Newlandsfield Park, WOSFL Premier League, 12/3/22
Entrance – Me Free, Wee Man Free
Attendance – 794
Pie – Coffee, Juice, Crisps, Lollipop £3
Pint – £3.95 Tennents, Loks Bar and Grill
Pollok Football Club
Founded – 1908
Nickname – The Lok
Notable Honours – Scottish Junior Cup – 1980/81, 1984/85 and 1996/97. West of Scotland Cup 1944/45, 1986/87, 1991/92, 1997/98, 1999/2000 and 2016/17. SJFA West Premier League – 2002/03, 2004/05, 2006/07 and 2007/08. Central League Premier Division – 1984/85, 1985/86, 1986/87, 1990/91, 1994/95 and 1995/96
Random Fact – Don Revie’s self proclaimed “greatest ever signing” Bobby Collins played for the club before stepping up to Seniors when he signed for Everton, but then opting to sign for Celtic instead. Following this up with finally signing for Everton for real then on to Leeds United.
6th of April 2018 my German fitba watching was interrupted by a rare during the night rise from Wee Man. Usually once he was asleep that was it until morning but on this occasion it was different, life changingly different for me. Unknown to me at the time, his words of “Daddy when can I come and watch football with you?” was to make life a whole lot better. The following day I took him to his first ever game. Colony Park v Stonehaven in the North Region Superleague. The can of worms was opened. More games followed and my season ticket at Pittodrie bit the dust so I could accommodate Wee Man’s preferred “little games”. Some people think it is sacrilege to give up on your team. Well today we walked out of Wee Man’s 100th ground. He was buzzing. Give me seeing that week in week, week out over Pittodrie, a place that this week saw three years since I was last there.
The ground of choice for his centenary celebration was the magnificent Newlandsfield Park in Glasgow. Home of Pollok FC. This was a revisit for me but a more than worthy one selected by Wee man himself when asked where he wanted to go. In all honesty I was chuffed when he said “Pollok, we should have went to Pollok ages ago” when I asked where he fancied. I was happy for two reasons, one it was an excuse to get down to Glasgow’s southside again. But also because I felt a sense of pride as the choice showed how his fitba education to date had affected his brain.
On arrival on Newlandsfield Road we had a quick gawk into the ground before it was open and going by the “well coooooooooooooool” reaction of Wee Man I knew we were onto a winner. Food was needed and we headed to Loks Bar and Grill next door and I will say, the fish and chips I had was superb. A fair sized feed too which I was still feeling the effects of driving home. I was stuffed. From here we headed to Newlandsfield for a nosey about which was granted by the club just to add a bit extra to Wee Mans special day. A great gesture from a club who after today were placed very high on my good guy list. We were taken around by Paul who deals with the twitter account. As I am a sucker for old photos it was good to start in the board room where there a plenty such items to float my boat. Another highlight was the bar area where all the pennants from past opponents are hung. Interestingly we had been to a huge percentage and nearly all of the teams. Maybe not Lichtenstein who used Newlandsfield as a training base before a Scotland match. From here we got to wander around the pitch and listened to Paul tell us about the imminent arrival of floodlights and the whole situation with gaining accreditation for the SFA. It seems as if Pollok are in a good place. But their subsiding goals will need to be replaced. It’s incredible how low the crossbars are. An interesting conversation and I wish the Lok all the best with their license.
The game was a slow burner to start with. There was little of note in the first half hour barring Lok keeper Longmuir being forced into a decent save early on and a couple of Pollok efforts blazed over the bar, effort that should have really been better. Pollok were the better team but I suspect they can play better than this early showing. The game was seriously lacking in decent final third action. Pollok did take the lead on 35 minutes through Stuart McCann. Evan Horne swung in a corner which Ryan MacGregor headed off the post, he found the ball again and crossed for McCann who sent his powerful header past Wilton in the Blasties goal. Pollok turned the screw from here and went in search of a second but were made to wait until the final minute of the half when some poor defending saw a cross land at a completely unmarked Adam Forde after somehow getting past the defence. The striker made no mistake from ten yards sending the Lok in at the half in a comfortable position.
HT 2 v 0
Somehing I always like seeing at this level down this neck of the woods is the kids running on at half time for a kick about on the pitch. I have a lot of time for this and today I did it myself with Wee Man who was determined to skelp his yellow ball into the goal. Clearly chuffed with himself this was to be another part of his celebration story. Another thing I am a big fan of are flares at this level and the Kilbirnie fans were stocked up. They turned the air yellow in the early part of the game but also later once we were not far from them. This mezmerizing Wee Man who thought it was the best thing ever.
The second half should have seen Pollok out of sight early on. Forde had a free kick very well saved at full stretch. That man Forde pulled a great double save out of Wilton from close range. There was also a tricky moment for Wilton who had to scramble to tip over a miss hit cross. It looked like there was only going to be one outcome here and that was a comfortable Pollok win. But Ladeside had other ideas and halved the deficit on the hour. A long punt from Wilton was box to box and missed by the Pollok back line allowing Alan Frizell to score from a tight angle. Game on. This did not really spark the game into life as we wanted and the game again became devoid of much action until the final minute when substitute Gary McCann finished of his namesake Stuart’s lay off with the effort kissing the post on the way in ensuring the points were staying in the southside.
After just under four years since I took a wary timid wee boy to Colony Park we walked out of Newlandsfield with Wee Man now on 100 grounds and a fully fledged fitba nut. Quite the achievement for a boy of seven. I at that age had only been to Pittodrie. It may have taken as good as four years but in truth it was two due to my working away half the year. But then if you factor in no football for ten moths during the pandemic his achievement is especially impressive and I, for one have loved every minute of doing it with him. I am enjoying watching fitba now more than I ever have and its all down to him. To celebrate at Pollok was fitting as its a special place to watch fitba and given Wee Man said in the car on the way home “Pollok is ace”. This confirms his own choice was perfect. Of course it was , the Lok are Glasgow’s finest team in Glasgow’s finest ground.
Me still 225, Wee Man 100