Lok fail in cup final

SFGS Pollok GH
SFGS Pollok GH

Pollok were unable to end their eleven year wait for New Coin Automatics West of Scotland Cup glory as they fell to a 1-0 final defeat against Arthurlie in front of a 1,541 crowd at Newlandsfield Park on Saturday.

Injuries, suspensions, work commitments and weddings badly hindered Willie Irvine’s options for the game, and four new faces were drafted in.

They were unable to prevent the Barrhead side from grabbing the early initiative as they took the lead in the seventh minute.

A Steven Crawford free-kick from the left was missed by everyone in the ‘Lok defence, and Michael Keenan snuck in unmarked to head home.

Just minutes later a clearing header fell to Steven McKeown at the edge of the penalty area, but he couldn’t direct his half-volley onto the target.

Pollok’s first real chance came after quarter of an hour when Mark Crilly crossed to the off-balance Kevin Bradley, who headed wide.

Then Crilly swung over a corner to Iain Diack, but the striker’s header looped over the crossbar.

John Johnston fired over for ‘Lie before Diack cut through the Arthurlie defence and drove narrowly over.

At the other end a good shot by Steven McKeown caused panic for ‘Lok until Bradley hacked clear with Callan Adam waiting to pounce.

Bradley headed wide from a Barry Tulloch cross in the 28th minute, and six minutes later John Paul Boyle blazed over after being played in by Johnston after ‘Lok had conceded possession cheaply.

With four minutes left of the first half a penetrating run by Tulloch ended with him squaring to Roddy Hunter, but from close range the ball hit the post.

In injury time ‘Lok hit woodwork again when Scott Gair cracked a header against the bar.

Gair did not reappear for the second period as he was replaced by youngster Daryl Macdonald.

Pollok opened the half by sending two efforts wide then Boyle narrowly missed in the 58th minute.

Keenan then forced a low save from Scott Morrison before substitute John Bradford shot over from inside the penalty area.

Lundie dispossessed Tulloch in the 68th minute but squandered his chance by firing off target.

Eight minutes later Crilly almost levelled matters with a dipping volley that narrowly cleared the crossbar.

‘Lie should have wrapped the game up but Adam badly missed with a free header.

Pollok’s last chance came in the final minute when Alex Clearie hit a free-kick from twenty yards out, but he hit the defensive wall before blazing the rebound wide, leaving ‘Lie captain Frank McKeown to lift the trophy.