Pollok welcomed Glenafton to Newlandsfield for match-day seven of the McBookie West Premiership looking to bounce straight back from the disappointing midweek cup exit to Lanark. Captain Paul Gallacher returned to the starting line-up but many first team squad members remained on the injured list.
Pollok – shooting down the hill – dominated the opening stages. In the second minute Fraser stung the hands of debutant Wilson in the Glenafton goal after a great ball down the line by Morton allowed Dallas to cut the ball back into Fraser’s path.
The home side had further efforts from Morton and McKenzie which didn’t trouble the keeper before Fraser – in the 21st minute – took an Evans’ cross down on his chest and hit a low shot which cannoned off the base of the post. Dallas, playing against his former club, had a chance soon after but pulled his shot wide and he then produced a superb bit of hold up play and his lay off allowed Esplin a sight at goal but he too could not find the target.
Glenafton were coming more into the game as evidenced by yellow cards for McKenzie and Morton as they illegally stopped attacks. The first free-kick whistled just wide whilst the second was deflected away for a corner. In the forty-first minute Glenafton’s Marlow sent a hopeful ball over the top of the Pollok rear-guard. Boyle had a head start in the chase for the ball and there appeared to be little danger. However a breakdown in communication between the centre half and his out-rushing goalkeeper saw Boyle slip a pass back past Lumsden and it slowly trundled over the line.
Pollok responded on the stroke of half time from a free kick out on the left wing. Morton produced a wicked delivery into the perfect area and Grant Evans made no mistake with a powerful finish from six yards out to ensure the teams went in all square at the interval.
Glenafton regained the lead four minutes into the second half with a clever switch of play from left to right which allowed McCann to find Gallacher in space. He gathered the ball, stepped inside McKenzie and curled an unstoppable shot into the top left hand corner.
Pollok spent most of the second half pushing for an equaliser but the inventiveness and confidence of a few weeks ago appeared to be missing. They were getting very few opportunities out of a Glenafton defence superbly marshalled by Captain Craig Menzies and a young goalkeeper who was doing all that was asked of him in terms of cross balls.
In the eightieth minute Grant Evans went into a fully committed challenge out on the right touchline as the Glenafton defence attempted to clear. Evans blocked the clearance and from twenty five yards out the ball flew towards the Glenafton goal, looping over the stranded Wilson and into the net.
As the game appeared to be heading for a draw Evans kept a long ball in play in an attempt to launch one final attack but in doing so he lost possession. Glenafton were then able to once again switch the play from left to right to find substitute Moore in space. His long range strike found the bottom corner and Glenafton had snatched all three points at the death.
The fans had been seen five goals which really did span the spectrum from comical to bizarre to brilliant. Glenafton’s organisation and resilience – especially in the 2nd half – allowed them to sneak a merited win in a tight game. Pollok will be hoping to get some of their injured stars back in the coming weeks although their striking partnership of McCann and Dallas both had to be replaced today due to injuries. After playing thirteen competitive games before the end of August the return to one game a week for the foreseeable future will hopefully see a reducing injury list and an increasing number of options for manager, Murdo McKinnon. Peter Thomson
Match highlights from Mark Donnelly
90 – In stoppage time, Glens clinch it through Dale MOORE (2-3)
80 -Grant EVANS the unlikely source of a Lok equaliser! (2-2)
48 – Glen restore their lead through Lee GALLACHER (1-2)
Almost immediately, Lok equalise through Grant EVANS! (1-1)
Lok go behind on 45 mins through a Danny BOYLE og.