Rovers made it 3 league wins in a row against Ayrshire opposition when they put in a Jekyll and Hyde performance against Annbank FC on Saturday.
Like the Robert Louis Stevenson novel itself the duality of the psyche of the nature of the junior footballer both good and bad was on display for ninety nail biting minutes.
Carluke dominated the first half showing patience in possession and penetrated the home side defence almost at will opening the scoring after twelve minutes when Byrne got on the end of a perfectly flighted ball from Lowdon on the right edge of the home sides box.
His flicked on pass found Haley who’s 20 yard shot was luckily deflected for a corner off the legs of the sprawling Annbank keeper.
Biggart curled in the corner from the right which was firstly headed towards goal by Watson only to see it stopped on the line by a defender though Watson reacted first prodding the ball home as it fell on the goal line.
Rovers maintained pressure on the home side playing confident passing and flowing football with Cassidy enjoying time and space as the dominant midfield playmaker.
Half a dozen scoring chances were created and squandered by Rovers in the space of ten minutes before half time when Kane, Biggart and Byrne all lacked composure in front of goal.
Half time Annbank 0 Carluke Rovers 1
Two minutes into the second half and Rovers displayed some familiar defensive frailties when the home sides centre forward was allowed to turn and shoot from the right edge of the box only to see it deflected off the heel of Carluke’s centre half Watson and roll into the net.
The goal gave the home side an injection of confidence and after 60 minutes Rovers were forced to desperately defend for spells with keeper Liam Grant keeping Rovers in the game as he pulled off consecutive point blank saves from his goal line.
On 65 minutes Rovers stunned the home side when Cassidy made a surging 50 yard run from his own half playing a slide rule pass to Haley who had cut in from the inside left position into the box to fire an unstoppable close range shot past the keeper.
Five minutes later an almost identical move saw Haley unselfishly lay the ball off to Kane who seemed to have the goal at his mercy but hesitancy in front of goal coupled with a weak shot allowed the keeper to make a simple save.
On 77 minutes Carluke’s Byrne received his marching orders for a second overly soft bookable offence when he petulantly flicked the ball away at the award of a home side free kick and then was involved in an act of dissent with the referee.
The last ten minutes of the game witnessed end to end attacks from both sides with Annbank being awarded a nonsensical penalty with three minutes remaining when the ref was easily conned by the home sides striker throwing himself to the ground between two Carluke defenders shielding the ball as it ran out of play.
Karma influenced the spot kick as it was was wildly struck wide of the keeper right hand post.
Rovers effectively cleared their lines in the dying minutes of the game for a well deserved and hard fought victory.
Full time Annbank 1 Carluke Rovers 2Match Report by Ian McKnight