Season: 2022-23

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 Huntly

Highlights from Mark Donnelly:

Match report

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)

PREVIEW

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.”

 

6 - 0
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 vs Girvan

The goals from Mark Donnelly:

Full highlights:

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.

Att: 608

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.

6 - 0
Full Time

Pollok v Eglinton

The goals from Mark Donnelly:

Att: 440

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.

It’s the first cup action of the season as Pollok welcome Eglinton to Newlandsfield in the South Challenge Cup.
It’s a first ever meeting between the sides. Kilwinning based, Eglinton joined the West of Scotland Football League set up this season, they take their name from a former Kilwinning Junior side that went defunct back in 1936, they are managed by former Kilwinning Rangers amateurs’ boss, William Shearer. Their colours are red and white vertical stripes with blue shorts and are nicknamed ‘The Jousters’, after the Eglinton Tournament, which was a medieval style joust that took place in 1839. Eglinton competed in the Ayrshire amateur leagues for a year, as Kilwinning Rangers AFC, before being accepted into Division 4 of the WoSFL, most of the team had moved up from under 19 and 21 level together under boss Shearer. They will play their home games at Kilwinning Sports Club.
Eglinton have played three games in Division 4 and have yet to pick up any points. Their first game of the season, was a 3-1 defeat away to Campbeltown, followed up by another 3-1 defeat at home to Thorn Athletic, last weekend they lost 6-0 away to Kilsyth Athletic. Eglinton will be coming to Newlandsfield hoping to achieve a famous result.
Pollok are joint top of the embryonic Premier Division table with two wins and a draw from the opening three games, last weekend seen the ‘Lok come out on top against Glenafton, with a 3-2 win at Newlandsfield, Stuart McCann and a double from Darren Christie with the goals.
6 - 0
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.
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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.

 

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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

 

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