Spirits stay up for draw

Pollok 1-1 Lochee United

A SPIRITED second half performance kept Pollok in the 2011/12 Emirates Scottish Junior Cup as they drew 1-1 with Lochee United at Newlandsfield Park on Saturday.

John Richardson’s rebuilding programme continued, with another two new faces in the ‘Lok line-up. Craig Gupwell returned in defence for a second spell at the club, whilst Stephen McKeown made his Pollok debut up front.

The first chance fell to the visitors after five minutes when Grant Lawson sent over a low cross for Jon Voigt, but the striker could only fire wide from an excellent position.

Four minutes later his side moved in front when a poor clearance from J.C. Hutchison was pounced upon by Lochee, resulting in Paul Blackwood unleashing an unstoppable dipping volley into the net from 22 yards out.

Pollok took until the 18th minute to muster a response when a corner kick wasn’t dealt with by United, allowing Kevin Bradley to thunder a drive towards goal. Unfortunately for the home side Stephen Vanderdyl was equal to the task, producing a fabulous diving save to turn away the danger.

At the other end hesitancy in the ‘Lok defence allowed Voigt another attempt at goal, but his effort was wide of the target.

The same player then shot narrowly over from 25 yards out before a close range flick from Blackwood was gathered at the second attempt by Hutchison. Alain Kinney headed over from a Darren Brady cross in the 35th minute, then two minutes later knocked the ball down to McKeown for a low strike that was collected by Vanderdyl.

A kick-out from the Lochee ‘keeper almost found the net two minutes before half-time, with Hutchison scrambling back to touch the ball over for a corner, from which Stuart Richardson headed over.

Half-time saw Tam Hanlon replace Bradley for ‘Lok, and they started the second period in brighter fashion. Andy Essler shot across the face of goal after 49 minutes, then three minutes later Kinney headed just over from an awkward angle.

The equaliser arrived after 54 minutes when Paul McQuilken’s acrobatic volley was parried by Vanderdyl, but Stephen Swift followed up to slam home the rebound.

Pollok had a golden chance to take the lead eight minutes later when Gupwell’s ball over the top found Kinney all alone, but he was unable to make the most of the one-on-one chance, heading tamely towards Vanderdyl.

The ‘keeper then stopped a Hanlon shot before Swift squandered a great chance, heading over from close in when unmarked. Gupwell also wasted a free header from a Hanlon free-kick as ‘Lok continued to dominate proceedings.

Hanlon had another shot from outside the box stopped by Vanderdyl before the final opportunity of the game fell to substitute Brian McGinty, who did well to shrug off the attentions of the visiting defence, but was then unable to find the target with a left-footed prod at goal.

The two sides will therefore resume battle this week in Dundee, with kick-off at Thomson Park scheduled for 2pm.

Monday evening saw Pollok in friendly action at Bishopbriggs Academy, where they defeated Glasgow Harp Amateurs by four goals to nil. Alain Kinney netted a double, with Stephen Swift and trialist Billy Davies also on the scoresheet.