It was the turn of Thorniewood United to visit the John Cumming Stadium for this West of Scotland League game. Thorniwood have been on a good run of late and the reverse fixture had resulted in an evenly matched 1-1 draw.
The game was played in perfect wind free conditions and It didn’t take Carluke long to carve out an opening in the first minute but Dillon Duddy’s shot was parried to safety by the Thorniewood goalkeeper.
Carluke had started the game well and were showing good effort and commitment but they were undone in the 8th minute. Thorniewood made their first real foray into the Carluke half and the ball was fed wide on the right. The winger managed to get in a low cross and in an attempt to clear the ball Rovers defender Christy Lawlor only managed to slide the ball into his own net. 1-0 to Thorniewood.
It was one such situation which led to their second goal. Again it was a cross from the right and the Thorniewood No10 ran in unchallenged to sidefoot his volley from 6 yards into the empty net. 2-0 Thorniewood.
It was important that Carluke gathered themselves and got the next goal but a defensive lapse cost them dearly. An attempted cross field pass in the 26th minute by the Rovers central defender, deep in his own half, was cut out by the Thorniewood No9 and he bore down on the goal eluding the recovering Rovers defenders. Although Dean Wilson in the Carluke goal got his hand to the shot the ball found it’s way into the bottom corner. This was a real blow to Carluke and made any thoughts of a comeback highly unlikely.
Thorniewood were starting to play with more confidence now and another lapse of concentration by the Rovers defence was not punished due to a great save by keeper Wilson. However this respite was short lived when again a cross from the right was tapped in at the front post by Thorniewood No9. Carluke had not learned from their mistakes as this was a carbon copy of the second goal. 0-4. Halftime came and gave Carluke an opportunity to regroup.
The second half followed a similar pattern as the first with Carluke very much giving as good as they were getting but there was still a lack of penetration from the home team. They were restricted to the occasional shot from distance and one such shot from Mark O’Reilly just curled past the left hand post. Again 10 minutes later the same player managed to get through on goal but his shot was well blocked by the Thorniewood keeper who closed down the angle.
Then in the 65th minute another lapse of concentration by Carluke cost them. Thorniewood took a quick free kick over the top of the defence. It was latched onto by striker Small, who did look offside. He ran through to lob the onrushing Dean Wilson to make the score 5-0 to Thorniewood completing his hat-trick. Carluke made several changes but the damage was done and Thorniewood ran out comfortable winners on the day.Match Report to follow
Photography by Kevin Ramage