Scottish Junior Cup
Sat 21 January 2017
Score: 1 - 0

Match Report

This was a fantastic result for Carluke today when they defeated Super first division high fliers Irvine Meadow xi at The John Cumming Stadium.

The management team of Colin Slater, Andy Barr and Craig Stark had hard decisions to make prior to the match and were brave in their decisions in the absence of top scorer Ian Watt and ever present midfielder Chick McCole, the reshuffle saw Gary Gow come in for his first full match since august 2015 with Sam Biggart being moved to centre half and fit again captain Mark Haddow come back in to the middle of the park.

Irvine showed their intentions to press the home side back from the off without actually having an effort on goal.

The first break came for the home side when a fantastic ball from Lewis McDougall sent Jonny Wilson free to attack the Meadow goal but he was brought down by McCrae who was ordered off for his troubles with only 12 mins on the clock, Mark Weir took the resultant free kick which brought off a fine save from Newman.

Medda were gaining free kicks on the right that were causing problems for the Rovers defence with Boyd being the main target, from one of these in 21 mins Boyd got in a good header but Dan Tobin in the Rovers goal brought off a fine save to keep the scores level then Madden had a driving run that ended with a shot over the bar a minute later.

In 34 mins Irvine gained a corner that ended with a game of head tennis in the Rovers box, Boyd got a header in that came off the bar before the Rovers defence cleared.

The visitors were playing well despite their man less and produced another chance a minute later from yet another free kick when a header down was prodded towards goal but Tobin brought off another excellent save for the Rovers.

The last chance of the half fell to Carluke when Weir put in a free kick that found Haddow but his header skimmed the visiting crossbar before going over.

Half time Carluke Rovers 0 v 0 Irvine Meadow xi.

The first chance of the second half came the way of the home side when a Weir shot was blocked for a corner then a Sam Biggart effort was cleared for a throw.

In 56 mins comeback man Gary Gow was fouled earning Carluke a free kick and another excellent delivery from Biggart again found Haddow but his header was just wide of the post.

At this point the game was opening up and Irvine produced the next chance when a Boyd head down found Madden but his effort was wide of Tobins goal.

Carluke kept up their own pressure and a corner from Weir saw Irvines keeper Newman take the ball well with a host of Rovers players waiting to pounce, then another good ball from Weir saw Alberto Vezza chase what looked to be a lost cause on the left finishing with a ball to the back post that Wilson connected with but his net bound header was superbly kept out again by Newman.

With the clock ticking down both sides showed their desire to win and another good move from Rovers saw Greg Fernie sent wide on the left and his great ball across goal was just missed again at the back post by Wilson.

With the match going in to the final five minutes two chances were to prove crucial in the outcome of this tie, the first came in 87 min when Willet of Irvine went on a good run that took him right through the home defence ending with a fine shot that hit the junction of post and bar before being cleared by the home defence.

This miss was to prove crucial as Carluke worked the ball well through the middle before it was played up front to Fernie who in turn played it to strike partner McDougall who’s shimmy to the right sent the Medda defence wrong footed before he unleashed a perfect shot from 20 yards that flew home for 1-0 to the home side in 88 mins.

This goal spurred an obvious response from Irvine who forced a succession of corners but these were all well defended by the Rovers defence who held out for a great victory that sees them in to the last 16 of the Scottish cup for the first time in over 30 years having put Irvine clubs out in the last two rounds.

Rovers team
Tobin, Renwick, Biggart, Lowdon, Gow, Wilson(Burns), Haddow, Vezza, Weir, McDougall, Fernie.

Match Report by Craig Martin