Central District First Division
Sat 7 September 2013
Score: 3 - 2

Match Report

In the stereotypical game of two halves Rovers almost threw away a three goal lead built up in an excellent first half after a collapse in the second half. Carluke started on the front foot with Gordon Murphy and Craig Stewart linking up well on the left hand side but Stewarts cross was cut out without any danger to the Burgh defence.

Thirteen minutes saw a good move involving Stuart Arnott who set Ian Watt clear on the right but his shot was tipped over the bar. The first goal for Rovers came shortly after this in the 17th min as they kept the pressure on their visitors and again Murphy was involved when he set watt free on the right and as he reached the by line he cut the ball back for Arnott who still had a bit to do to control the ball before striking home for 1-0 to the Rovers.

This lead was quickly doubled when good work from Craig Stark in the middle of the park saw him release Stewart on the left and as the full back got in to the Burgh box he cut in to his right foot before chipping the visiting keeper for 2-0. Rovers were cruising at this point and Murphy was unlucky with a free kick after 24 mins which rattled the bar before being cleared by the Burgh defence.

Stark set up another chance as the half wore on this time for Watt who cut inside before unleashing a shot that well saved by the Johnstone keeper a minute later the home side did get their 3rd goal when a header from Stevie Murray found Stephen Ferguson on the right and an excellent touch saw him control the ball before he put a sublime chip over the head of the Burgh keeper and defence to make it 3-0 to the home side. The Rovers kept the pressure up right to the half time whistle but despite chances for Murphy who shot past and a half chance for Watt they could not increase their lead further.

Half time Carluke Rovers 3 v 0 Johnstone Burgh.

The second half was only a few minutes old when Burgh showed they meant business and after a lost ball in the middle of the park Rovers backed off and allowed a strike from 20 yards which flew in to the net to give a 3-1 score line. This was followed by a free kick which brought out a good save from Rovers keeper Craig Brown in 58 mins. Stark linked up well with Ferguson to set up a chance for Watt a minute later but his effort went just wide of the post.

Burgh then took the game to Rovers and saw a shot come back off the bar in 60 mins before Rovers had a rare chance when Ferguson and Murphy linked well before Murphy put in a cross to the back post but watt saw his effort go wide of goal. On 69 minutes a nervy finish to the match was set up when Murray brought down an opponent in the box at the expense of a penalty and worse an ordering off for Murray, the penalty was scored and with the match at 3-2 Burgh were on then up.

Carluke managed to weather the Burgh storm and had a chance when good work from Murphy on the left saw him cut the ball back for Arnott but his effort was saved. In the 83rd minute the Burgh comeback looked to be complete when they were awarded a soft penalty as Brown was harshly adjudged to have brought down a Burgh attacker when he clearly won the ball but justice was done when he saved well as the Burgh man tried to put the ball in the same corner.

The last chance of the match fell to Rovers when Gregg Cavanagh put Watt free on the right but as he played in Arnott the ball would not settle and the chance was lost, the referee managed to add on seven minutes of stoppage time which were at times nervy for the home side but they held on to claim another three league points which keeps them well up the table.