New Coin Automatics West of Scotland Cup 2nd round
Sat 14th January, Loch Park, New Cumnock
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 3 (3)
POLLOK 0 (0)
FAN-TAZ-TIC AFTON KO LOK
Premier Division Pollok were all but polished off in the opening quarter of the game after Glenafton struck three times with a double from Paul ‘Taz’ McKenzie followed by a single from Gareth Campbell. The Glasgow giants were later reduced to 9 men when Iain Diack (straight red) and Darren Brady (2 yellows) were ordered off.
The Glens now go into the hat for the third round having claimed two Premier scalps, that off Clydebank’s collected in the 1st round.
John Paul Boyle, last week’s match winner over Rutherglen, was unavailable for selection and Glenafton started with top goalscorer Gareth Armstrong, returning from injury, partnering John Dempster up front, while Paul Murphy teamed up with captain Robbie Henderson at the centre of defence. Pollok introduced three new signings including former Glens’ defender Steven McGregor, who won the man-of-the-match award for the New Cumnock side when they last lifted the West of Scotland Cup back in 2006 on Pollok’s Newlandsfield Park.
The Glasgow giants, runners-up in last season’s competition, started brightly and Brian McGintry flashed a shot across Ally Semple’s goal in the opening minute. Six minutes later Tom Hanlon hammered a free-kick from the edge of the box off the post as the visitors looked to put their league malaise behind them and stamp their authority on this cup tie.
The home side, however, had other ideas and sprang into action to take the game by the scruff of the neck with devastating consequences for their Premier Division opponents. The visitors’ back three was run ragged as Glenafton broke forward in waves and made the breakthrough on 10 minutes when Armstrong beat McGregor to the ball to head it into the path of Paul McKenzie and in typical fashion he turned and fired an unstoppable volley beyond debutant goalkeeper JC Hutchison. While the home support debated whether or not Taz’s goal topped his strike at Clydebank in the previous round the magical midfielder put the Glens two up five minutes later. Dempster breezed his way in from the right leaving a line of ‘Lok defenders in his wake and cut the ball back for McKenzie to drill home a daisy cutter. The vulnerability of a shell-shocked Pollok defence was further exposed on 21 minutes when a deftly struck Gareth Campbell corner-kick soared unimpeded into the roof of the hapless Hutchison’s net.
Pollok manager John Richardson shuffled the pack and the back three morphed to a back four in the hope of salvaging something from the tie which had still almost three-quarters of its course to run. The emphasis however was on damaged limitations and on this count Pollok enjoyed some success as they brought a halt to the Glens’ goal spree with Huthchison & Co repelling a series of corner kicks. As an attacking force the visitors seldom posed a potent goal threat and were snuffed out by a Glens defence on top of its game. Meanwhile McKenzie’s menacing runs continued to cause chaos and Darren Brady was shown a yellow card for bringing one of them to a premature end in an unsavoury manner. H/T Glenafton 3 Pollok 0
As in the first half Pollok started the second purposefully and fashioned a clear cut chance to reduce the deficit but striker Ian Diack headed well wide of target from point blank range. A minute later and a frustrated Diack’s day was over when a two-footed challenge on Henderson earned him a red card. Henderson, once on Pollok’s books, on the other hand went on to inspire the home guard to stand firm and against the beleaguered ten men.
Normal service was resumed and Glenafton gained the upper hand and passed the ball around the heavy pitch with some style. Former ‘Lok favourite Craig McEwan unleashed a thunderbolt only for Hutchison to pull off a brilliant save and the former Clyde keeper then kept out an Andy Bell shot from 25 yards.
In the closing minutes Brady collected his second yellow card for tripping the tireless Craig Potter and yet soon after the nine men almost grabbed a consolation but Semple denied substitute Barry Tulloch with a finger-tip save. The home side almost had the last say but Hanlon was on hand to head an effort from the impressive Richie McKillen off the line. F/T Glenafton 3 Pollok 0
Glenafton: Semple; McEwan, Henderson, Murphy, McKillen; McKenzie, Potter, Campbell, Bell; Armstrong, Dempster. Subs Cashmore, McChesney, Menzie, Hay, Dunsmuir (gk).
Pollok: Hutchison Hanlon Ramsay McLaren McGregor Aitchison Bradley Brady Diack McGinty Nichol subs Essler Tulloch Carberry McMahon Kinney
In today’s Super League 1st Division games
East Kilbride 1 Girvan 0; Renfrew 2 Whitletts 1; Thorniewood 4 Hurlford 3