Carluke travelled through to the Peugeot Ashfield Stadium in Glasgow on Saturday to play Ashfield in a West of Scotland league game. This is a tight pitch situated in the middle of the Glasgow Tigers speedway track which is heavy at the best of times. It was therefore going to be a difficult day for the ball players of Carluke Rovers and so it turned out to be.
The first effort on goal came from Ashfield in the 5th minute when a cross from the right was sliced over the bar by their No7. This was a warning that was not to be heeded as within a minute of this miss Ashfield had taken the lead. With two towering centre halves Ashfield were always going to be dangerous from set pieces and when the corner was crossed in their No4 met it to bullet a header from 6 yards past Dean Wilson in the Carluke goal to make the score 1-0.
Then in 24 minutes Carluke went 2 behind from another set piece. A long throw in was flicked on goalward by the head of an Ashfield striker and it managed to escape the clutches of the outstretched arms of Wilson in goal and found its way into the net. 2-0 Ashfield.
It wasn’t as one sided a game as the scoreline would suggest with Carluke also creating half chances. One of which was a shot by James Frame which went over the bar. The problem for Carluke was at times they were trying to play football from front to back on an uneven heavy surface and getting caught in deep positions. Ashfield on the other hand knew the surface and simply resorted to the long ball on every occasion which was to provide dividends.
Ashfield more or less put the game beyond Carluke in the 40th minute when a through ball found their No10 clean through on goal and he calmly slotted the ball past the Carluke keeper to make the halftime score 3-0.
The second half was to be fair no better for Carluke although they battled in vain to get back into the game. However when Ashfield got their fourth from the penalty spot in the 75 minute the heads went down and two further goals followed in the 80th and 86th minutes making the final score 6-0.
This was the last game of 2021 for the team where they played well against top teams such as Clydebank and Auchinleck Talbot but took too many heavy defeats against teams in their own Division. Hopefully 2022 proves more fruitful for the Club and they can get back to winning ways on a more regular basis.Match Report by Stevie Kane
Photography by Kevin Ramage