Campbeltown Pupils FC vs Carluke Rovers FC

WOSFL - Division Four
Sat 2 March 2024
Score: 1 - 2

Match Report

Carluke Rovers made the long four hour journey down to Campbeltown today for this West of Scotland League game. It was a lovely day weather wise and there was a scent of spring in the air with the pitch, although bumpy, freshly mown.

The game got under way and it was Carluke who were to create the first opening in 6 minutes. Jay Blair broke down the right wing and cut the ball back to Dom Small. He side footed it first time from a tight angle but it was easily saved by the Campbeltown keeper. Then in 12 minutes it was Dom Small again who created an opening for himself. He got the better of a defender and ran along the bye line before shooting from a very tight angle but was easily held by the Campbeltown keeper.

At this stage of the game Carluke were well in control of proceedings with Campbeltown posing next to no threat to the Rovers rearguard. It was therefore no surprise when Carluke took the lead in the 18th minute with a well worked goal. It started with a great pass down the right wing with the outside of his boot by Dom Small to Jay Blair. Blair still had a lot of work to do. He took on the fullback and got free of him and then unselfishly squared the ball to Josh McGrillen as the Campbeltown keeper moved towards him. McGrillen had the easiest of goals and simply rolled the ball into the unguarded net. 0-1 to Carluke.

Then in 20 minutes McGrillen nearly added a second when he was put through on the keeper. His shot was too direct and was parried away only to find Christy Lawlor but his effort was also well saved by the Campbeltown keeper palming it over the bar.

On the half hour mark it was that same man McGrillen who found himself clear on goal but again his attempted effort was directly at the keeper who saved with this feet. Then in 35 minutes Campbeltown nearly snatched an equaliser. Josh Fullerton was dispossessed in the middle of the park and the resultant through ball to the Campbeltown No10 saw him fire a shot in. Fortunately for Carluke Sanderson in goal was equal to it and pulled off a good save.

This was a warning however for Carluke who had squandered several good opportunities and while it was still only 1-0 there was a chance Campbeltown could get back into the game. There was to be no further scoring in the first half however and Carluke went in with a 1-0 advantage.

As the second half got underway manager Thomas Devine was to make full use of his substitutes in an attempt to find that second goal to effectively kill the game. Carluke started the second half as they had finished the first, on the front foot. Centre half Barry Fraser threaded a lovely ball through to Jay Blair but his resultant effort, from a slightly tight angle, hit the bar and was cleared to safety. Then in the 50th minute following a good move down the left hand side Jay Blair found himself in the box where he had his ankles clipped. The Referee pointed to the spot for a penalty. Regular taker Josh Fullerton stood up and sent the keeper the wrong way to make the scoreline a more comfortable 0-2 for Carluke.

Despite his earlier goal Josh McGrillen wasn’t having much luck in front of goal as again he was thwarted. In the 67th minute he was found by an excellent pass. He bore down on the goal from the right wing but again his shot was saved by the feet of the Campbeltown keeper.

As the game neared it’s conclusion Campbeltown threw caution to the wind in an attempt to get at least a goal by throwing more men forward. Unfortunately they were aided by Carluke Rovers not taking the sting out of the game and running the clock down by focusing on trying to get an unnecessary third. It was therefore no great surprise when in the 87th minute they guaranteed a nervy finish by getting a goal back. The ball was slipped through to their No10 at the edge of the box as he ran in on goal. His shot looked to have been saved by Lewis Sanderson but there was enough power in it that it hit off the Keeper and found it’s way into the back of the net. 1-2 to Carluke.

However apart from a couple of corners and long throw ins Carluke managed to see out the game which should have been a lot more comfortable than the 1-2 scoreline would suggest following a good performance.

Next Saturday Carluke Rovers have a rest day

Match Report by Steven Kane


Photography by Kevin Ramage