West Region Premier Division
Saturday 7th September, Newlandsfield Park, Glasgow
POLLOK 2 (0)
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 2 (1)
Glenafton made one change from last week-end’s starting line-up. New signing Alan Cairns was introduced at left back with Jamie McGeoghan switching to the right back slot and Stevie Miller pushing forward to wide right while John Craig was on the bench. Only Liam McVey, one of the host of former Glens players at Newlandsfield, made Pollok’s starting eleven with John Kane on the bench and Willie Howie, Steven Reilly, Robbie Henderson out through injury.
Although the home side enjoyed a fair share of possession in the opening twenty minutes the best of the chances fell to the visitors. The first came on 6 minutes after Cameron Marlow picked out Aaron Connolly wide on the left who cut into the box to fire a shot that curled wide of the far post, albeit keeper Johnny Murdoch appeared to have it covered. Two minutes later Connolly killed a ball fizzed in from the right by Stevie Miller and took a touch or two before lashing it for goal only for Murdoch to get a strong hand to it and push it over the bar. Miller’s corner-kick to the near post caused a scramble in the box before the ball fell for Marlow but his header looped over the bar.
On 18 minutes former Pollok midfielder Stevie Miller got the better of former Glens’ defender Liam McVey deep in the box and his shot from a tight angle was well blocked by Murdoch at the expense of a corner-kick. Seven minutes later Pollok’s best chance of the half fell to Thomas Sinclair but although his close range header looked to have the beating of McGarrity the ball dropped over the wrong side of the bar.
With 15 minutes of the half remaining the visitors began to dominate and Jamie McKernon and Findlay Frye controlled the middle of the park with Marlow and Miller on the flanks in support and the movement of Connolly and Adam up front posing problems for the home rear-guard. Miller and Adam combined well down the right but the latter’s cut-back into the box fell just behind the Connolly and Marlow. Soon after Marlow found Adam and the big striker’s shot from 20 yards out whizzed inches wide of the post. Adam then sent Connolly down the right and although his cut-back was met by the lively Frye on the penalty spot his shot was drilled into the ground and bounced wide of target.
A couple of minutes before the break a couple of Pollok attacks came to nothing with McGarrity making comfortable saves. On the stroke of half-time a sublime piece of passing play by the visitors was justly rewarded with the opening goal. It finished with Adam rolling the ball between central defenders Reece McGillion and Chris McGowan to feed Aaron Connolly on the edge of the box who then turned the back-tracking McGowan again before lashing the ball beyond the reach of the airborne Murdoch and into the back of the net.
H/T Pollok 0 Glenafton 1
Pollok began the second half with a fresh determination forcing two corner kicks in quick succession but suffered a scare on 53 minutes when a Miller effort from wide on the right skimmed past the far post. Four minutes later Marlow gathered the ball wide on the left and made good headway across the pitch before feeding Miller on the right and his low drilled shot was pushed out for a corner by Murdoch.
Pollok too won a corner as play began to flow from end to end but McGarrity was on his toes to make a clean catch. A forceful run by Marlow ended at the edge of the box with a brilliantly timed tackle by substitute and former Glens’ midfielder John Kane.
Ryan McChesney matched that effort with a brave block after good interplay between Richie Barr and substitute Ross Hepburn, who added a new dimension to the home side’s play. Back up the park and on 69 minutes Connolly’s pace unlocked the ‘Lok defence and although his cut-back from the bye-line found Miller, McAleenan was on hand to clear the ball to prevent the visitors from doubling their advantage.
Pollok cleared their lines and the ball swiftly played up the park and into the box for Ian Diack to collect and hit the deck following a challenge from McChesney, the resultant spot kick awarded by the assistant linesman. Despite the away side’s protestations Richie Barr stepped up and squared the match with 72 minutes on the clock.
As the Glens licked their wounds the home side looked to rub salt in them as they laid siege to the visitors’ goal. Diack deep in the box drilled his low angled shot beyond the reach of McGarrity and although the ball was going wide, Hepburn poked it home at the back post but from an offside position. The Glens keeper then punched the ball clear from the head of McGillion up for a corner and soon after Diack’s header from close range was off target. However, the home side’s pressure was rewarded on 79 minutes after McGarrity made a brave block from Richie Barr only for the ball to spin high in the air and fall at the feet of the striker who guided it home from the narrowest of angles in some style.
Glens were down but far from out and four minutes late were back level after a perfect pass from Frye split the Pollok defence and found Stevie Miller wide on the right who single-mindedly drove into the box and before McGillion could make his tackle the Barrhead boy fired the ball into the far corner, to spark off joyous celebrations. Two minutes later he combined well down the right with Jamie McGeoghan and his cross met by Connolly only for his header to fall straight into the arms of Murdoch.
From a corner kick on 88 minutes McGillion leaped free in the six yard box and powered a downward header destined for goal only for captain Craig Menzies to keep his cool and clear the ball off the line. McGarrity then held Sinclair’s speculative shot from 20 yards.
Glens substitute David Dimilta then made excellent progress down the left before picking out Miller in the box only for his angled shot to flash wide off the post. Pollok won a free kick deep in injury time, but nothing came of it and the points were shared.
FT Pollok 2 Glenafton 2
Glenafton: McGarrity; Cairns, McChesney, Menzies, McGeoghan; Miller (Brown), Frye, McKernon, Marlow (Brown); Connolly & Adam Subs: Maltoni (gk), Craig
Pollok: Murdoch, McLennan, McVey, McGillion ,McGowan, Hamilton (McAleenan) , Waddell (Kane), Sinclair Diack, Barr,Easton (Hepburn)
more photos here