Carluke Rovers were on their travels yesterday visiting Renfrew in this West of Scotland League match. The team is still decimated with injuries to key players but fortunately Carluke have a very strong under 20s team and a few of them were drafted in for this key game. Carluke were keen to get back to winning ways with last week’s heavy defeat behind them and the looming cup game against Auchinleck only a week away.
Carluke started the match very quickly and a sign of things to come was when James Frame took a freekick on the right hand side 25 yards out. His shot was tipped over the bar by the Renfrew keeper. The game was only a minute old. As the game progressed it was clear that Carluke looked more solid at the back and kept the Renfrew strike force very much in check. This enabled both the midfield and forward line to build up a momentum and in the 13th minute Rovers made the breakthrough. Good play down the right wing saw the ball fed to James Frame. He then found striker Dylan Dailly with a short pass and he returned the compliment playing the ball back to James Frame. He took the ball inside the box from the right and hit an unstoppable shot passed the Renfrew keeper at his near post. 0-1 to Carluke.
The game settled down at this stage and there were very few chances at either end. Carluke were doing a good job in midfield working hard to close down their opponents. However it was the men up front who were starting to cause problems for the Renfrew defence and it was no surprise when Rovers went two up. It was Dylan Dailly again who was provider when he supplied a great cut back from the byline to Dylan Duddy running in from the left wing. He kept his composure and coolly side footed the ball into the Renfrew net to make the score 2-0 to Carluke in the 25th minute.
Carluke were very comfortable at this stage with their 2 goal cushion, coping well with both the Renfrew midfield and strikers. However it was at the other end where Carluke were giving the Renfrew defence a tough time particularly down the right side where James Frame had the Renfrew left back in knots.
However it was from midfield that Carluke were to get the crucial third goal before halftime. Adam Brown in the Carluke goal threw the ball to Dylan Duddy on the left. He in turn carried the ball over the halfway line before finding Dominic Small, who was one of the players drafted in from the 20s. Dom carried the ball forward and evaded a tackle before cutting inside to the edge of the box and shooting into the back of the net via the inside of the post. This made the score 3-0 and Carluke were in easy street through till halftime.
Renfrew made sweeping changes to both personnel and formation at halftime in an attempt to get back into the game and initially it appeared to be paying off. In the 48th minute they had a direct free kick which cannoned off the outside of the Rovers post. Carluke did not heed this warning and 2 minutes later Renfrew got on the score sheet. A shot was well saved by Adam Brown but as he tried to close down the second effort he was off his line and the Renfrew No 11 had no trouble in finding the roof of the net. 1-3 to Carluke.
This goal gave Renfrew a lift and they were further helped when Steven Frame of Carluke got a second yellow for a tackle resulting in a sending off. Between the goal and the sending off Renfrew were gaining more possession and controlling things a bit better in the midfield. However Carluke were never really threatened and Renfrew were being restricted to efforts from long range which were not troubling Brown in the Carluke goal. Carluke were also looking dangerous on the break.
As the clock hit 90 minutes Carluke looked to have a done enough to take all 3 points but the scoring wasn’t finished and it was James Frame who was to put the icing on the cake with his second and Carluke’s fourth in the 92nd minute. It was a great solo effort with Frame shrugging off a couple of challenges before cutting inside and shooting the ball into the Keeper’s near post similar to his finish in the first half. 1-4 Carluke.
No sooner had Renfrew centred the ball when they got a consolation second goal when a speculative chip from just over half way found Brown off his line and the ball went in just under the bar to make the final score Renfrew 2 Carluke Rovers 4. A well deserved and need victory for Rovers with everyone putting in a shift.
The team can now look forward to a glamour Scottish Cup tie against Auchinleck Talbot next Saturday at the John Cumming stadium with a 2:30pm kickoff. It would be great to see a good local support at the game to offset the large travelling support that Auchinleck will undoubtedly bring.
Photography by Kevin Ramage