JUNIOR whistler David Dickinson was in Tony McInally's sights when the Pollok boss let loose with both barrels in the wake of his side’s 2-1 Super Premier Division defeat at home to Auchinleck Talbot on Saturday.

It’s no exaggeration to say the Lok boss was livid in the aftermath of a feisty and often furious Newlandsfield contest whose many talking points included the second-half dismissals of two Pollok players – Stefan McCluskey letting his team-mates down by twice picking up yellow cards for verbals towards the referee prior to an untypical lunging Gary McCann tackle earning the winger his marching orders

Macca’s forthright post-match observations didn’t spare his own players the lash, however most of his wrath was directed at the match officials.

He blasted: "Too many of my players did not perform anywhere near their capabilities and we cannot expect to come out on top against the likes of Auchinleck with only half a team turning up.

“It’s simply not good enough and I’ve not held back from letting the players know my feelings, but in their defence I would say a near constant stream of refereeing decisions going against us contributed to our performance.

“It’s usually the case in games that you get some big calls and you don’t get some others, but today Pollok didn’t get any and I cannot help but think the referee’s take on things has hugely influenced our defeat.

“Not for one minute am I blaming him for Stefan’s ordering off because truth is a player of his experience should know better than to be sent off for dissent, but was it a case that he was nursing a deep sense of injustice?

“My players had to contend with a first-half penalty kick awarded to Auchinleck which was soft in the extreme and arguably not even a foul, yet David Gormley has been bundled over for a stonewaller in the second half and the ref has waved play on?

“Players cannot help but be affected by things like that and Mr Dickinson has put the seal on his display with Gary McCann’s dismissal.

“He is running with the ball at feet and has his shirt blatantly tugged back by Jamie Glasgow which causes him to over-stretch in trying to keep possession yet no action is considered necessary in the case of the Talbot player while Gary is given a straight red card for serious foul play?"

A typically tigerish start by Auchinleck saw the visitors gain the upper hand in front of a near 800-strong crowd and payback came from the penalty spot just 12 minutes in after Jamie Glasgow went down in a tangle of legs with Lok’s teenage defender Senna allowing Stevie Wilson to fire the Ayrshiremen in front.

This advantage was doubled on the half-hour mark when the lively Mark Shankland went past Senna whose holding back from making a challenge proved fatal as Shankers hammered a low left-foot drive beyond goalkeeper Jordan Longmuir.

Talbot continued to press however they were given a reminder of Pollok’s attacking threat when McCann working himself into space down the right drew goalkeeper Andy Leishman yards from his goal and the winger fired over a low driven cross that David Gormley looked certain to touch home from a couple of yards out until Talbot skipper Willie Lyle saved his side’s bacon with a wonderfully timed sliding tackle to knock the ball away at the expense of a corner kick.

The opening period of second half bringing scoring chances for Shankland, Sean McElroy and Glasgow sparked McInally into the introduction of Liam Rowan and Del Hepburn and their attacking mindset contributed to the home side applying pressure which led to Leishman pulling off a wonder reaction save to keep out a McLuskey effort just prior to the striker’s sending off.

Soon afterwards, Lok’s 10 men becoming nine saw Talbot take the foot of the gas in looking to comfortably see out the closing stages and their sitting deep allowed a cross from Mark Sideserf to reach substitute Adam Forde who wheeled to fire a low shot into the far corner of the net and put a better complexion on the scoreline.

Auchinleck’s outstanding full-back Lyle who played a true captain’s role in leading his side to victory admitted,

“It was disappointing to concede the late goal as we deserved to come away with a clean sheet for the way we defended throughout.

“It was a great result to get through here and when you think of the scoring chances we missed at 2-0 then it could have been even more convincing.

“We are growing in confidence as a team after all the changes that have taken place and it’s pleasing to see younger guys like Neil McPherson and Ross Harvey coming into the side and proving their worth but nobody here in our dressing room thinks of ourselves as the finished article.

“There are a lot of improvements to come and the manager Tommy Sloan doesn’t let us forget it.”

In the only other top-flight game taking place, Cumnock continued their climb away from the Super Premier basement with a stirring 3-1 comeback triumph over near neighbours Glenafton who briefly led through Chris Dallas only for Kier Samson to firstly level matters before second half scores by Jamie Ballantyne and Paul Burns (pen) clinched a welcome three-point haul for the home side.

Meanwhile, there was a mixed bag of results for West Region clubs in the Scottish Junior Cup fourth-round ties with Kilsyth Rangers and Rutherglen Glencairn suffering exits at home to East Region opponents while Central Second Division outfit Gartcairn were another faller after losing 2-1 in their replay away to Arthurlie for whom Michael Daly and Marc McKenzie were on target.

Hurlford United saw off Haddington Athletic 3-0 at Blair Park thanks to scores from Calum Watt , Alan Jenkins and Mark Roberts however Kilbirnie Ladeside experienced a considerably more testing passage against Forfar West End who were 1-0 to the good at Valefield through a Jamie Montgomery strike only for a brace of Jon Scullion goals to secure a 2-1 victory for the Blasties.

And there was a bit of a fright for high flying Beith away to Jeanfield Swifts after the hosts staged a recovery from falling 2-0 behind to early Kier Milliken and Thomas Collins scores to level matters at 2-2 .

But the Ayrshiremen were only temporarily knocked out of their stride and further goals arrived from Collins ,Joe Bradley, John Sheridan and comeback ace Andy Reid to confirm their superiority.