Pollok 2 Rob Roy 3: Rabs fight back to defeat Pollok

A determined display earned Rob Roy victory at Newlandsfield
A determined display earned Rob Roy victory at Newlandsfield

Rob Roy came from behind to defeat Pollok and claim their first league victory of the season in a thriller at Newlandsfield.

Rob Roy manager Stewart Maxwell was looking for a response form his players to last week's heavy defeat at Beith.

And they started brightly. Connor Hughes had an early effort blocked for a corner and from Sam Mackenzie’s resultant cross the ball beat Polloks keeper Jordan Longmuir, but there were no takers to capitalise.

Longmuir was then called into action in the fifth minute to save a John Sweeney header, then a minute later Cameron Clark fired over the bar following a foul on Joe Slattery.

Sweeney then had a tremendous tackle to keep out Adam Forde as Pollok started to make their mark on the game, but when Jordan Currie-McLean fouled David Gormley, the Roy defence stood firm to clear the danger.

After Sweeney gave away another foul on Gormley, Ryan McGregor sent a powerful header over the bar at the back post as Pollok looked for the opener.

Gary Carroll went close in the 16th minute after good lead up play between Hughes and Currie-McLean and then at the other end Chris Lang cleared well from Ewan McNeil before Michael McMullen headed wide following a cross from the right.

There was nothing between the teams at this stage as play flowed from end to end.

On the half hour mark Martin McBride saw his free kick saved by Longmuir and the second ball fell to Scott Walker, whose 18-yard drive was pushed out for a corner by Longmuir.

Seven minutes later Carroll, Mackenzie and Hughes combined well to create an opening but Longmuir saved easily.

However the visitors' finishing was more clinical in the 41st minute when they made the breakthrough.

A long ball out of defence from Sweeney was headed on by Hughes to Carroll, whose left foot effort was spilled by Longmuir and when Mackenzie’s follow up was blocked by the keeper, Carroll was on hand to drive the ball in to the net.

Just before the break the Rob Roy wall stood firm to block Forde’s free kick and go into the interval with their lead intact.

However the second half was only two minutes old when Forde’s free kick on the right was pushed out by Rob Roy’s keeper Andy Finnigan and Bryan Young was on hand to shoot home from 10 yards.

Pollok started to apply the pressure and Forde curled an effort wide of the post before a free-kick from McNeil rattled the bar.

This pressure paid off in the 58th minute when, following a long clearance from Longmuir, Forde found himself in acres of space to shoot from 20 yards past a static Finnigan and put Pollok ahead.

The keeper however did well a minute later to save from Forde and then the same player shot over the bar as Pollok looked to increase their lead.

In the 70th minute McBride saw his curling effort go just wide then at the other end, when a cross from the right was missed by Sweeney, Gormley shot wide.

The visitors who got themselves back in to the game in the 78th minute. Following a break down the left and substitute Lee Gallacher cut inside McNeil to blast the ball home.

This gave Rabs renewed confidence and three minutes later Willie Sawyers’ header allowed Currie-McLean to break down the right and cross from the bye-line to the far post where Gallacher was on hand to steer the ball home and restore the visitor’s lead.

Pollok applied constant pressure in the closing minutes to rescue something from the game and substitute Aaron Millar saw his header cleared for a corner.

But the Roy defence stood firm to allow them to register their first league victory of the season.

Sponsor Kenny Farmer presented the Supporters’ Man of the Match trophy, kindly donated by Roddy the Dog Walker, at the end of the game to Scott Walker.