Carluke travelled to a windy Livingston park on Saturday and put in a good performance albeit a bit of the shine was taken off it with two late Livingston goals. Livingston did put their visitors from Carluke under a bit of pressure early on with comeback keeper Gavin McLachlan having to turn an effort away for a corner then scramble the resultant corner away at the front post as it looked to creep in helped by the strong wind.
Eventually the Rovers put a bit of pressure on the Livi goal with on form man Darren Hamilton having the ball in the net in the 20th min but he was adjudged to have been off-side and the effort did not count. The first goal did come in the 24th min when Stevie Murray and Gordon Murphy linked up well on the left before Murphy took on two defenders then swung in a good ball that was met by Jamie Dickson at the far post and his excellent volley across the keeper found the net for 1-0 to Carluke.
This started a period of domination for the Rovers with Dean Kinlan setting up Hamilton a few minutes later but the strikers excellent shot brought out an equally good save from the home keeper, this was quickly followed by Scott McGeachie and Gregg Cavanagh linking up well but the powder puff finish from Cavanagh was easily saved. Cavanagh had another effort saved before the move of the first half saw Craig Stark and Hamilton link up well before Hamilton fed Kinlan but the strikers low drive was well saved at the expense of a Corner to Carluke.
As half time approached Livi broke away and but another good save from McLachlan kept the visitors lead intact before they stretched this lead in the final minute of the half, Stark set Hamilton free but as he entered the box he was pulled down at the expense of a penalty to Carluke which was tucked away by Dickson for his and Carluke’s second of the day.
Half time Livingston United 0 v 2 Carluke Rovers.
The second half saw Carluke pick up where they left off and they stretched the lead to 3-0 in 51 mins when Dickson won the ball in midfield before playing in Kinlan who in turn fed Hamilton who’s cool low finish found the corner of the net.
The home side at last began to pose a threat to the Rovers but Craig Brown who had replaced McLachlan at half time in the Carluke goal was equal to their attacks. Carluke looked to have wrapped the game up in the 67th min when a well worked free kick saw Stephen Ferguson knock the ball down in to the path of Kinlan who with work still to do shifted the ball well and placed a great effort low in to the net for his first Rovers goal to make it 4-0.
This seemed to see Rovers take their foot off the gas and Livi controlled the rest of the match and got a goal back in the 78th min when no challenge in the Rovers defence allowed the Livi right back to drive the ball home through a ruck of players to give them a lifeline at 4-1. Then in the 86th min with Carluke looking for a free kick that did not come Livi got another goal back to make it 4-2 but it was too little too late and the score of 4-2 to the visitors lasted to the end of the match.