After a great result last week Carluke Rovers were keen to follow that up with a second victory in a row against this weekend’s visitors who were Port Glasgow. The weather though was atrocious and the wind and incessant rain were to wreak havoc and make for a long afternoon for both sets of players and spectators.
With the game underway and Carluke hitting with the wind in the first half, it was 4 minutes before the first chance was created. A good run by Eddie Haley culminated in a pass to James Frame but unfortunately for him and Carluke his shot from close range came back off the post and was cleared to safety by the Port Glasgow defence.
Port Glasgow were managing to use the wind to turn the Carluke defence and hold the ball up. It was one such instance which saw the ball over the top resulting in a 50/50 chase between John Gallacher of Port Glasgow and Carluke keeper Adam Brown.
Unfortunately for Brown the Port Glasgow striker got there first and was pulled down inside the box. The Referee had no choice but to point to the spot for a penalty. However Brown redeemed himself with a great save to deny Port Glasgow the opener.
Then in 30 minutes a cross by Dylan Duddy found it’s way to Jordan Conlon but his side footed volley went well wide of the post.
There was not much in the game but Port Glasgow were managing the conditions better than Carluke and came very close to opening the scoring again in the 36th minute when Carluke lost possession in the right back position. The ball was then crossed in and it was met by Gallacher again who put the ball wide from close range when it was easier to score.
Port Glasgow were continuing to press and in the last couple of minutes of the first half got their rewards. Firstly another great save by Adam Brown from John Gallacher, who had tormented the Rovers defence in the first half. Then when Carluke centre half Douglas Frame was deemed to be last man he brought down a Port Glasgow striker and the Referee immediately brandished the red card. This seemed harsh bearing in mind the conditions and was a big blow to Carluke. Particularly bearing in the mind the excellent performances Frame had been putting in since signing for the Club. On top of this right on half time Port Glasgow took the lead their play had deserved. A corner from the right bounced around in the box and first to get their foot to it was Gary Pettigrew of Port and he hit the ball into the roof of the Carluke net from close range to make the score at half time 1-0 to Port Glasgow.
With 10 men and into the wind the second half it was always going to be difficult for Carluke Rovers in the second half. In fact it only took 2 minutes for Port Glasgow to carve out their first opportunity of the half when Fraser McLaughlin put it past Brown’s left hand post when he was clean through on goal. Then in the 50th minute Port Glasgow got the goal which effectively settled the match. A simple ball was picked up by Daniel Bamford and he slotted it past Adam Brown although the Keeper did get a hand to the ball it was to no avail. 2-0 to Port Glasgow.
Then in 56 minutes Adam Brown was called into action again when he thwarted McLaughlin with another excellent save.
Although it appeared to be damage limitation at this stage for the 10 men of Carluke they actually started to get more competitive and created a couple of chances in the latter stages of the game but in the 87th minute Port Glasgow put the icing on the cake when John Gallacher rolled the ball into the net after it had come back off the post to make the final score 3-0 to deserved winners on the day, Port Glasgow.
Photography by Kevin Ramage