Carluke visited Dalry today for the first time in the Club’s history for this West of Scotland League game. Neither team have had the best of results recently and both were hoping to get their season back on track.
Carluke’s injury woes were eased by the welcome return of Marc Smith in midfield and top scorer Steven Frame in attack.
The game kicked off in the Ayrshire sunshine with both teams gently bedding in. It was Carluke who were to show first when a cutback cross from the bye line was met on the volley by Greg Kane and his shot just whistled past the Dalry post and out for a goal kick.
In the 15th minute Carluke had another opportunity when a short corner between Dillon Duddy and Jamie Dickson, who had come on for the injured Jonny Wilson, was crossed into the box but the header from Dougie Frame went harmlessly over the bar.
Carluke were in the ascendancy and were starting to create more chances but Dalry were still dangerous and creating a couple of chances of their own. One such chance was well saved by Adam Brown in the Carluke goal when he blocked a shot from the Dalry No6 as he bore down on goal.
However in 29 minutes Rovers spurned the best chance of the match in a flowing move. After good play in the midfield the ball was whipped in by Graeme Goodall to be met just inside the box on the right by Jamie Dickson who had the foresight to side foot volley the dropping ball back across goal onto the head of Steven Frame unmarked on the penalty spot. Unfortunately for Frame and Carluke his header hit off the Dalry bar and was cleared by the defence.
Despite Carluke’s efforts they were to pay for their profligacy in front of goal in the 38th minute when a simple corner from Dalry found their No2 at the back post and he rose unchallenged to head the ball into the empty net to give Dalry the early lead. 1-0. This was to be the halftime score.
Dalry got a real lift from their goal and they started the second half the better pushing Carluke back and creating a couple of chances. In a crazy three minute spell there could have been three goals. Firstly substitute Dylan Dailly went close for Carluke but the Dalry Keeper blocked his close rang eshot with his legs. Then it was the turn of Dalry in the 56th minute. Carluke lost the ball in midfield but to their relief the resultant shot by Dalry No11 was pulled just wide of the far post. This was followed up by what was the best chance of the match when Brown in the Carluke goal made a good save but the ball fell kindly at the feet of Dalry’s No12. However he managed to put the ball over from 6 yards with the net gaping.
Dalry were to pay for this miss in the 67th minute when Carluke got the equaliser their overall play had deserved. Kane picked up the ball in midfield and took a speculative shot from distance. The ball deflected off a Dalry defender int the path of Dylan Dailly who calmly slotted the ball under the Dalry Keeper to make the score 1-1.
This was the boost Carluke needed to their confidence after a difficult couple of weeks and they went in search of a second. Firstly a corner by Dillon Duddy was glanced just past the Dalry far post by Steven Frame as Carluke upped the pressure. Then in the 75th minute Rovers took the lead. Good work by Duddy on the left wing saw him put in a cross to Jamie Dickson on the right of the Dalry box near the bye line. Dickson had the speed of thought to fire in a low, hard cross along the 6 yard line in the hope it would hit off anyone into the net which it did. Unfortunately for Dalry one of their defenders could not get out the way and the ball cannoned off his shins into the net. 1-2 to Carluke.
The game was end to end now and there were a couple of chances at both ends but Carluke held out for a valuable 2-1 victory that they deserved on the balance of play. Next week Rovers welcome Cambuslang Rangers to the John Cumming Stadium in the South Challenge Cup with a 2pm kickoff.Match Report by Stevie Kane
Photography by Kevin Ramage