Pollok 0 vs. 1 Irvine Meadow XI
Evening Times Cup Winners Cup Final
Thursday 18th June 2009, Kick-Off 7.30pm
Newlandsfield Park, Shawlands
This is my final game of the season, the final game in the Scottish football season and probably the final game of the 2008/09 season anywhere.
The final of the Evening Times Cup Winners Cup, where cup and divisional winners are pitied against each other in the dying embers of the junior season.
I get the bus out to Pollok’s Newlandsfield Park, the ‘neutral’ venue for tonight’s tie. Meadow are apparently okay with it as their main concern was to play on a decent playing surface.
Baners for the Evening Times are dotted about outside the ground. I notice also that the local Oddbins, in anticipation of a win for Pollok, has Bolinger on at £31.99 a bottle, if you buy six.
I head into the Pollok FC Social Club as I’ve arranged to meet up with Dave from Dave’s Football Travels. This is also Dave’s final match of the season. However, where this is my 52nd game of the season, this will be Dave’s 105th.
When we come out of the club, about five minutes before kick-off, we find that there is quite a big queue (for junior football) waiting to get in. The queues are so big that the kick-off is delayed by ten minutes until 7.40pm.
The game starts off quite well with both teams going at each other. It soon becomes obvious however that Pollok cannot, for the life of them, get a shot on target.
In the 26th minute McGinty cuts a ball back across Pollok’s penalty box, it’s headed on for Chris Robertson to a shot that beats his namesake Kris in the Pollok goal. It’s a shock for Pollok, as they had much of the play up until now.
There’s very little of note to report after that. The rain comes donw heavily at half-time forcing the majority of fans on the opening terracing to join us under the roof.
Andy McLaren, the one-time Scottish international comes on as a sub for Meadow late on. McLaren hasn’t had his troubles to seek throughout his career and his drug abuse problems have been widely documented. So it was no great surprise to hear some Pollok fans loudly suggesting that he snort the white lines on the pitch as he came on.
Pollok’s Derek Wingate has a great chance to level late on, but when he shoots over the bar the fans know that their chance has gone.
There’s a good natured pitch invasion as Irvine Meadow are presented with the impressive trophy. As we make our way outside we notice that through the dressing room window the Meadow players are dousing each other in champagne. A group of Meadow fans are quickly hanging in the window joining in the celebrations.
And with that the 2008/09 season is over. Never mind only three weeks until the new season starts.
Pollok: K. Robertson, Carruth, Dillon (Halliday 81), Wingate, Walker, McLay, MacKay (Harrison 73), Turnbull, Dingwall, Essler, Cruickshank. Subs not used: Newall, Morgan, MacKillop
Irvine Meadow: Wardrope, Ryan, Swift, McGowan, C. Robertson, Crilly, Strain (Docherty 10 (McLaren 76)), Turner, Barr, McGinty (Hyslop 72), Hamilton. Subs not used: McBride, McLaughlin
Scorer: C. Robertson (26)
Referee: Des Roache