It was the turn of St Cadocs to visit the John Cumming Stadium for this West of Scotland League clash. St Cadocs are new to the ranks of the West and only applied for membership this year to the newly formed league. That said they have recruited well for a new team and had many players who last season graced the junior Super Premier League with the likes of Kilwinning Rangers, Glenafton and Pollock.
The game started quietly but it was clear that St Cadocs were comfortable on the ball and in the 7th minute they narrowly missed taking the lead with a flashing shot across goal was narrowly missed by Andrew at the back post. Then in 15 minutes a hamstring injury for Greg Kane forced his replacement by James Frame and a shuffle of the pack for Manager Mark Weir. Rovers were very much in the game however at this stage and a shot by Dillon Duddy was saved well by McKinven in the St Cadocs goal.
The game was relatively even at this stage but St Cadocs always looked threatening. They again nearly took the lead when the ball broke kindly to Andrew 12 yards out and just as he was about to shoot Maxi Neossi timely tackle saw the ball out to safety. However Carluke didn’t heed this warning and only a minute later a long diagonal ball from the St Cadocs right back eluded the head of Carluke’s Livingston to the feet of the winger. He took the ball down the wing and squared into Dallas who converted the easiest of chances into an empty net. 1-0 St Cadocs.
At this point Rovers were still very much in the game and a good run and shot by James Frame was well saved by the Keeper. This was quickly followed by a great finger tip save from Dean Wilson in the Carluke goal when former Morton player Dylan Dykes unleashed a fierce shot which was bound for the bottom corner.
It was end to end at this point and on the stroke of halftime Carluke had what was to be their best chance of the game. Dillon Duddy dispossessed the Cadocs left back and sent in a low cross to the front post but the on rushing Lewis Hill’s glancing shot flew over the bar. That was the final action of the first half with St Cadocs leading 1-0.
The second half was to be a different story from the first. As has happened in several games this season after a promising first half performance Carluke capitulated in the second half following the giving away of an early goal to the opposition. This time whilst passing the ball around at the back it got intercepted by the St Cadocs striker. He calmly squared the ball to Dallas who could not miss from close in to score his second and make it 2-0.
As in previous weeks this seemed to take the fight out of Carluke Rovers and build confidence in the opposition to increase their lead further. It took only another 10 minutes for St Cadocs to increase their tally. A direct freekick by Dylan Dykes on the edge of the box sailed over the Carluke wall and nestled in the Keeper’s bottom right corner. 3-0.
Then in 68 minutes a freekick outside the Carluke box on the right was fired in low and the quickest to react was St Cadocs McCann who ran across to meet the ball and deflected it with his right foot into the roof of the Carluke net. 4-0.
It was only a further 7 minutes later when a demoralised Carluke team conceded the fifth. A corner was knocked back to Gary Muir whose shot from just outside the box couldn’t be kept out by Wilson and nestled in the bottom of the net. 5-0.
The sixth came in the 80th minute when a simple cut back from the byline was side footed home by Dallas for his hat trick. 6-0.
The final goal came from the penalty spot when number 19 Dylan Dykes coolly slotted the ball past Dean Wilson to complete the scoring in the 85th minute to make the final score 7-0 for St Cadocs.
This was a sobering experience for Carluke Rovers in what was an abject second half display. The only players who merited pass marks were the ever reliable Jonny Wilson at full back and keeper Dean Wilson who made a couple of great saves or the score could have been worse. If Carluke can start to compete in games in the second half the way they do in the first half then results like this will be a thing of the past.Match Report by Stevie Kane
Photography by Kevin Ramage