Carluke Rovers travelled down the M8 this Saturday for a league game against Port Glasgow. Both teams had had similar starts to the season so this was expected to be a tight encounter. Carluke were without top scorer Steven Frame and were also missing the experienced Mark Cassidy and Craig Stark through injury.
The game was fast paced from the start with not much goal action but in the 13th minute Carluke took the lead with a great move. The ball was fed through to Dillon Duddy from Marc Smith and he flicked it with the outside of his foot to midfielder Jonny Wilson. Wilson took aim from 25 yards and let fly with an unstoppable shot into the top right corner. His second goal in as many games and Carluke led 1-0.
Next it was the turn of Port Glasgow to threaten the Carluke goal when a long through ball found their No10 and he tried lob Adam Brown in the Carluke goal but his effort went wide.
Carluke were buoyed by the goal and nearly added a second in the 23rd minute. Greg Kane put a good ball through to James Frame who took it on a dribble before passing it to striker Ryan Watt whose shot on goal was well saved by the Port Glasgow Keeper.
At this stage of the game Port Glasgow were looking to use their pace up front and resorting to long balls from defence. It was one such ball that caught Carluke out. The ball found the Port Glasgow winger on the left and he cut in and laid the ball back to the on rushing No10 who side footed the ball home from the edge of the box giving Adam Brown in the Carluke goal no chance. 1-1.
Just as it looked like it would be honours even at halftime Carluke failed to deal with a corner properly and paid the price. The ball was floated in from the right and was missed by everyone except the head of unsuspecting Carluke defender Jamie Murphy. The ball hit off his head and unfortunately nestled in his own net to make the halftime score 2-1 to Port Glasgow.
Carluke started the second half determined to get back on level terms as soon as possible and in the 1st minute of the second half a Port Glasgow clearance was headed straight back and Dillon Duddy latched on to it but his shot was over the bar.
Then it was the turn of fullback Connor Jamieson following good play across the Rovers midfield to shoot over the bar. Although Rovers were dictating play and controlling the game in the second half Port Glasgow were always dangerous on the break and Carluke survived a scramble in their own box.
This should have been a warning as in the 76th minute Port Glasgow got their third. A throw in on the left was picked up by the Port Glasgow winger who carried it wide before squaring it inside to their striker who cleverly dummied the ball only for it to fall to the feet of their number 15 who calmly slotted the ball into the bottom corner giving Keeper Adam Brown no chance.
This was to end the scoring and Port Glasgow ran out flattering 3-1 winners despite Carluke’s continued efforts to reduce the deficit. A good overall performance by Carluke particularly in the second half. They are currently being punished for individual errors but if they continue to play as they did in the second half and cut out the mistakes they will win more than they lose.
Next up for Carluke is a game against undefeated St Cadocs at the John Cumming Stadium this Wednesday with an 8:30pm kickoff.Match Report by Stevie Kane
Photography by Kevin Ramage