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Saturday, March 11th 2006

6:00 PM

Stagecoach Super League Premier Division

GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 0 Pollok 0

 

The Glens have yet to record a league victory over Pollok but having fought back to secure a 2-2 draw at Newlandsfield in January there was an air of optimism about Loch Park that the time had come to put that record straight. However, like the Arctic conditions that engulfed Loch Park the air quickly froze and the optimism was in danger of being blown away as Pollok made all the running in the early stages.  Intricate passing from the visitors most of which was conducted by the impressive Andy McClay would see the ball moved quickly from midfield up front for the lively pair of Friels and Black. However, the latter in particular was guilty of being over-elaborate on occasions and the extra touch on the edge of the box that he often craved was enough to allow Glens man-of-the-match Steven McGregor time to get his tackle in and the ball to safety.  Ironically it was after one of Pollok’s best moves that the Glens began to make their mark in the game. McLay played a neat one-two with former Glens favourite Joe Carruth and then released Friels down the right wing, but his run was brought to an abrupt end with a yellow-card tackle by John McCaig. Nothing came of the chance but McCaig couldn’t shrug off the injury he had sustained during that tackle and after only 15 minutes he was replaced by Stevie Agnew, with Davie Stewart falling back into the central defensive role. Aggie brought a much needed sense of rhythm to the Glens and McClay was now seen more and more in a defensive midfield role. Nevertheless, it was 20 minutes before the Glens created their first real chance with a Scott Houston near post header which went over the bar, although Budinauckas,  appeared to have it covered.  On 29 minutes Brian Blair came close to breaking the deadlock for the home side. Picking up the ball on the left touch-line he passed the advancing McLay with ease, and then skinned him again as he got to the bye-line again but his cross was headed clear for a corner-kick; which Bingham took and Blair’s flashing header went inches wide.  Two minutes later Black set up Stewart with a neat back-heel but his shot was off target. The chance of the game however fell to Pollok’s Black with less than 10 minutes of the half remaining. Friels again was the creator and his perseverance saw him beat the advancing Garry Matthews and then McGregor to the ball and roll it perfectly into the path of Black. The ‘Lok fans stood frozen to the spot as Simon failed to keep it simple and instead of walking the ball into the gaping net he elected to hit it first time and blast it over the bar and on to Nithsdale, to the land of Pollok’s ancestors.

 

Half-Time Glenafton Athletic 0 Pollok 0

 

Darren Johnstone came on for Scott Houston who had had a tough shift against Pollok’s man-of-the-match Derek Heaton. Although the temperature continued to fall and the wind blew just as hard, the frozen air of optimism began to show signs of thawing as the Glens started the second-half brightly. A strong shout for a penalty kick was turned down when a Pollok arm deflected a Glens shot in a busy penalty box. Stevie Agnew then had the Pollok keeper scurrying back to his goal-line but his lob skimmed off the top-side of the bar. With 10 minutes of the half gone Darren Johnstone broke into the box and managed to get his shot away before a lunging tackle by Cruickshank, but Budinauckas, saved well. As is often the case, playing with the wind at your back is not always an advantage and certainly this seemed to be the case for Pollok, who were less potent as an attacking force in the second half. McClay, ably assisted by Aitchinson were more involved in breaking down play with a succession of niggly fouls (which went unpunished), rather than building play from the back. Black had faded badly from the game after his miss and Friels appeared to be ploughing a lone furrow up front, although he always had McGregor for company. With 10 minutes to go Friels did manage to lose McGregor and skip beyond the out-coming Matthews, but the big goalie had forced the ‘Lok forward wide enough and his shot from an acute angle failed to find the empty net.

Friels had another effort deep into injury time but Matthews saved his header with ease; prior to which the Lok had survived a late fright after good work by Agnew and Brian Chiesa, who had earlier replaced Craig Bingham. 

 

The visitors may feel aggrieved at passing up two golden opportunities to claim the three points, but on reflection both sides will look on a share of the points as ample reward from a game that neither side dominated.

  

Final Score Glenafton Athletic 0 Pollok 0

 

Glenafton Athletic : Matthews; Mitchell, McGregor, McCaig (Agnew), Mathie; Bingham (Chiesa), Howie, Blair, Stewart; Allan, Houston

 

Pollok: Budinauckas, Carruth (Essler), Cruickshank, Aitchison, Heaton, McClay, Miller, Currie (Kinney), Friels, Stewart (Tinney) Black.

 
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Brian Blair gets a helping hand while Bella looks after Joe.
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Brian Blair header goes wide as Roddie clasps his hands in prayer!
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 Zander Allan with Stevie Aitchison, Andy McClay and Derek Heaton
Stevie Agnew in control
 
Glens Zander Allan, Craig Bingham and Steven McGregor with Pollok's Derek Heaton, Simon Black, Chris Cruickshank and Stevie Aitchison
 
The "SBFC" can't believe it as Simon misses- but did Lokette get the shot?
Darren Johnstone shoots for goal as Chris Cruickshank approaches and Joe closes in 
 
Joe's had enough !
 
Pollok fans get behind Gerry - but what's happening to Stevie Aitchison!!
 
 
2 Read what others say.

Posted by ASSE:

great photos FG,delighted to make an appearance myself ! glad to meet you on sat,keep up the good work on site.
Tuesday, March 14th 2006 @ 9:04 PM

Posted by The Byre:

A tough game for both teams . Pollok might rue the 2 missed chances at the end of the season and we could still do with another win (or 4), hopefully against the Talbot , just to make sure !!:)o:):P
Tuesday, March 14th 2006 @ 9:42 PM

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