Central District First Division
Sat 3 October 2015
Score: 1 - 3

Match Report

Carluke travelled to Johnstone for this fixture still looking for their first win in the league and gained it in some style despite the home side putting them under pressure for spells in the second half.

The visitors started on the front foot with Ryan Smillie and Ian Watt linking well before Watt set up Gordon Murphy but his shot was cleared before it caused any danger to the Burgh goal.

Murphy was involved again a minute later in the 3rd min when a good ball in found him but after a good touch to control his effort was again cleared.

In 13 mins Burgh broke through with Rovers looking for an off side that did not come and Burgh were one on one with Carluke keeper Jonny Grier but a great save kept his goal intact and the effort from the loose ball went well over the bar.

The opening goal came in 19 mins when Watt won a challenge in the middle of the park before feeding Jonny Wilson who in turn played the ball to Smillie on the right, he cut in to the Burgh box beating a couple of defenders before cutting back to Watt who hammered the ball high in to the net for 1-0 to Carluke.

Rovers were handed a big advantage in the 27th min when Smillie was clean through before being brought down by the Burgh keeper outside the box and the keeper was off for a last man challenge.

Rovers thought they had got doubled their lead in the 30th min when a ball was cleared by the Burgh defence landing with Wilson who guided the ball home from 30 yards only to have the referee chalk it off for an off side that only he could see.
Rovers saw another chance in the 31st min when a corner came in and Craig Stark got a good header in that was just past the post, they were not to be denied for long though as an inch perfect pass from Murphy found Watt on the right in 33 mins and a cool finish found the Burgh net for 2-0 to the visitors.

Rovers last chance of the half came when Stark fed Watt who then laid the ball in to the path of Chick McCole but the midfielders strike went well over the bar.

Half time Johnstone Burgh 0 v 2 Carluke Rovers.

The home side had the first chance of the second half when they shot wide of the far post after a break before Carluke had a series of golden chances to put the match out of reach of their hosts.

The first came in 52 mins when Smillie showed good strength to fend off his marker then had a good shot well saved by the home keeper. A minute later Murphy set Smillie up again but another good save kept him out again.

In the 54th min a mistake from Murphy allowed Johnstone to break but another good save from Grier kept the Rovers lead at two.

Rovers kept pushing for a third goal with Jamie Dickson and McCole linking up to set up Murphy but again his shot was wide.

This was quickly followed by McCole setting up Smillie who cut inside before firing a shot in which came off the bar before going over.

McCole was involved again in the 63rd min when he played the ball to Watt but again the parting shot went wide.
The home side were encouraged by these missed chances from Carluke and the pressed them back for a while with Grier again having to make a good save at the expense of a corner in 67 mins but when the corner came in it was headed home at the near post by Hardie to give Burgh a bit of hope at 2-1.

Normal service was resumed a few minutes later with Carluke creating more chances first for Watt who saw a shot well saved then a corner found Mark Haddow but his header was cleared off the line before Willie Soutar played Smillie in but his effort went well over the bar.

The home sides best chance to get level came in the 79th min when they broke clear and beat keeper Grier in the Rovers goal with a net bound shot but Scott Bellew was on hand with a great clearance off the line to keep Rovers lead intact.

The scoring was rounded off in the 88th min when a good ball down the left from Murphy found Smillie and with the Rovers bench shouting for him to run down the clock in the corner he cut in to the Burgh box beating two defenders before firing an unstoppable shot high in to the net for a fabulous third goal for Carluke to round the score off at 3-1.

This was a fine win for Rovers against a side who were sitting top of the league before today and will hopefully set them up well for next week v Kirkintilloch Rob Roy.

Rovers team.
Grier, Bellew, Haddow, Soutar, Dickson(Lithgow), McCole, Stark, Wilson, Murphy(Weir), Watt, Smillie.

Match Report by Craig Martin