Central District First Division
Sat 7 November 2015
Score: 3 - 5

Match Report

This was another must win match for Rovers and they came out on top probably more comfortably than the scoreline suggests.

The visitors from Carluke took the lead in the 6th minute when Ryan Smillie pressed to win a corner which strike partner Ian Watt took from the left, the perfect cross found the head of Mark Haddow at the back post and he beat the home keeper, ex Rover Stewart Thomson for 1-0.

The home side saw a bit of pressure almost pay off with a good ball to the right ending with a cut back but the final shot went well over the Carluke bar.

Carluke kept on the hunt for a second goal and good work from Smillie saw him win the ball on the right and his cut back found Lewis Hill but the big midfielders shot was wide of the target.

The home side drew level in the 23rd min when they attacked on the left and a hopeful ball to the back post looped over the head of Gordon Bruce for a fortunate equalising goal.

The score was not level for long however as Rovers went back in front a few minutes later when Chick McCole won possession in the middle of the park before setting watt free and after outstripping the Larky defence he chipped an excellent second goal for Carluke for 2-1.

The same player was unfortunate not to get a second goal a couple of minutes later when he harried the home defence in to a mistake but his effort from a tight angle came back off the post.

Watt did however get his second and Carlukes third of the match in 32 mins when Lewis McDougall won possession before playing in to McCole and another excellent ball found Watt and another great finish made it 3-1 to the visitors.

Better was to come 6 mins from half time when a measured ball from Bruce was knocked on by Haddow in to the path of Smillie and a clinical low finish from all of 25 yards nestled in the Larky net for 4-1, a score that stood till half time.

Rovers had an early chance in the second half to extend their lead but McColes header went wide of the goal before Larky pressed their visitors back. This pressure paid off in 58 mins when they got another fortunate goal after a bit of slack defending from Rovers Scott Bellew looked to hook the ball clear but only succeeded in hitting it off the face of Bruce and in to the net for an OG to get Thistles second of the match for 4-2.

Carluke got themselves back in to the match and Watt and Smillie linked up well in the 62nd min but after outstripping the Larky defence again Smillies weak shot was easily saved by Thomson.

The home side brought a couple of good saves out off Rovers keeper Bruce midway through the half before Carluke looked to have killed the game off in the 68th min when another excellent ball from McCole found Smillie on the left and after cutting inside beating a couple of defenders on his way he curled a great shot high in to the postage stamp corner for 5-2 to the visiting Carluke side.

Carluke made changes late in the match and the last chance off any note for them fell to one of them when Aiden Ward worked his way through the home defence but his shot was wide of the target.

The scoring was rounded off in the second minute of stoppage time when Jonny Wilson gave away a stupid penalty which Thistle scored for a final score of Larkhall Thistle 3 v 5 Carluke Rovers.

Carluke team. Bruce, Bellew, Soutar, Wilson, Haddow, McDougall, McCole, Hill, Weir(Dickson), Watt(Ward), Smillie(Thomson)

Match Report by Craig Martin