Injury-hit Kirkintilloch Rob Roy beaten by Pollok

Sponsor Dougie McLachlan presented the Supporters' man of the Match trophy, kindly donated by Roddy the Dog Walker, at the end of the game to Kevin Watt.
Sponsor Dougie McLachlan presented the Supporters' man of the Match trophy, kindly donated by Roddy the Dog Walker, at the end of the game to Kevin Watt.

Second half defensive errors cost Rob Roy dearly as injuries took their toll on an already depleted squad at Newlandsfield, writes Neil Anderson.

However Saturday’s final scoreline did not reflect how close the match was in phases.

In bright, sunny conditions Pollok were on the attack from the start and Stefan McCluskey was an early threat with his pace and trickery.

However the visitors showed their intent in the second minute when Stefan Law headed just over the bar from a Gavin Mackie free kick.

At the other end a free-kick from McCluskey managed to evade everyone in the box while the same player went close from a header following a long throw from Bryan Wharton.

In the 12th minute Kevin Watt was nearly through on keeper Jordan Longmuir after a great Danny Mackenzie through ball but the Pollok defence cleared the danger.

However the Roy only had to wait another five minutes before taking the lead. Gary Carroll had a great turn outside the box and played in Watt who in turn was brought down on the edge of the 18-yard area.

Referee Ashwood had no hesitation in awarding a penalty and Carroll shot straight down the middle to give the diving Longmuir no chance.

Two minutes later the Rob Roy defence stood firm as both Danny Boyle and Shaun Fraser made telling headed clearances from a Pollok free-kick.

In the 23rd minute Michael McKinven did well to save a McCluskey header but two minutes later Rob Roy suffered a blow when Law had to go off injured after appearing to pop his shoulder following a fall.

Fraser again cleared well after Mackie was penalised for a tackle on Niang but a minute later luck was not on the visitors’ side when McCluskey’s shot from outside the box was deflected by Mackie past McKinven to give the hosts the equaliser.

Pollok had the ball in the net again when Stuart McCann hammered home when McKinven dropped a throw in but the referee ruled it out for a foul on the keeper.

Lee Gallacher and Mackenzie combined well down the left resulting in the full back’s attempt being blocked by the home defence before at the other end McKinven was called in to action again to save a curling shot from Mark Sideserf.

Play was going from end to end with Mackenzie doing well to block Gary McCann’s cross and then Carroll showing great strength to win a free kick that Mackie crossed just beyond Boyle’s head.

Just before the half-time whistle McKinven did well to punch clear from a corner after good lead up play from Niang.

Rob Roy attacked from the start of the second half and Gary McCulloch’s cross to watt was headed clear by Grant Evans and then Wharton had a goal line clearance from a Mackie corner kick.

Longmuir then saved well from a Boyle header following a Gallacher cross but in the 53rd minute it was the home side that took the lead.

A long cross on the right from Evans was met at the back post by McCulloch who unfortunately headed the ball in to his own net.

A minute later Gary McCann broke down the right and his cross took a deflection off McCulloch and was hammered home by Adam Forde to put Pollok further ahead.

Following Mackie curling a free kick over the bar, after Niang had fouled Joe Slattery, referee Ashwood awarded Pollok a penalty kick. A Danny O’Halloran clearance from inside the box was blocked but Slattery fouled Sideserf in the follow up.

However McKinven was alert and saved McCluskey’s effort by diving to his left and pushing the ball wide.

Gallacher then had a shot from distance before Mackie did well to block another Pollok free kick.

Rob Roy then suffered another injury blow in the 75th minute when Mackenzie had to be stretchered off the park following a late tackle from Evans.

Five minutes later Longmuir did well to save a Carroll shot after good link up play with Watt and then Wharton had a great block to deny watt.

In the 82nd minute Pollok piled on the pressure and forced four corners in a row which McKinven managed to deal with but he was left helpless in the 88th minute when a Slattery block fell to substitute Liam Rowan who fired home with his first touch of the game.

Watt called Longmuir again in to action before at the other end McKinven kept out an effort from Stuart McCann.

To their credit Rob Roy kept looking for another goal and Watt’s header was saved by Longmuir before Ryan McGregor was fortunate only to receive a yellow card for a heavy tackle on Fraser.