Carluke played their first away game this Saturday since the new management team came in some weeks ago. The hosts in this McBookie Divison 1 League game was Bellshill and in the end they were not very hospitable as they routed the visitors.
New Manager, Mark Weir had to shuffle the pack due to injuries and a suspension to goalkeeper Adam Brown. This involved bringing Connor Martin in for his first start on the right and moving to a back three freeing Douglas Frame into midfield to play alongside Captain Mark Cassidy.
The change of formation seemed to work as from the outset it was an even game with Carluke the first to create an effort on goal in the 9th minute. The ball was passed out of defence to James Frame who ran from inside his own half into the opposition box before squaring the ball to Jordan Conlon. Conlon got the ball onto his right foot and shot at goal only for his effort to be well saved by the feet of Jordan Brand in the Bellshill goal.
It was Carluke again who created the next real effort when a Jamie Dickson corner was met by the head of Jordan Conlon in the 20th minute but the ball was just the wrong side of the crossbar.
The first 20 minutes had been fairly even but Bellshill were starting to get a foothold in midfield and began creating chances. Firstly it was Jonathan Cookman who was through on the right wing but shot over the bar. This was quickly followed up by Alessandro Savarese of Bellshill who likewise shot over the bar. In fairness to both teams the pitch was very bumpy, tight and heavy which was to ensure that silky football was not going to be the order of the day.
Bellshill were to make the breakthrough in the 30th minute when good interplay in the midfield and down the right wing saw the ball squared into Liam Scott. He had the simplest of tasks to side foot the ball past Carluke Keeper Gordon Bruce to make the score 1-0.
Things went from bad to worse a minute later when Carluke defender Gary Livingstone was adjudged to have pulled down one of the Bellshill strikers in the box. The resultant penalty was converted by Stephen McDonald to make the score 2-0 to Bellshill Athletic.
This goal coming so quickly after the first seemed to take the wind out of the Carluke sails. It also lifted Bellshill to a new level at the same time. They started to play with more freedom and began to dominate possession. The next effort from Savarese forced Carluke Keeper Bruce into making a great diving save from 16 yards. This only delayed the inevitable for a very short time as in the 39th minute Bellshill got the goal that effectively killed off the game. It came from Liam Scott whose shot from 20 yards found the bottom corner of the Carluke net making the halftime score 3-0.
The second half was one to forget for Carluke as Bellshill took control for long periods and made their supremacy count with further goals by Stephen McDonald in 56th minute (penalty), Alessandro Savarese in 74th minute and substitute Craig Johnston in the 85th minute completing the scoring. Final score was Bellshill 6 Carluke Rovers 0.
This was “a bad day at the office” for the whole Carluke team after such a great few weeks. However the players will dust themselves down and look forward to next Saturday’s derby game against Lanark United at the John Cumming Stadium with a 2pm kickoff. A great game for the Rovers to get their season back on track!Match Report by Stevie Kane
Photography by Kevin Ramage