All’s well for Gupwell

Craig Gupwell's header. Pic by Kathryn Macleod
Craig Gupwell's header. Pic by Kathryn Macleod

Pollok produced a battling performance to salvage a point against Ashfield at Newlandsfield on Saturday, despite playing much of the game a man down.

John Richardson made two changes to the side that lost to Lochee United, with Jonathan Carter and Paul McQuilken returning in place of Kevin Bradley and Stephen McKeown.

Shaun Fraser sent an early free-kick over for Ashfield and McQuilken dragged a low shot just wide for Pollok before the visitors took the lead in the 10th minute.

Jamie O’Boyle sent over a free-kick from the left that ricocheted off the heel of the luckless Craig Gupwell for an own goal.

Pollok responded through Brian McGinty, who fired a drive towards the near post that Anton Nugent parried, with McQuilken’s follow-up effort blocked by a defender.

‘Lok came within inches of levelling in the 20th minute when McQuilken thundered a free-kick towards goal that crashed against the post.

Mark Thomson tried to catch out Hutchison after a poor Peter McMahon header, but the home ‘keeper made the save.

Controversy came in the 44th minute when McMahon and Thomson challenged for a loose ball, with the Pollok man appearing to win the tackle fairly.

Ref Steven Reid had other ideas, and brandished a red card to the ‘Lok left-back. A half-time reshuffle was required, with Bradley taking the place of Carter.

Fraser missed the target with a 50th minute free-kick before Hall produced a good block from Hutchison after evading Stephen Swift.

Pollok drew level on the hour mark. McQuilken swung a corner from the right, and Craig Gupwell glanced home an equaliser.

Six minutes later Ashfield had penalty claims waved away when Gary McCann tumbled at the edge of the box, only to be booked for simulation.

With ten minutes left, Paul Maxwell sent a shot on the turn into the side netting before a dangerous ball across the face of goal by William Ferguson found no takers.

With the game into added time Ashfield were reduced to ten men when a ball-winning tackle by McCann was deemed worthy of a straight red card by Mr Reid.

Pollok are back in cup action this weekend, with Blantyre Victoria visiting Newlandsfield in the Central League Cup. Kick-off is at 2pm.