West Region League Two
v
Sat 2 March 2019
Score: 2 - 0

Match Report

Last week Carluke travelled to Kilbirnie to record their best result of the season so far.

The journey to Alexandria, where the Rovers have failed so specularly in the past, proved to be hard fall from those heady heights.

It was clear from the outset that the rain, torrential at times, would ultimately reduce this game to a lottery.

The pitch which at the start looked to be well maintained and, for the time of year, to be in excellent condition, quickly became heavy and slippery, and both teams struggled to control passes and, at times, to stay upright.

Despite having most of the possession in the first half the Rovers failed to capitalise on it.

They were most effective with balls over the home defence for Lafferty and Larkin to run onto.

On 17 minutes, a long ball from Weir was easily controlled by Lafferty and his powerful shot only narrowly missed.

Three minutes later McKenna’s shot from just outside the right side of the Leven box looked as though it was net bound but it flew over the bar at the left hand post.

The home team were reduced to 10 men on 33 minutes when Larkin was lucky to escape serious injury when he jumped over a reckless two footed tackle by Butler.

The referee showed no hesitation in producing the red card and the Leven number 5 was sent for an early bath.

Despite the advantage Carluke continued to struggle to find a way through a resolute Leven defence and the first half finished as a deadlock.

HT Vale of Leven 0-0 Rovers

When the second half started the rain had eased somewhat, however it was the home side which broke the deadlock.

Six minutes into the half following a scramble on the edge of the Carluke box, Leven’s Gallagher fired a shot through a crowd of players and it was deflected into the Rovers net.

The visitors continued to press and on the hour a clearance from a Rovers free kick fell to Greirson however his shot flew past the right hand upright.

Five minutes later the game was effectively over when a Vale of Leven corner from the left found Brannigan at the front post and his shot flew past the Carluke defender marking the post.

On 70 minutes Weir, who was the Rovers most effective player throughout, dribbled past several home defenders to the edge of the Leven box.

When his run was stopped the ball broke to McDonald who fired in an excellent shot which looked goal bound until Shields, the Leven keeper, managed to get a finger to it and tipped it over the bar.

After the corner was cleared up the park and picked up by Gallagher for Leven, Carluke’s Lindsay needed to intervene with a sliding tackle just on the Rovers 18 yard line.

When Cherrie picked up the loose ball the referee incredibly decided that the Lindsay intervention had been a pass back and awarded the home side an indirect free kick, a yard from the Rovers penalty spot.

When the Rovers defence encroached when the free kick was taken the referee ordered a retake.

The second attempt however flew harmlessly past the Carluke upright.

Overall Carluke has to see this as more than 3 vital points dropped in their promotion challenge.

Vale of Leven leapfrog Ashfield to occupy the 3rd promotion place and Carluke remain 5th, now 4 points off the promotion slot.

Next weeks game against 6th placed Vale of Clyde once again becomes a must win fixture if the Rovers are to continue their promotion chase.


MATCH MEDIA