Glenafton Athletic 0 Pollok 2
The Glens welcomed Stevie Agnew and John McMillan back from injury and with Darren Johnstone unavailable for selection, Davie Stewart partnered John McCaig at the centre of defence, with Mark Quinn dropping back from midfield to left-back. The most notable absentee from the league leaders was hot-shot Bryan Dingwall, missing through suspension. In the visitors starting line-up was former Glens favourite Richie Newall in his first return to
Of less relevance was the safeguarding of records; with the ‘Lok keen to add another notch to their mighty impressive run this season of 13 league wins-in-a-row, while the Glens were eager to extend their unbeaten run against the visitors, who last beat the Glens back in April 2005. When the final whistle blew it was Pollok that claimed spoils with a well deserved victory and they now look certain to go on and be crowned League Champions while the Glens need to get points from their remaining two league fixtures to avoid the play-off place.
The Glens had started the brighter of the two sides and had even come to terms with early forced changes when recurring injuries saw John McMillan depart after 5 minutes, to be replaced by Peter Jordan, and then Davie Stewart after 15 minutes with Davy Kennedy coming on. Although there had been little goal mouth action up until this point it was the home-side that were doing most of the pressing while the visitors were still trying to build up a head of steam. There were the occasional blasts of steam most notably in the form of the elegant and eye-catching play of David McGeown. At this stage possession was evenly balanced but the visitors were creating more chances and would have certainly broken the deadlock if not for an outstanding double-save from Matthews and then another point blank save from a flashing header; although big G could only look on as Ryan, clean through on goal hammered his shot wide. Another fine run by McGeown saw him tumble in the box but to his credit he jumped to his feet immediately, more determined to finish the move than to appeal to the referee; a leaf out of which book was declined by the falling Downs, on numerous occasions. However, itt was to be the referee that was the architect of the opening goal. Having already infuriated the home support with his inconsistency in the application of yellow cards (McCaig 1 Cruickshank 0 was an inexplicable score-line), he awarded ‘Lok a free-kick for a nothing tackle inside their own half and Carruth was first to react and send an inch perfect pass down the right flank to be collected by Waddell who ran on into the box and slammed it beyond Matthews, with 8 minutes of the half remaining.
The Glens clear goal-scoring chances in the second-half were few and far between, in fact the two of any note came at opposite ends of the half. The first almost came courtesy of an own goal when the ‘Lok defender lobbed the ball just over his own bar. The second after Nicky Weightman, who had come on for the hobbling Haggarty (two consecutive games against former team-mates finally taken its toll) , was felled in the box but frankly there’s more chance of Pollok’s own Tommy Sheridan being the next First Minister, than there was of the referee penalising Pollok in such a manner. Solidarity indeed! Nevertheless, if said penalty had been converted it would surely only have been a consolation goal and if truth be told a 2-1 score-line would have been less flattering to the visitors than Jonathan Watson’s impersonation of wee Cathy Jamieson.
In stark contrast Pollok broke free from defence (where Aitchison and Carruth were outstanding) to attack at will throughout the second forty-five. McGeown and
The League title is now in Pollok’s own hands and it is difficult to think that they will not extend their now 14 league wins-in-a-row to a sweet sixteen. With Bellshill and Kilsyth both earning a point today the Glens are sole occupiers of the 10th spot and will need to take points from the remaining games away to Arthurlie and Petershill to have a chance of avoiding the relegation play-off.
Glenafton Athletic: Matthews; Kane, McCaig, Stewart (Kennedy), Quinn; Connolly, Haggarty (Weightman), Agnew; McMillan (
Photographs Courtesy of John Vass
Gavin Brown with joe Carruth as gerry looks on
Frankie Haggarty and Alan Waddel challenge for the ball
Former Lok player Peter Jordan with David McGeown, an former Glens man Richie Newall in the background
Frankie Haggarty sees off the challenge from Stevie Miller
Zander Ryan does all he can to stop Chic Connolly - the 'Lok man was awarded a throw-in for his efforts!!!!!!
Willie howie has a go, with Mark Quinn in attendance