WOSFL - Division Three
Sat 6 May 2023
Score: 5 - 1

Match Report

On a spring like day at the John Cumming Stadium Carluke Rovers entertained Saltcoats Victoria in this West of Scotland league game. Saltcoats were rooted at the bottom of the league but had enjoyed encouraging results recently and Carluke were expecting a difficult game.

The first effort on goal came in the 5th minute when a square ball in the Carluke defence was intercepted by the Saltcoats No3 who cut inside but his shot was easily saved by Josh McGill in the Carluke goal.
Two minutes later though the ball was in the back of the net at the other end as Carluke took the lead. A cross from left back Kieran Evans eluded a Saltcoats defender and found top scorer Christy Lawlor. He brought it under control and coolly knocked it past the Saltcoats keeper. 1-0

Then in 9 minutes Carluke extended their lead when another cross from the left found Lawlor again. He had a bit more work to do this time and beat his man before dispatching a left foot shot into the roof of the net. 2-0.

This second goal appeared to wake Saltcoats from their slumber and they came more into the game and enjoyed some possession. In fact in the 17th minute they should have scored. A cross from the right found their No3 unmarked at the back post and from 20 yards he hit a fierce shot which was brilliantly saved by McGill in the Carluke goal parrying the ball out for a corner.

For the next 20 minutes the game was a bit if a stalemate but that was to change in the 37th minute when Saltcoats got a goal back. Good play down the right hand side saw the ball lifted over the Carluke defence to the onrushing Saltcoats No7 who carried on and lifted the ball into the roof of the net. 2-1

Then in the 39th minute Carluke should have restored their two goal lead when good one touch football outside the box saw the ball threaded through to Dom Small. He had only the keeper to beat but unfortunately hit it straight at him and the ball was cleared to safety. This was the last action of the first half and Carluke went in 2-1 up with the game evenly poised.

The second half got underway with Carluke under no illusion as to what was expected from them following a lacklustre first half after they went 2 up. They did indeed start with more urgency in their play but Saltcoats also looked committed at the start of the second half.

Carluke made an early substitution taking off the experienced Graeme Goodall and replacing him with Brandon McKenzie and within 5 minutes of coming on the substitute restored Rovers 2 goal cushion. A cross from the right enabled him to time his run into the box getting to the ball just before the keeper and bundling it over the line. 3-1 to Carluke on the hour mark.

Carluke had started the second half well and the third goal gave them a bit more freedom to express themselves. Their next goal came in the 63rd minute when Connor McKenzie collected the ball just outside the box on the right hand side. He looked to cross it but saw there was no one in the box so had a speculative shot which caught the keeper out and went into the roof of the net. 4-1 to Carluke.

Then in 69 minutes Brandon McKenzie crossed in a great ball to namesake Connor who controlled the ball but then skewed his shot wide of the far post.

Next it was the turn of Dom Small to get in on the action when he and Christy Lawlor combined well on the right but he also pulled his effort wide. He didn’t have to wait long for another opportunity though and in the 77th minute he got the fifth. An excellent through ball found him running into the box and he rounded the keeper and coolly slotted the ball home from a relatively tight angle into an empty net. 5-1 to Carluke.

This goal completed the scoring and sets Carluke up for another game against Saltcoats Victoria on the final day of the season but first they will travel to Newmains next Saturday for another must win game.

Match Report by Stevie Kane