the header lower this time to register the home side’s fourth goal of the afternoon.

With the game over as a contest the inevitable raft of substitutions slowed the flow of the game although the Southsiders did continue going forward. A good move down the left involving Duff and Buchanan ended with the latter slipping it into Christie whose powerful shot was well saved by the keeper. With seven minutes to go the referee was back in red card action. Duff had skipped past one man but had put it just a bit too far in front which allowed Hodge to nip in. Duff stretched for the ball and in doing so he appeared to slip and in turn caught Hodge and there weren’t too many arguments when he was sent off. Hodge had to be helped from the field and having used all their substitutes Clydebank finished the game with nine men against Pollok’s ten.

The capacity crowd  had been royally entertained by some slick attacking football, committed challenges and some refereeing decisions to debate, although he probably got the big decisions correct. If the games continue to be as entertaining as this one, Newlandsfield will be sold out every week.

Att: 874 (capacity)

4 - 1
Full Time

Pollok v Beith Juniors

Full highlights from Mark Donnelly:

Matchday four of the West of Scotland Football League Premier Division saw Pollok welcome Beith to Newlandsfield on a Friday night under lights. After two relatively straightforward cup wins this would give a better indication of the home side’s early season form.

The manager made just one change from the previous week’s win over Girvan – Rumsby replacing Sideserf in the centre of defence.

For the first time this season, Pollok were shooting up the slope in the first half and suffered an early scare when Beith got in a dangerous cross from the right which Longmuir palmed down into the ground and gathered without further alarm. At the other end, a good Pollok move ended with Lyon firing in a low cross which was deflected away for a corner at the near post.

With nine minutes on the clock, Pollok won a free-kick in the attacking third. As everyone lined up in the box awaiting a cross Mullen curled it round the other side of the wall towards goal where it was spectacularly tipped around the post by Johnson.

Beith took the lead in the sixteenth minute. The Pollok defence failed to deal with a long ball down the right and when the ball broke to the away side they produced a couple of sharp and incisive passes to put Fowler away inside the box. His low cross had Beith players queuing up and it was Monk who slotted home.

A couple of minutes later it was two-nil and the goal bore a few similarities to the first one. A long ball down the left channel wasn’t properly cleared by Pollok and was picked up by Monk. He drove at the defence before sidestepping Brownlie and firing home for his second goal of the night.

Beith were very much on top, and a good passing move in the twenty-fourth minute ended with McGlinchey being able to step onto a pass and hit a swerving drive toward goal. Longmuir did well to get a strong hand to it and concede a corner.

With a half hour on the clock, Pollok were somewhat fortuitously back in the game. A move down right saw Christie dig out a high swirling cross to the near post. Johnson seemed to have it covered but let the ball through his hands and the ever-alert McCann was in the right place at the right time to chest it over the line.

Pollok went looking for an equaliser and after a couple of corners, Mullen swung in a brilliant cross which Forde headed over from six yards out.

Then on the stroke of half time, Beith got a third. A deep cross from the left was headed back across goal by McGlinchey and the unmarked Frize had the simple job of heading it into the net.

With a two-goal lead to protect Beith were a little bit more defensive in the second half but still looked extremely dangerous on the break. After a move very reminiscent of the first two goals saw Mullen forced into a goal-saving challenge the ball was quickly passed back into the box and Monk was presented with the chance of his hat-trick. His low shot lacked power though and was saved by Longmuir.

At the other end, a Mullen free-kick underneath the wall went just wide as Pollok looked for a way back into the game. The introduction of Fraser and Buchanan from the bench appeared to give the home side fresh attacking impetus. A Christie cross was mis-hit by Buchanan and Fraser just failed to get enough on it to divert it in at the back post.

After Beith had a couple of headed opportunities which they sent wide and Fraser had one where he found the target but without the necessary power to trouble Johnson. Pollok gave themselves a lifeline. The goal was similar in nature to Beith’s first two. A long ball was not headed clear and Duff picked up possession. He passed it wide to Mullen whose curling cross picked out the unmarked Buchanan at the far post and he headed home with just under five minutes to go.

Pollok went in search of an equaliser and after a Mullen drive was deflected away from the resultant corner Pollok headed wide. With time nearly up and Longmuir in the opposition box for set pieces, another cross was swung in. Sideserf took it on the chest and hit a sweet volley on the turn which clattered off the post. In truth, it would have been a barely deserved equaliser.

A hugely disappointing result and performance by the home side saw them slip to a first defeat of the season against a well-drilled Beith team who had pace and ingenuity up front. Pollok will look to improve in the upcoming cup games as they continue a run of games at Newlandsfield.

Att: 811

The thoughts of Murdie:

It’s the first Friday night football at Newlandsfield this season, as Beith visit in a West of Scotland Premier Division match, kick off 19:45.
After last week’s 6-0 win over Girvan in the Scottish Cup, we return to WoSFL action tonight. Beith are currently sixth in the early league standings, having won two and lost one, a 3-1 win over Cambuslang on the opening day followed by a 2-0 defeat to Hurlford and a 3-0 win over Petershill. Pollok go into the game sitting 4th, with two wins a draw, beating Petershill 3-1, a draw with Largs and then beating Glenafton 3-2.
We played Beith twice last season, beating them 5-1 at Newlandsfield in July 2021 and then 1-0 at Bellsdale Park in December. The fixture has been kind for the ‘Lok in recent seasons as we are five games unbeaten, with four wins and a draw.
Beith were formed in 1938, sharing the same black and white colours of Pollok, they have won the Scottish Junior Cup once in 2016, when they defeated Pollok on penalties after a 1-1 draw. The current Scotland manager, Steve Clarke is a former player of ‘The Mighty’. Chris Strain took over in the summer from former Pollok player Bryan Young.
The club would like to let members and fans alike, know that tickets for our South of Scotland Challenge Cup game against Clydebank on Saturday 10th September will be on sale at tonight’s game.
2 - 3
Full Time

Pollok v Glenafton

Highlights from Mark Donnelly:
The goals from Mark Donnelly:
Att: 560

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.

PREVIEW
Pollok welcome Glenafton to Newlandsfield on Saturday in matchday three of the West of Scotland Premier Division.
Last weekend Pollok shared the spoils with Largs Thistle at Newlandsfield after a 0-0 draw.
Glenafton, like Pollok, have won one and drawn one in the opening two games. Last week they beat Arthurlie at Loch Park, 1-0 and on the opening game of the season they had a 1-1 draw away to Largs. Since we last played, Ryan Stevenson has added several new players, Adam Caldwell joined from Kilwinning, brothers Sean and Cameron McKenzie from Nithsdale Wanderers, former Stranraer defender Jordan Ross, Dylan O’Kane from Ayr United and the most experienced of them all, Paul Paton joins up after playing for Dumbarton last season.
When Ryan Stevenson was appointed as manager of Glenafton in March the club were staring relegation in the face, only for the team to go on a run of 8 wins and 2 draws in the last 13 games to secure Premier Division status.
Last season, Pollok beat Glenafton 2-0 at Newlandsfield, Stuart McCann and Adam Forde on the scoresheet on that occasion and then later in season, it ended all square at Loch Park, 1-1 with Bryan Wharton with the goal.
Glenafton were formed in 1930 and originally had black and white as their colours before changing to the more familiar red and white in 1960. The club won the Scottish Junior Cup twice, 1993 and 2017.
3 - 2
Full Time

Pollok v Largs Thistle

Highlights from Mark Donnelly:

 

Pollok welcomed Largs to Newlandsfield for their first home match of the 2022/23 West of Scotland Football League Premier Division season, writes Peter Thomson. The pitch looked absolutely brilliant in the south-side sunshine which greeted the fans and players.

Largs were shorn of their star man from last season as 41 goal striker Sewell had moved up the divisions to Stenhousemuir as has Pollok’s player of the year Grant. With Matty opting for Stranraer as next stop in his career. We wish them both well in League Two.

There were two changes to the home side following the opening day win away at Petershill. Brownlie was injured and Sideserf unavailable. They were replaced by Menzies and Krol as the manager opted for a 4-3-3 formation.

After a minute’s applause in appreciation of the recently departed Stuart MacDonald, Pollok kicked off shooting down the slope and dominated from the off. Crosses from either side had looked threatening without finding an attacker before Krol jinked inside and rifled a shot from twenty five yards which stung the Largs’ keeper’s palms. This was quickly followed in the sixth minute by a free-kick into the box which was volleyed wide by Lyon.

With a quarter of an hour on the clock Menzies fed the ball out to Dykes on the left touchline. He beat a man before passing to McCann. His cross found Lyon at the back post and although his first touch was good it allowed the defender time to smother the shot that followed. From the resultant corner Menzies acrobatically flicked it on and Docherty headed over from six yards out.

Pollok’s next dangerous attacked once again saw a Lyon effort deflected away for a corner after a brilliantly disguised and weighted pass from Dykes put him through in the inside left channel. Mullen was consistently delivering the mounting number of corners and free-kicks into the danger area but nothing was dropping for Pollok against a resolute Largs’ defence.

In the thirty-sixth minute Dykes switched the play to Mullen who passed it to Docherty. His cross found McCann whose volley was deflected wide for yet another corner and yet more frustration for the home side.

With the game goalless at half time the pattern of play after the change of ends shifted from Pollok domination to more of an even game. However the home side came close again in the forty seventh minute when Docherty did well to latch on to a long ball. As he made his way across the pitch he was crowded out by the Largs defence but the ball broke to Burns whose curling effort just clipped the top of the crossbar.

With play becoming increasingly ragged Pollok’s next decent move didn’t come until the sixty ninth minute as they began to reassert their dominance for the final quarter of the match. After some decent possession Duff passed to Burns. His left footed cross was met by the head of McCann but it went wide of the near post.

The next ten minutes saw a succession of crosses into the away side’s box and although Pollok got on the end of a few of them they couldn’t muster up an effort on target. Mullen then tried a shot from distance which looked to be heading for the top corner before a defender managed to get his head on it to deflect it away for yet another corner.

With a flurry of late substitutions – including a debut for Buchanan – the game rather fizzled out and the away side went back to the coast with a point and much the happier side.

So not the result the Southsiders had been looking for in their first home fixture as an SFA licenced side. Just one of those games where an early goal would have opened the game up but the longer it went on at 0-0 the more anxious the home side became whilst the away side gained in confidence.

 

0 - 0
Full Time

Petershill v Pollok

Full highlights from Mark Donnelly:

The goals from Mark Donnelly:

Pollok started the 2022/23 season of the West of Scotland Football League Premier Division with an away trip to newly promoted Petershill. A crowd of 300 observed a minutes silence as a mark of respect to former Pollok President Stuart MacDonald who had sadly passed away earlier in the week.

Pollok’s reshaped squad saw McKinnon give a starting debut to new signings Mullen, Rumsby, Docherty and Burns with fellow newcomers Christie and Sinnamon on the bench.

After a pre-season with more positive results than negative and highlighted by Forde’s wonder goal straight from kick-off against Newmains it was good to get back to competitive action.

It was a blustery afternoon in Springburn and the early play followed had little pattern to it. The first real sight at goal fell to the away side after a long ball over the top put McCann in down the right. His cross bounced in the middle of the box as the home side’s defence hesitated and Lyon nipped in to take a shot which produced a good save from the keeper.

Former Pollok favourite Hepburn was showing his usual appetite for the game and saw a back post header go just wide before an ambitious long-range shot went straight at Lumsden.

Lyon was at the heart of a lot of Pollok’s best play in the opening period and after a run from the centre circle saw a powerful shot tipped over the bar.

After Pollok failed to find the target from a couple of corners Petershill conjured up the best chance of the half so far. Having won the ball in midfield a couple of slick passes put Hepburn through on goal but from the edge of the box, his low shot went inches wide of the post.

As half-time approached Pollok opened the scoring with the best bit of play seen so far in the game. Burns floated a long-range pass over the defence where Docherty brought the ball down with an exquisite right-foot touch then showed great composure to slot the ball into the far corner with his left foot. A truly superb goal with which to open his Pollok account and showed great respect to his former club by not celebrating.

Moments later Docherty had the chance to double his tally after being put through down the inside-right channel but his shot was well blocked by McNeill.

The second half saw Krol on for injured captain Brownlie and a change of shape. Dykes was first to threaten with a curling effort from outside the box which went narrowly over. He was to prove more accurate later in the half.

Pollok spurned a couple of great chances to double their lead. A great bit of wing play by Lyon saw him cut it back to Docherty whose low shot was saved by McNeill’s foot. Then Dykes found himself in space at a corner but could only head wide.

As so often happens a team is made to pay for such profligacy. On the hour mark a sweeping pass out to the right found Hepburn in acres of space. His low cross found McDonald in a similar amount of space. His measured shot past Lumsden was spectacularly cleared off the line by Esplin but Brodie was following up to slot home the rebound. 1-1.

Hepburn had a jinking run which had the Pollok rear-guard retreating before Lumsden did well to block his shot as the game was back up for grabs.

After a good move down the right ended with Dykes’ shot blocked Pollok retrieved the ball and kept the pressure on. Dykes swept a cross-field pass back out to the right wing where it was fed on to Christie. He got to the bye-line before cutting back to Dykes who produced a calm, side-footed volley finish to restore Pollok’s lead with just over a quarter of an hour to go.

Straight from the restart Pollok won the ball back and broke quickly. Christie was given the chance to extend the lead but his powerful shot was batted away by McNeill.

With five minutes left Pollok did find a third. A corner from the right was missed by those in the middle and at the back post, Dykes controlled it on his chest before firing home off the underside of the bar.

Once the ref got to grips with the new rules regarding substitutions Sinnamon came on with a couple of minutes to go to take the number of Pollok debutants on the day to six.

A very decent performance from the Southsiders saw them start the season with three points on the road. The summer signings made a favourable impression as they continue to bed into their new surroundings.

Match report by Peter Thomson

 

1 - 3
Full Time

Pollok vs Glencairn

att: 525
Mascots Ava and Abby with the captains pre-match
Highlights from Mark Donnelly:
Thoughts from Murdie post-match:
Pollok have a busy couple of days ahead.
It’s the final game in our debut league season of the West of Scotland Premier Division on Saturday as we welcome Rutherglen Glencairn to Newlandsfield. 48 hours later we face Clydebank, again at home, this time in the Kilmarnock Pie WOSFL Cup, which could see our floodlights in use for the first time.
Last week we beat Cumbernauld 2-1 at Guy’s Meadow to seal third place in the league, Chris Duff with the double. Glencairn are still fighting to remain in the division, they sit 14th, which if Darvel are promoted then could see them relegated. Glencairn have won 14, drawn 7 and lost 16. Our record against Rutherglen is good, we have won four of the last five, Glencairn’s last win came in 2015. Last meeting between the sides was in July when we left the Hamish B. Allan Stadium with a 2-1 win, courtesy of goals from Adam Forde and the now retired Paul Gallacher.
Clydebank have had a good cup record this year, going far in the Scottish Cup beating Dalkeith, Elgin City and Clyde before losing out to Annan Athletic in a close encounter, 4-3 at Holm Park. In the WOSFL Cup, the Bankies have beaten Carluke, St Cadocs and Kello Rovers. Pollok knocked out Clydebank in the South Challenge cup with a 2-1 win at Holm Park. The last meeting between the sides was a Bankies 2-1 win at Newlandsfield last month in the league. Clydebank are guaranteed to finish 4th in the league and the encounters between our clubs have been close this season.
Monday falls on the 41st anniversary of Pollok’s first Scottish Junior Cup success and a big crowd would be welcome as we enter a new era under the floodlights.
1 - 1
Full Time