Carluke travelled south today to the town of Kirkconnel for this West of Scotland League game against Kello Rovers. Both teams were in need of a win but it wasn’t going to be easy on what was a treacherous surface underfoot.
Carluke made several changes to the starting line up in an attempt to stem the goals that had been conceded in the last couple of games and they indeed started the game brighter creating a couple of chances in the opening 10 minutes. In fact it was one of those changes in the form of new signing Gareth Kerr who was to break the deadlock. He collected a through pass and outran the chasing Kello defender to calmly slot the ball into the bottom corner to make the score 1-0 to Carluke.
However no sooner had Carluke taken the lead when Kello equalised with their first attack of the game. The ball was played into the Carluke box but they failed to deal with it when they had the opportunity to clear and the Kello No11 latched on to the loose ball to knock it past Dean Wilson in the Carluke goal to make it 1-1 after 27 minutes.
This setback did not diminish Carluke’s intent to push forward and they created a couple of chances before halftime involving striker Gareth Kerr. One such effort was a freekick taken on the right which found him unmarked in the box. Unfortunately he pulled his shot wide with the goal gaping. The first half ended 1-1 with all to play to for.
Carluke started the second half as they had the first pushing Kello back and creating a couple of chances. One of those efforts was in the 52nd minute when good interplay between Kane and Small down the right saw the ball passed to Dillon Duddy whose shot was just wide of the post.
Then in the 63rd minute Carluke retook the lead. A freekick was swung in from the right and midfielder Mark O’Reilly rose unchallenged to power a header into the back of the net with the Kello goalkeeper rooted to the spot. 2-1 to Carluke. Then 3 minutes later Carluke gave themselves the clear daylight of a 2 goal cushion.
Dillon Duddy managed to beat the offside trap running from the half way line. He had a foot race with the Kello keeper who had ran from his box to intercept the pass but Duddy got there just in front of him and the ball broke kindly for the striker. He then had the easiest of tasks to walk the ball into the empty net from the edge of the box. 3-1 to Carluke.
Carluke took this opportunity to make a couple of changes, as the heavy conditions were strength sapping for many of the players on both sides. However the changes seemed to unsettle the flow of Carluke’s game and this, in conjunction with Kello throwing caution to the wind was to make for a slightly uncomfortable last 15 minutes for the visiting team.
A Kello freekick was fired in from the right finding the Kello No9 but his hooked shot from 10 yards was dragged past the far post. This was a warning that Carluke did not heed as in the 80th minute Kello got an lifeline with their second goal. A corner was played in short to No10 who took his time to turn and knock the ball in from close range to make the score 3-2 to Carluke.
Although there was still 10 minutes to play Kello never really threatened the Carluke goal and were restricted to a couple of long range efforts which didn’t trouble Wilson unduly in the Carluke goal and they ran out more comfortable 3-2 winners that the scoreline would suggest.
This was a much needed morale boosting win for Carluke Rovers and they can now look forward to next week’s trip back down to Ayrshire when they will take on Ardeer with a 1:30pm kick off with renewed confidence.Match Report by Stevie Kane
Photography by Kevin Ramage