Thorn Athletic FC vs Carluke Rovers FC

WOSFL - Division Four
Sat 4 May 2024
Score: 4 - 0

Match Report

Carluke Rovers travelled to Johnstone today for this West of Scotland League match against Thorn Athletic. Thorn are fighting for promotion so this was always going to be a difficult afternoon for The Rovers particularly with several key players unavailable.

The weather was perfect for football and the grass pitch looked in good condition albeit a little bumpy. Thorn started on the front foot with plenty of the ball but no real threat on the Carluke goal. In fact it took until the 23rd minute for the first real chance to be created and it fell to Carluke. Good play down the left wing found the ball arriving at the feet of Jay Blair. The winger bore down on goal and evaded a couple of tackles before getting a shot away from under his feet which hit the near post with the Thorn keeper beaten.

With the lack of chances being created it was going take a set piece to break the deadlock for either side and so it transpired. A Thorn corner on the right was fired to the backpost and their rising to head home was the Thorn No6. 1-0 to Thorn.

Just on halftime it was Carluke’s opportunity from a corner but Ronan Shiels just got under the ball and over the bar it went. This was the last action and Thorn went in 1-0 to the good.

The second half got underway and Carluke were playing up a slight incline as Thorn had in the first half but they started well and were more of a threat going forward seeing more of the ball. They nearly got the equaliser when Josh McGrillen turned inside his man but instead of shooting, unselfishly tried to find Josh Fullerton but his pass was intercepted by Thorn’s keeper.

As Rovers manager Thomas Devine is busily building for next season he is using these games to give everyone in the current squad an opportunity to prove their worth. This was reflected in the several substitutions made during the second half giving everyone important game time. The changes didn’t adversely effect the flow of the game as the players coming on all made a contribution.

However midway through the second half the game had fallen into a bit of a lull but Thorn nearly extended their lead with their first real chance in open play in the 77th minute. A cross into the box fell kindly for the Thorn No9 but his shot from close range cannoned off the chest of Sanderson in the Carluke goal and was cleared to safety.

Only a minute later the game was to be turned on it’s head. A cross from the Thorn right wing into the Carluke box was contested in the air by the Rovers keeper and the Thorn No9. The Rovers keeper seemed to be impeded as he crashed to the ground but the Ref allowed play to continue and when the ball dropped to Thorn’s No3 he slotted it into the empty net to make the score 2-0 after 78 minutes.

Carluke had no time to regain their composure when a minute later the same player made it 3-0. This time a ball played along the 18 yard line was perfectly met and his left foot shot found the bottom corner giving the Roves keeper no chance.

Unbelievably the same No3 completed a 5 minute hattrick in the 82nd minute when again a ball across the box evaded everyone and he was on hand again to hammer it home to make the final score 4-0 to Thorn Athletic.

In summing up the players could not be faulted for their effort today and the scoreline was not a true reflection of the game. That said getting injured players back and some of the new signings in will add a bit more quality to the squad and will turn these defeats into victories next season.

Match Report by Steven Kane



Photography by Kevin Ramage