Rovers won this first competitive match in front of a healthy crowd at the John Cumming stadium despite a very slow start. Lanark started the match on the front foot and took the lead through their main tactic of a long throw in from their right back which was cut back across goal for their centre half to stab the ball home for 1-0 to the visitors.
Carluke continued to struggle to get in to the match and it took until the 27th min for them to press the Lanark defence when a shot from Stuart Arnott was handled at the expense of a penalty which was struck home by Iain Watt for 1-1.
The Rovers turned the game around two minutes later when Dean Kinlan set Arnott free on the right and his low shot across goal trundled in to the far corner of the net for 2-1 to the home side. As the half wore on the Rovers were on the front foot and finished with a chance when Watt and Gordon Murphy linked up to provide a chance for Mark Haddow but the big midfielders shot was saved and the game turned at half time with a score of Carluke Rovers 2 v 1 Lanark Utd
The second half saw Lanark get back on level terms right away when a ball over the home defence found their player manager who prodded the ball past Rab Balfour in the Carluke goal for 2-2. Again this goal spurred a reaction from the Rovers who went ahead with their next attack when Murphy collected the ball in the middle of the park before letting fly with a low drive which found the corner of the net to give the home side the lead again at 3-2. This goal seemed to settle the Rovers for the first time in the match as they started to play some good football when a good move down the right ended with a ball across goal from Watt that saw no takers, then Haddow and Watt combined to set up the impressive Kinlan but his shot went across goal and out for a goal kick.
The chances kept coming for Carluke again created by Murphy and Watt to set up Kinlan but his shot was just wide this time. 72 mins saw another great piece of work create another chance when a one two between Kinlan and Arnott saw Kinlan free on goal but his poor parting shot was easily saved.
As is often the case after missing chances the home side saw themselves under pressure and Balfour was called in to action in the 75th min as he turned a shot past the post for a corner. in the 76th min Lanarks pressure paid off when they won a throw in on the left and the long throw found the smallest man on the park who saw a looping header go over the head of Balfour for a goal to Lanark to make the score 3-3.
The Rovers reaction to this was excellent again when they could have seen the heads go down, instead they saw an excellent move get the vital winning goal when Scott Bellew’s strong work in midfield won the ball for him and he then fed Watt on the right who’s cross despite being behind Arnott saw the striker turn his marker before hitting an overhead volley high in to the net for a glorious goal to make it 4-3 to the home side after 78 mins.
The remainder of the match saw few clear cut chances but Lanark did put the home defence under pressure but they held firm to set up a home final next Monday against either Forth Wanderers or Lesmahagow.
1 Rab Balfour 2 Wullie Souter 3 Craig stark 4 Scott Bellew 5 Marc Napier 6 John savage 7 Ian watt 8 mark Haddow 9 dean Kindlan 10 Stewart arnott 11 Gordon Murphy