Pollok’s slide towards the stagecoach super premier league relegation zone continued on Saturday as they slumped to a 3-2 defeat against ten-man Cumnock at Townhead Park.
Queen’s Park loanee Michael O’Hara made his ‘Lok debut, and Jonathan Carter also returned to the side, with Andy Essler and Paul McQuilken missing out.
The visitors threatened first, with a long Craig Gupwell free-kick finding the head of Alain Kinney, but Cumnock ‘keeper Stuart Watterson made a terrific save.
His side took the lead in the third minute when a simple ball over the top found Gary McMenmanin in acres of space, and he calmly slotted home the opening goal.
Pollok were forced into an early substitution, with injured captain Stephen Swift limping off to be replaced by Brian McGinty.
A touchline fracas saw Gary Wild and Darren Brady find their way into referee Steven Kirkland’s notebook. The resultant Chris McKnight free-kick was headed back across goal by Stevie Murray, and Gary McMenanin conjured up a magnificent overhead kick to put his side two up after 33 minutes.
Watterson saved from Bradley before the hosts were reduced to ten men in the 39th minute when a rash challenge from Wild earned a second yellow card for the Cumnock man.
The second half began with Hutchison saving from Aaron Connolly before Watterson missed a cross at the other end, but he recovered in time to keep out Monti’s effort.
Pollok made their numerical advantage count when they pulled a goal back after 61 minutes. Steven McGregor’s header from a Monti corner was blocked on the line, but Cumnock failed to clear the ball from the danger area and allowed Jonathan Carter to stab home from close range.
Just three minutes later ‘Lok were level when substitute Essler hit the bye-line and crossed to Bradley.
He nodded the ball back to Carlo Monto, who swept a fine low finish into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.
The momentum seemed now to be with ‘Lok, but they were hit with a sucker punch in the 69th minute when McMenamin, who launched a 60-yard crossfield pass to Sean Kennedy who rolled the ball into the path of Aaron Connolly who buried what would prove to be the winning goal.
Carter had an effort blocked before Pollok’s final attempt from Brady flew wide, ensuring that the three points would be staying in Ayrshire.
If Pollok are to bounce back this season they will need to do so without the services of Swift, who has now departed the club to take on the manager’s role at Kilbirnie Ladeside alongside Mark Crilly.
Pollok now face a crucial league fixture with Arthurlie on Saturday, with kick-off at Newlandsfield Park set for 2pm.
Queen’s Park have a trip to Berwick Rangers on Saturday.