Tag: Match Report

Match Report: Darvel 1 – 1 Pollok

After a week’s break Pollok travelled to Darvel for matchday 28 of the West of Scotland Premiership to take on the side sitting one place above them in the table.

The manager made one change to the starting line up from the 5-3 win over Troon with Lyon being replaced by Gary McCann. Buchanan moved into a more central role in midfield.

Gary McCann came into the side for this game after starting the tie against Troon on the bench.

After an initial burst of action in the opening couple of minutes where Truesdale did well to deal with a back pass fired at him from the centre circle and Menzies got a good header away from a dangerous cross the game settled into a midfield battle with little in the way of goalmouth action.

The first shot on target arrived in the seventeenth minute when Stirling powered in an angled drive which stung the palms of Longmuir. Whilst Darvel were dominating possession they were finding it hard to create chances against a hardworking and disciplined Pollok midfield and defence.

Adam Forde looks for a foul in the middle of the park.

Buchanan was one of those hard workers and when he intercepted a pass in his own half he strode forward and got his head up. His pass released Docherty through the inside right channel. When he drove into the box he stumbled and then slipped but managed to retain possession and prodded the ball back to Christie. He knocked the ball passed his opposing defender and was taken out as he went past. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Christie stepped up and calmly sent Truesdale the wrong way to put Pollok one up in the twenty seventh minute.

Darren Christie slots home his second penalty against Darvel in a matter of weeks.

Darvel equalised in the forty-second minute. As Pollok prepared for a free-kick to be crossed into the box it was instead passed out to the left wing. The cross was a good one as it dissected Longmuir and his defence and was bundled home at the far post by Ferguson.

With a minute to go until the break Pollok carved out a great opportunity to regain the lead. McCann intercepted a pass in his own box and dribbled forward to the halfway line. A simple pass back to Mullen was quickly re-distributed to Esplin in the middle of the park. His pass split the Darvel defence and allowed Docherty to run through on goal. He rounded Truesdale but his shot towards goal was superbly blocked by a sliding defender. All square at the break.

Docherty comes agonisinly close to putting Pollok back into the lead on the stroke of half-time.

The second half was a couple of minutes old when a couple of the Recreation Park sprinklers made an unscheduled appearance in the centre circle. Given how much of the game was getting played in the middle third of the pitch it was surprising no one got soaked.

The sprinklers come on early in the second half, delaying play slightly.

Pollok created the first chance of the half after some tenacious work by Forde. He held off a couple of challenges before sliding a pass into strike partner, Docherty. His first touch was good but his low strike was probably heading wide although Truesdale got a fingertip to it to make sure. From Mullen’s corner Brownlie headed wide.

Brownlie rises highest to head towards goal in the second half.

Darvel then resumed their domination of the ball and whilst it wasn’t quite defence against attack if it had been the defence was winning. Just before the hour mark the home side put together some slick passing which presented a good scoring opportunity just inside the box. The shot however was not as accurate as the passing which had preceded it and Longmuir was able to save.

Menzies headed a dangerous free-kick out for a corner from which Syme – playing his third league game against Pollok in seven weeks – headed over. At the other end a curling free-kick from Mullen was met by the head of Brownlie whose effort was well saved by Truesdale.

In their search for a winner Darvel were restricted to long range efforts – one of which Longmuir had to tip over the bar. In the end Pollok’s resoluteness and organisation merited a point.


Longmuir at full-stretch tips a long-range shot over the bar.
It was a frustrating afternoon off the bench for Lyon.

With Beith’s midweek win at Auchinleck Talbot having given them a commanding lead at the top of the table Darvel knew anything less than a perfect run in would probably not be enough to retain their league title. Whilst the game had been less than memorable it did in fact mark the end of an era as it turned out to be Mick Kennedy’s last game in charge of the East Ayrshire side.

For Pollok it was another game ticked off with the defending much improved on the reverse fixture only a few weeks previously at Newlandsfield. A hard won point in a fixture that had an end of season feel to it throughout the second half.


Match Report: Peter Thomson

Photos: James Graham

Full Match Highlights from Mark Donnelly:


Stewart Maxwell’s thoughts on the game:

Pollok v Darvel: Match Report

The Friday Night Lights were on for match day twenty-six of the West of Scotland Premiership as Pollok entertained title-chasing Darvel. With the fixture brought forward to avoid a clash with the Scotland versus Cyprus game it was Pollok’s third outing in seven days.

After the defeat to Clydebank the manager made three changes to the starting eleven – Menzies and Fraser dropping out along with the suspended Nelson to be replaced by Mullen, Barr and Buchanan. The stretched nature of the squad was shown by the fact only five substitutes were listed.

The home side were straight on the offensive with a burst forward by Lyon in the opening minute. He passed it wide to Buchanan whose cross found a good area but lacked power and was gathered by Truesdale. Five minutes later Lyon again carried the ball forward this time passing out to the right to Christie. He beat his man and whipped in a cross. A defensive header cleared the ball to the edge of the box where Lyon got a strike in but it was straight at Truesdale.

It was Lyon again testing Truesdale a few minutes later when the Pollok attack harried the Darvel defence into a mistake after they had opted to take a short goal kick. Darvel were then seen as an attacking threat with seventeen minutes on the clock. A long throw was flicked on and hammered towards goal. Longmuir flung himself to his left to palm it away with a stunning save.

Four minutes later Pollok opened the scoring. A free kick into the box was headed out wide. As Docherty went to retrieve it at the right-hand side of the box he was rather needlessly shoved in the back and the assistant referee indicated penalty. Christie stepped up and rolled the ball into the bottom corner with Truesdale going the wrong way.

Darren Christie gives Pollok the lead from the spot.

Having opened the scoring with a penalty the home side doubled their lead three minutes later with a superb individual goal from Lyon. He picked up a loose ball just inside the Darvel half and surged between two opponents. As he got into the box it looked like he might be crowded out but a sharp change of direction left a defender in his wake and generated room for an accurate, right footed strike into the same corner as Christie had found minutes earlier.

Johnny Lyon on his way to doubling Pollok’s lead.

Just after the half hour mark Darvel won a corner. It was cleared and Pollok looked to be on the verge of a very dangerous counter-attack when the ball didn’t quite fall into Esplin’s path and his touch got away from him. The ball was quickly returned to the right wing and when the low cross came in Ferguson was there to apply an accurate finish.

From the restart the ball never went out of play again until it was back in the Pollok net and it was a personal disaster for Burns who up until then had been putting in a good performance. A hopeful ball was swung in from the left but Burns was well positioned to deal with it. He got the ball caught under his feet and although he recovered in time to clear his lines he opted to try and dribble out of the box. Having been quickly closed down he tried to pass back to Longmuir but was short and McKenzie nipped in to slot home. A devastating sixty seconds for the Southsiders.

Four goals in thirteen minutes had illuminated the first half but the home side will have been disappointed not to have led at the break.

The second half started with Darvel taking control of the game. A cross in from the right found McKenzie six yards out but his shot was brilliantly saved by Longmuir. A free kick was then floated into the box and headed down. The shot on the turn though crept inches wide of Longmuir’s right-handpost.

With sixty-five minutes on the clock another free kick into the Pollok box led to a stramash with bodies flying everywhere. The ball ended up in the net but the referee had spotted an infringement.

Having been forced back for much of the second period Pollok then refound some attacking momentum. Burns hit the side netting and Christie dug out two superb crosses from the right which Stuart McCann would have loved to attack. Perhaps it was those moments which proved just how costly his harsh suspension was to Pollok.

Darvel had been making use of their strong bench in the second half as they pushed for a winner and a substitute was involved in the goal. A tackle in the Pollok box led to the ball breaking nicely for Kirkpatrick who was suddenly clean through on goal. Longmuir saved well but the rebound fell for former Pollok striker McKenzie to slot home the winner with two minutes to go.

It had been a good contest with both teams having their periods on top. For Darvel the late winner kept their title hopes alive although they will need a near flawless run into the end of the season. For the home side it rounded off a miserable seven days although the performances in defeat had got progressively better over the three games.


Match Report by Peter Thomson

Photos by James Graham