Highlights and footage courtesy of Mark Donnelly
Hot on the heels of their opening day victory over Auchinleck Talbot, Pollok travelled to East Ayrshire to face Cumnock on match day two of the West of Scotland Premier Division. Cumnock had lost out to Arthurlie in a seven-goal thriller in their opening match.
Manager Maxwell made five changes from the weekend win. Dropping out were Gow, Rumsby, McKenzie, Maley and the injured Burrows. They were replaced by Morgan, Burns, Kerr, Duff and a trialist at right back.
The game did not take long in coming to life. After a speculative long-range effort from Cumnock, Pollok’s first real attack in the eighth minute bore fruit. After a Cumnock attack broke up Lindsay took his time to examine his options before sending a tremendous through ball for Duff in behind the home defence. His lobbed finish was exquisite and left Barclay with no chance.
Four minutes later Cumnock were level. A move down the left resulted in a strong penalty appeal after an attacker went over Morgan’s outstretched leg. The referee ignored the appeals and the ball broke back to the edge of the box where McKernon struck a low shot into the bottom corner.
The Southsiders retook the lead in the twenty third minute. A long throw found its way to the far side of the box where Forde turned and shot. He didn’t catch it the way he wanted but it turned into the perfect cross for Duff to side foot home from eight yards out.
The home side were having more of the play and Pollok’s lead lasted no longer than the first time. A corner from the right was powered home from six yards out by Tart.
Neither side were creating many chances from open play although Kerr headed just over from a corner before the sides went in level at half time.
The second half began with Pollok in the ascendancy with Forde linking play and looking towards goal at every opportunity. He found Christie with a through ball but he was well pressurised as he went to shoot and couldn’t keep his effort on target.
Seven minutes into the second half goalscorer Tart received a second yellow card and the home side were down to ten men. From the resulting free kick Kerr once again got his head on it but his effort looped just over the bar.
Whilst Pollok were now the dominant force they were struggling to break down a stubborn Cumnock rearguard. The closest they came to finding a winner was from corners. First Morgan and then Kerr were denied by good Barclay saves.
After a long free-kick into the box and a hashed Pollok clearance Cumnock hit the post whilst at the other end Forde curled a free kick just over the bar. There was controversy in injury time when Forrester received a straight red card for what looked like nothing more than a clumsy collision.
So the game finished with a point apiece. The kind of point that is hard to evaluate this early in the season although there will definitely be disappointment in the Pollok dressing room that they hadn’t made more of their man advantage in the second half.
(editor note: Scott Forrester’s red downgraded to yellow upon appeal)
Match report by Peter Thomson