Pollok travelled to Meadow Park to take on Irvine Meadow on match day twenty-four of the West of Scotland League Premier Division. After three home wins on the spin the Southsiders were looking to take their good form on the road to North Ayrshire.
The manager made one change from the side which secured a satisfying derby win the previous weekend – Barr coming in for Lyon in the centre of midfield. Lining up in the opposition ranks were of course former Lok players Wharton and Graham who both scored in the reverse fixture earlier in the season.
The game started in heavy rain and with the home side quickly on the attack. A ball over the top had the Pollok defence turned and after some hesitation between goalkeeper and defence Menzies cleared.
Pollok’s first attack saw Christie pick up on a loose pass and drive forward. His shot from twenty yards was dragged wide of the post.
Meadow then forced a series of corners in which their movement was good but they couldn’t muster an effort on target. However their pressure was to pay off in the seventeenth minute. A move down the middle saw Boyd slipped in behind the defence. Longmuir came racing out to close down the angle, Boyd went round him but saw his shot blocked by Rumsby. The rebound fell kindly for him and he showed great composure to make a square pass to Graham who slotted home.
Pollok’s response was a Christie floating free-kick which was touched behind and from the resultant corner Forde got a shot in from closerange but it was well blocked by Waters.
Meadow doubled their lead just before the half hour mark. A cross from the right was expertly laid off to the edge of the box where Urquhart met it sweetly with a left foot drive that fairly fizzed into the top corner.
With halftime approaching Pollok almost found a route back into the game. A goal bound Gary McCann shot was deflected out wide. Forde retrieved it and passed to Barr to cross. Stuart McCann got up to meet the cross with an acrobatic scissor kick which Waters spectacularly tipped over the bar. From the corner Brownlie headed wide.
The second half started with Pollok shooting into an ever-strengthening breeze and incessant rain as they looked to get themselves a foothold in the game. Barr sprayed the ball out to Christie whose cross was cleared to the edge of the box where Gary McCann got a shot away but it finished well wide.
The game’s major talking point arrived just before the hour mark. A clearance out of defence by Pollok appeared to have the Irvine Meadow defence stretched. Stuart McCann got a touch to it but it was headed away from him. As he turned and stretched for the ball he caught an incoming defender. The referee was quick to produce a red card. Even some of the Meadow players showed their surprise at the severity of the punishment for an accidental coming together.
Despite their man advantage the home side were happy to sit on their two-goal cushion and rarely threatened in the second half. Longmuir having to punch away one angled drive. At the other end Pollok had two great chances to set up a grandstand finish. With fifteen minutes to go a Mullen corner found Rumsby at the far post but he didn’t manage the connection he was looking for and the keeper saved. Then with time running out the ever-willing Docherty chased a ball into the inside right channel. Just as he entered the box his heels were clipped and the assistant referee flagged for a penalty. Substitute Mullen fired the spot kick over the bar.
A disappointing day out in wet North Ayrshire for the Pollok faithful. Whilst the harsh red card may have been the major talking point the performance did not merit anything against a solid Irvine Meadow side who completed the league double over the Southsiders.
Full Match Highlights
Post Match with Maxi
Match Report by: Peter Thompson
Photos by: Nathan Bonnar
Videos by: Mark Donnelly