Girvan FC vs Carluke Rovers FC

WOSFL - Division Three
Sat 18 March 2023
Score: 2 - 2

Match Report

Today Carluke Rovers took the long journey down the Ayrshire coast to Girvan for this West of Scotland League game.

The game was played on a heavy pitch with the rain pouring down from the kickoff so it was not set for pretty, one touch football and so it transpired. Both teams went at it from the start with long ball kickouts being the order of the day for the Keepers. In goal for his first match since returning to the Rovers was Dean Wilson.

In fact it was Wilson who came to Carluke’s rescue in the 16th minute. Girvan exploited Carluke slackness on the left wing allowing the Girvan No2 to collect the ball and square a pass to their No9. He teed up his shot and struck it from 15 yards towards the roof of the net only to be foiled by the outstretched arm of Dean Wilson. A wonderful save.

It was Girvan again who threatened in the 23rd minute when a break down the right by the No9 saw him cut inside. He had the option to square the ball to a team mate but decided to shoot himself but the shot was blocked.

Girvan had the better of the play at this stage and it was not a major surprise when the took the lead on 25 minutes. Another hesitation at the back where Carluke did not clear the ball and this left Dean Wilson exposed on the corner of the six yard box. It was a relatively simple task for the Girvan No10 to take the ball round Wilson and slide it into the goal from a tight angle. 1-0 Girvan.

For all their efforts Carluke had had very little to show in the way of chances but a piece of combined excellence between Connor McKenzie and Dom Small was to change all that in the 33rd minute. The ball was played through to McKenzie just over the half way line and he used his body to turn the defender and run towards goal. He unleashed a powerful shot that the Keeper could only parry to Dom Small. He kept his composure, got the ball under control and then drove it low into the bottom corner from 15 yards out. 1-1.

There wasn’t much between the teams as the halftime whistle went but Girvan had seen a bit more of the ball and created better chances without really threatening the Carluke goal too much.

The second half got underway and it didn’t take long for Girvan to regain the lead. A simple corner on the left was not defended well and the Girvan No10 had the easiest of headers and glanced it past Wilson from about 8 yards. 2-1 to Girvan.

This goal seemed to do more for Carluke than it did for Girvan. To match their undoubted work rate to this point they now started playing some excellent, controlled football and finding their passes on the uneven surface. Firstly it was Dom Small who cut inside from the left but his side foot effort was tame and easily picked up by the Girvan Keeper.

However what happened next was an example of very poor and weak refereeing. As Carluke continued to push for an equaliser the ball was played through to Connor McKenzie in the 63rd minute, just outside the box but in the clear. His first touch was heavy though and gave the Keeper the opportunity to come out and smother his shot. However the ball squirmed under the Keeper and stopped 3 yards out in the mud. McKenzie rounded the Keeper and just as he was going to tap it in to the empty net the Keeper, who was still on the ground, grabbed the bottom of his leg and held on till a defender got it cleared. To the astonishment of everyone in the ground the Ref waved play on rather than give the penalty and be forced to show the red card.

Carluke kept pressing and in the 72nd minute a corner to the back post found Jamie Murphy but his shot was well saved at the near post by the Girvan Keeper. However it only took a further 8 minutes for Carluke to get the equaliser their second half efforts had deserved. In fairness it was a dubious penalty they were given when a Girvan player’s attempted clearance in the box hit off one of his own players’ arms. The Ref didn’t hesitate in pointing to the spot and the kick was duly converted by the industrious Connor McKenzie. 2-2.

This equaliser opened the door to a frantic last 10 minutes at both ends but the best chance fell to Carluke in the 84th minute. Dom Small got to the byeline and cut the ball back through a ruck of players to the feet of Michael Cookman but unfortunately his effort at the back post went back across goal an past the far post.

Both teams tried in vain to find the winner but a draw was the least Carluke deserved after their second half performance and so it transpired. Final score 2-2
Next Saturday Carluke have a tough home game against local rivals Lesmahagow but if the play how the played in the second half today they will have nothing to fear.

Match Report by Stevie Kane



Westcoast Storage and Removal Limited
Rovers Man of the Match
Dominic Small


Photography by Kevin Ramage