Carluke Rovers welcomed Port Glasgow to the John Cumming Stadium today for this West of Scotland League game. Currently the Rovers are decimated with injuries with nine first team players on a list that doesn’t seem to be going away. Again manager Mark Weir had to delve into the Carluke Rovers U20 Development Squad for players with several of them starting the match.
With this backdrop it was always going to be a tough encounter against a physical and committed Port Glasgow team and so it turned out to be.
It was Port Glasgow who were first to threaten in the 7th minute when a long ball was latched on to by their No7 and his attempted lob sailed past the far post. Next up it was Carluke to threaten when Christy Lawlor collected the ball on the right and his shot whistled just past the far post from the corner of the 18 yard box.
A minute later it was Jamie Dickson of Carluke who took advantage of the break of the ball and shot just over from 20 yards. At this stage of the game, 15 minutes in, Carluke had slightly the better of play and were creating the better chances. Again it was Christy Lawlor who had a shot blocked following a good pass from Dom Small in midfield. It wasn’t all one way traffic though and Port Glasgow went close at the other end when a shot from 20 yards went just wide of the Keeper’s right hand post.
Port Glasgow were to rue that miss as in the 30th minute Carluke took the lead with a route one goal. A long kickout by the Keeper was met by the head of Christy Lawlor who in turn found Jamie Dickson who brought the ball down and while it was still bouncing he hit a perfect volley over the head of the Port Glasgow keeper into the back of the net to make the score 1-0 to Carluke.
Carluke tails were up now and a jinking run by James Frame saw the Port Glasgow Keeper parry the resultant shot to safety. Port Glagow were still very much in the game though and it took a good stop on the line by Tayler Jessimer to stop the equaliser. However just as Carluke thought they would see it out till halftime Port Glasgow were awarded a penalty. Tayler Jessimer was adjudged to have brought down the Port Glasgow striker as he was about to shoot and the Referee pointed to the spot. However it was clear to everyone that Jessimer had got the ball first but protestations were to no avail and the spot kick was duly converted on the stroke of halftime. 1-1 at the break.
This goal gave Port Glasgow a lift and for the first 10 minutes of the second half they went on the hunt for their second but some good Carluke defending kept them out. Then in the 55th minute they got their second. Carluke lost the ball on the right and the Port Glasgow player cut in and shot. Wilson in the Carluke goal made a good save putting the ball onto the post but when it bounced out the Glasgow No 11 had the easiest of chances to knock the ball in and give Port Glasgow a 2-1 lead.
To Carluke’s credit they didn’t let their heads go down and in fact they rolled up their sleeves and went after Port Glasgow. A great 25 yard freekick from Callum Neill was pushed over the bar. Then it was James Frame who found space only for his shot to be right at the Keeper. Just as it looked that Carluke were to get nothing for all their efforts they got an equaliser in the 87th minute. It was Frame again who collected the ball just inside the Glasgow half and as the defenders funneled back he carried the ball forward and hit a great low shot which nestled in the bottom left hand corner of the net to make the score 2-2 with only minutes left.
At this stage both teams seemed happy to settle for a share of the points and the remainder of the game passed without incident with the final score being 2-2.
Under the circumstances this was a great result for Carluke Rovers and the players showed the passion and commitment that their manager had been asking of them over the past few weeks. It was also pleasing to see so many of the Development Squad play and not look out of place against what was a tough opponent.
Next week Carluke have a free week and it gives everyone the chance to catch their breath and hopefully get some of the injured players added time needed to get back into training.Match Report by Stevie Kane
Photography by Kevin Ramage