Today was Carluke’s last league game of what has been a difficult season. They travelled the short journey to play Newmains United. It was also a return for the new management team of Paul Davies and Craig Gupwell to their former stomping ground.
The game was played in glorious sunshine although the pitch was a bit bumpy which was not conducive to fast flowing football and so it turned out to be.
In fact it took until the 36th minute till there was any attempt on goal. In what had been an evenly contested first 30 minutes neither Keeper had been called into action. Therefore it was a relief to the decent sized crowd when we finally got some goalmouth action and a shot from 20 yards form Carluke’s Dillon Duddy was easily saved by the Newmains Keeper. However this was a sign of things to come as Carluke started to get a grip on the game.
It didn’t take long for their next effort when a corner in the 39th minute was met by Jonny Wilson but unfortunately for him his powerful header was directly at the Keeper and he parried it away to safety.
Then in the 43rd minute Carluke broke the deadlock. A cross from Dillon Duddy was chested down in the box by Christy Lawlor and when the ball broke across goal there was Connor Cowan to bullet the ball into the back of the net from close range to make it 1-0 to Carluke at halftime.
At 1-0 the game was far from over and Newmains should have had their equaliser in the third minute of the second half. A long ball eluded the Carluke defence and Newmains number 10 picked the ball up and bore down on the Carluke goal but his shot hit off the inside of the post and sped across goal much to the relief of Keeper Dean Wilson.
Newmains were to pay for this miss when in the 52nd minute Carluke extended their lead. Good footwork in the box by James Frame saw him slip the ball to Dillon Duddy and he slid the resultant shot under the Newmains keeper to make the score 2-0 to Carluke.
To Newmains credit they continued to play in search of a goal to get them back into the game and in the 68th minute they nearly got one back but No8’s shot was deflected just wide when it looked as if it would nestle in the Carluke net. They were to suffer for this when Carluke put the game to bed effectively when Duddy was pulled down in the box and conceded a penalty. He got up and slotted the ball into the corner of the net to make it 3-0 to Carluke after 70 minutes.
Newmains United knew the game was gone but they continued to search for an equaliser and it nearly came in the 77th minute when a corner was met at the backpost and headed back across goal to the feet of their No9 but he managed to knock it wide from 4 yards out when it looked easier to score.
However Newmains got their goal in the 79th minute when Dean Wilson, in the Carluke goal, received a simple pass back but under no pressure he managed to get the ball stuck under his feet and the Newmains player manager, David Menelaws wrestled the ball from him and passed it into an empty net to make the score 1-3.
This was a slight setback for Carluke but parity was restored only 2 minutes later when good interplay between Dillion Duddy and Mark O’Reilly saw the latter break into the box but he was cynically brought down and the resultant penalty was again converted by Dillon Duddy to complete his hattrick and make the final score Newmains United 1 Carluke Rovers 4.Match Report by Stevie Kane
Photography by Kevin Ramage