IT HAS taken until the old year has entered its last few weeks for Pollok supporters to think their harboured  “we’re going to win the league” dreams have a genuine chance of coming to fruition.

And many of this latest batch of Newlandsfield converts have only just become believers after a watching brief among the near 600 spectating throng at Saturday’s 4-0 besting of Cumnock.

Yet in truth, it wasn’t always much to look at as a contest and Lok’s 15th league win of the season needed helping over the line by three goals in a closing nine minutes burst along with their beleaguered Ayrshire opponents going down to ten men and then nine.

But what has convinced doubters and boosted Southside title hopes no end is the emergence of youthful wing-back discovery Matty Grant whose supreme athleticism and sheer desire to get into attacking areas was instrumental in the defeat of Cumnock.

His birth certificate listing him as having just turned 20 is misleading as Matty is undoubtedly an old head on young shoulders type who makes no secret of wanting a full time footballing career and sees his performances as a Pollok player as the ideal way to enhance his growing status.

The former St Mirren youth signing was a clear 'man of the match' winner and not merely because he weighed in with his side’s first and last scores on the day.

He insisted afterwards: “I’m very happy to be on the scoresheet again because I hadn’t a goal to my name for a number of weeks now and have badly missed the feeling you get from the ball hitting the back of the net.

“I also appreciate the buzz that comes from the Pollok fans  under the shed whenever I get running with the ball and their support definitely brings out the best in me as well as the other guys.

“With heir continued  backing, we are 100% in with a shot at the title and nobody but nobody can rule us out if we can keep winning our games like today.”

Matty was undoubtedly the shining light of an otherwise underwhelming Pollok first half display which could have turned out so differently had visiting keeper Kieron Hughes not thwarted a sliding Shaun Fraser shot with his feet just 3 minutes in.

Grant’s first involvement was to fizz a 20 yard drive just over the crossbar, prior to a skilful twisting run past three defenders  setting up a half chance missed by team mate Stuart McCann  and nearing the interval his driven cross found the head of skipper David Brownlie only for Nock No 1  Hughes to again come to the Ayrshire outfit’s rescue.

Seven minutes into the second half, Brownlie was surely unsighted when a Grant corner kick carried to him at the back post because the ball looked to bounce off the tall centreback and clear the crossbar when a simple nod would have brought a certain goal.

The inevitable was only delayed a matter of minutes until Grant surged down the right and cut inside to fire a fierce left foot shot that Hughes parried straight  back to him and this time the Pollok ace smashed an unstoppable right footer high past the helpless  keeper before being engulfed by joyously celebrating  team mates.

Worse was to come for Cumnock when Referee Chris Hughes bestowed  the game’s first yellow card on their midfielder Owen Bell for bringing down  counterpart Del Esplin because shortly afterwards  another rash Bell challenge on the same opponent saw him despatched inside.

A rash of substitutions ensued as both sides re-organised however the ten man Cumnock were coming under ever increasing pressure and their defences were breached again in 81 minutes after an Adam Forde corner kick was deflected into his own net by Nock stopper Alan Murdoch for 2-0.

The points were now in the bag allowing Pollok to mount attack after attack on the opposing goal yet what followed in 86 minutes was still deserving of  the “special” category after a clever exchange of passes between substitutes Forde and Josh Weir saw the former despatch a sublime curling shot past Hughes from 22 yards.

A fourth goal looked on the cards when another Lok replacement Callum Graham  burst clean through on goal only for his run to be ended 18 yards out by a blatant Paul Smith trip that earned Cumnock’s loan signing from Ayr United a straight red card.

And Smith’s rush of blood actions  proved futile in the extreme when Forde’s powerful hit from the resulting free kick rebounded back off the defensive wall to Grant and his low shot through a crowded penalty box found the corner of the net to seal a 4-0 triumph for the home team.

Losing gaffer Brian McGinty insisted: “Aitchy and I didn’t get carried away with winning our first game in charge last weekend so we are not going to be too downhearted with today’s defeat  even though we believe  three of the goals conceded could have been avoided.

“Lessons are being learned about individuals and the squad in general and we certainly know now more about what we’ve got and  what we’ve not got  so it’s crucial that we pick the bones out of what Pollok did to us and speak with the guys over what’s needed going forward.

“Look there are  good things in our dressing room as well as  some things requiring to be  changed but the concern is that having 7 teams set to be relegated means  we need to be quick about it.”

Pollok’s latest triumph keeps Murdie McKinnon’s men a point adrift of Premier League leaders Auchinleck Talbot for whom Graham “Gee” Wilson bagged four goals along with an Aidan Wilson counter in a 5-0 mauling of Benburb.

Clydebank remain third top of the pile following a Friday night  3-1 victory  earned by Nikky Little ,an o.g. and Jamie Darroch   scores against Troon whose  solitary response was netted by Raymond Montgomerie.

Elsewhere, a brace of first half Lewis Morrison goals and a Lewis McIntyre second half strike enabled  Hurlford  United to run out 3-0 winners over Rob Roy while Beith’s evergreen hitman Kenny McLean and his successor in waiting Josh Fowler both bagged hat tricks in the Mighty’s 7-2 hammering of Rossvale.

And vital relegation battling wins were notched by Ayrshire pair Kilbirnie Ladeside  and Largs Thistle.

The Blasties recovering from falling behind to a Stewart Davidson effort for Bonnyton Thistle to score twice through Jon Scullion (pen)  and Dylan Henry while  Largs staged  a similar comeback from a 1-0 deficit away to Glenafton  to emerge 3-1 victors thanks to Will Sewell and Connor McGoldrick (2). 

RESULTS: PDM Buildbase Premier League. Auchinleck Talbot 5 Benburb 0, Bonnyton Thistle 1 Kilbirnie Ladeside 2, Glenafton 1 Largs Thistle 3, Rossvale 2 Beith 7, Hurlford Utd 3 Rob Roy0, Irvine Meadow 1 Blantyre Vics 1,Clydebank 3 Troon 1,  Pollok 4 Cumnock 0.PDM Buildbase Conference League A. Craigmark 4 Arthurlie 6, Bellshill Athletic 4 Whitletts Vics 7, Lesmahagow  2 Irvine Vics 2, Saltcoats Vics 1 Girvan 6, Johnstone Burgh 4 Lugar Boswell 0.PDM Buildbase Conference League B. Port Glasgow 0 Ashfield1, Renfrew 1 Thorniewood Utd 1, Greenock 4 Dalry Thistle 1, Carluke Rovers 1 Gartcairn 4.PDM Buildbase Conference League C. St Anthonys 3 Drumchapel Utd 2,Vale of Leven 2 Lanark Utd 1, Ardrossan Winton Rovers 0 Yoker Athletic 1, Glasgow Perthshire 3 East Kilbride Thistle 1, Kilsyth Rangers 1 Larkhall Thistle 2.PDM Buildbase Division Four. Glenvale 4 Harmony Row 3 , Kilsyth Athletic 7 Harthill Royal 3.