Carluke Rovers FC v Saltcoats Victoria FC

WOSFL - Division Four
Sat 20 January 2024
Score: 2 - 1

Match Report

Today it was the turn of Saltcoats Victoria to visit the John Cumming Stadium in this West of Scotland league match. Although down the bottom end of the league Saltcoats have revamped their team in the last couple of weeks for the better and this was reflected in a 4-0 win in their last outing. In short Carluke were not expecting an easy day.

The game kicked off in front of a healthy crowd and it was Carluke who started the quicker. There was another couple of new faces from last week in defence and they were to have an early impact on proceedings. In the eight minute Dom Small took a corner on the right and it was cleared, but only as far as Christopher Owen. He beat a couple of players and was looking to pass but there was no one in space and so he had a speculative shot from 25 yards out which thundered off the underside of the bar before bouncing into the roof of the net. 1-0 Carluke.

This goal gave Carluke the impetus to play very much on the front foot with a message from the bench to keep pressing Saltcoats and not give them time to settle on the ball. The next chance for Carluke came in the 13th minute. Winger John Hetherton cut inside from the left but his shot was straight at the keeper.

Then, against the run of play, Saltcoats got an equaliser. There didn’t seem any danger but an error at the back allowed Salcoats No9 an unchallenged run on goal and he knocked it past the despairing arms of Lewis Sanderson in the Carluke goal. 1-1.

In the past Rovers might have went into their shell but this team has gained a bit of quality in the last few weeks and are a much more determined outfit. In short they didn’t let this setback knock them off their stride and they continued to torment the Saltcoats rearguard from both flanks. In fact only a minute after Saltcoats scored Carluke could have regained the lead. A great cross from Dom Small on the right was headed by John Hetherton at the backpost but his header across goal went agonisingly wide.

Striker Gavin Goodall had been making some great runs throughout the first half into the channels dragging defenders and creating space for his teammates. It was one such run that saw him collect a great pass from Josh Fullerton, take one touch and then slam the ball into the side netting away from the reach of the Saltcoats keeper to restore Carluke’s lead in the 27th minute. 2-1 to Carluke.

Next it was Dom Small who cut in from the left but his shot was just over the bar. Then in 41 minutes more good work by Small saw him feed the ball to Goodall again but this time his shot was easily saved by the keeper. This was to be the last of the action in the first half and Carluke went in with a 2-1 lead.

The second half was a much quieter affair with the only chance of note by either side being a 25 yard freekick in the 81st minute from Christopher Owen which was put round the post by the Saltcoats keeper. A slightly nervy finish for Carluke but in truth they rarely looked threatened and ran out comfortable winners with a 2-1 scoreline.

Next Saturday Carluke are at home again with the opposition being St Peters. If the team continue to perform as they did in the first half yesterday they will have a good end to the season.

Match Report by Steven Kane



Photography by Kevin Ramage