Carluke Rovers FC v East Kilbride Thistle FC

South Challenge Cup
Sat 16 September 2023
Score: 2 - 1

Match Report

Carluke took a break today from league duty to play East Kilbride Thistle in the South Challenge Cup.

East Kilbride started the game on the front foot but it took till the 8th minute for them to create their first chance. A break down the right saw the ball fall to East Kilbride No8 with a clear shot at goal but he put it over the bar. Then in the 13th minute a sweeping move by Carluke saw Craig Rutherford’s shot tipped over the bar.

East Kilbride did not heed this warning and from the resultant corner Rovers centre half Reiss Stewart headed the ball downwards under the keeper and into the net 1-0 Carluke Rovers.

This was followed by an East Kilbride corner in the 16th minute and their No4 had a clear header but put it over the bar.

Then in 23 minutes a great double save by the feet of on loan keeper Ben McDougall kept the lead for Rovers intact but at this stage East Kilbride were pushing for an equaliser.

Carluke were also creating openings and in the 27th minute good persistence by Greg Miller saw him gain possession in the middle of the park. He knocked the ball out Rutherford who had time to line up his shot but pulled it wide of the Keeper’s far post.

At this stage the game was going from end to end and East Kilbride thought they had scored from a tight angle but centre back Paul Reid managed to get back on to the line to clear the danger.

Apart from a near miss with a header from Ciaran McGurn of Carluke there was to be no more scoring in the first half and Carluke went in leading 1-0.

The second half was to be a competitive affair with a couple of chances at either end but with the prospect of extra time looming East Kilbride were pushing hard in the last 10 minutes to get an equaliser. However Carluke were quite comfortable but just as it looked as if Carluke were going to see the game out East Kilbride got their equaliser in the 89th minute. Good play by their winger on the right got him to the byeline and he chipped a ball to the backpost and their running in to score at close range with his head was their No 17. 1-1.

The game was heading to extra time but with stoppages and substitutions the Referee decided to play 8 minutes of injury time. To Carluke’s credit they did not let their heads go down and in the 93rd minute snatched the lead back.

A long kickout by McDougall to the right wing was brilliantly taken down by Rhys Park who also beat his defender in the same movement. This enabled him to take the ball down the wing where he had a great one two with Connor Curran. He then squared the ball across the six yard box where it went in off the shin of an East Kilbride defender. 2-1 to Carluke.

After the celebrations the Carluke players quickly settled back down and saw the game out for a hard earned victory that sees them through to the next round where they have drawn the plumb tie of the other East Kilbride who are riding high in the Lowland League.

Match Report by Steven Kane


Photography by Kevin Ramage