Pollok continued their busy start to the season by welcoming Kirkintilloch Rob Roy to Newlandsfield on a dreich evening as the West of Scotland’s wet August continued. For Pollok, Danny McKenzie replaced the suspended Mark Sideserf and Chris Dallas came in upfront for Adam Forde.
The home side, shooting down the slope, took control of the game from the outset. On nine minutes Grant Evans swung in a free kick and captain Danny Boyle was there to guide a header in to the far corner. A deserved lead.
Rob Roy went straight up the park after the restart and Sam McKenzie went over in the box but the referee was not fooled and rather than pointing to the spot reached for his yellow card and booked the Rob Roy winger for simulation.
With fifteen minutes gone Pollok doubled their lead. Evans delivered another searching cross into the box and Fraser timed his run from midfield perfectly to head into the bottom corner.
Pollok continued to press and Fraser had another header cleared off the line whilst Henry had a long range effort go just wide after superb hold up play from Dallas. The only hint of a setback was when Dom Larkin was yellow carded after he took one for the team in hauling down Carroll after a misplaced pass by Henry in the Pollok half.
Just before the half hour mark Pollok produced a move that would have had Pep Guardiola purring.
Short, intricate, one touch passing from midfield led to Duff getting to the bye-line. His low cross found Fraser unmarked at the far post. His first effort was blocked by the keeper and he crashed the rebound off the bar. It would have been a goal for the football purists to savour.
Stuart McCann saw a header flash wide from a corner won by great work from Larkin stepping out of defence and then Duff had a goal ruled out for offside. Pollok had Rob Roy penned in and Hutchison in the Rob Roy goal managed to hit his centre half, Morris, on the back of the head as he attempted to launch the ball as far downfield as possible.
Pollok had clearly shaken off the disappointing performance at Kilbirnie and were playing some lovely free flowing football, moving the ball from side to side and creating numerous opportunities. A Dallas cross was headed clear by Rob Roy’s trialist right back but the referee had spotted a push on Fraser and pointed to the spot. A decision the trialist took great exception to and he was sent off for the way he expressed his views to the referee. Dallas made no mistake from the spot.
Dallas still had time to hit the bar with a header before the half time whistle arrived. Pollok led 3-0 and it appeared the only thing that could stop them would be a further deterioration in the weather.
The second half started with Forde and Morton on for Dallas and Esplin. The pattern of play remained the same as the first half with Pollok knocking the ball about and playing with freedom. After a couple of near misses the fourth goal duly arrived. Some patient play at the back led to some lovely passing up the left wing with McKenzie then feeding Duff on the edge of the box. He took one touch before rifling a low left foot shot into the far corner.
Some of the urgency went out of the game and Rob Roy started to find themselves in Pollok’s half a little more. From a free-kick on the edge of the box they whipped in a low curler. Jamie Henry had a swing at it but could only manage to wickedly deflect the ball over the head of the helpless Lumsden.
With just over ten minutes to go Pollok restored their four goal advantage when Forde won a bounce ball and fed Morton whose low strike crept in at the near post. Pollok had further efforts at increasing their lead – Forde just failing to connect with a superb low cross from McCann and Morton grazing the crossbar with a powerful shot after a skilful run – as the game headed towards full time. Rob Roy substitute Towey managed to join his teammate in the referee’s bad books for something he said and was dismissed with a couple of minutes to go as Pollok ran out comfortable 5-1 winners.
This was a display full of inventiveness and confidence from the home side and the crowd could have no complaints about the entertainment provided in fairly miserable conditions. Peter Thompson
Full highlights from Davie Brown & Mark Donnelly
Goals from Davie Brown & Mark Donnelly
Rabs end up with 9 men. FT 5-1.
79 mins: Jordan Morton restores the Lok four goal cushion (5-1)
An OG has Rabs back at 4-1
Second Half: Duff makes it 4-0 on 57 mins
Goals from Boyle, Fraser and Dallas (pen) have Lok very much in charge this evening at the break. Rabs down to 10 men.
Photos c/o Ross MacDonald