Central District Second Division
Sat 14 April 2018
Score: 1 - 1

Match Report

Carluke Rovers played their last game of the season against regular rivals Gartcairn who came looking to secure three points to maintain league leader status and their hopes of promotion as league champions.

Both teams displayed attacking intent early on with Rovers strikers Watt and McKenna testing the Cairn keeper early on with fierce shots from distance and Cairns Arbuckle almost opening the scoring for the visitors in 10 mins when he cut into the box from the right wing only to see his shot fly inches wide of Rovers left hand post.

On 12 minutes Watt hit the post from an impossible looking angle with a hook shot over his shoulder from the far right edge of the Cairn box. McKenna ran on to the rebound and looked to slot the ball home from 10 yards only for the keeper to save with his legs.

On 18 minutes a Watt run and cutback across the 6 yard box was met by winger Graeme Martin who’s shot on goal was blocked on the penalty spot by Cairn on colossus Kevin Ross.

The visitors then looked to get in behind the Rovers back line and had a succession of corners with Ross heading wide then over the bar as Rovers struggled to match his aerial threat.

Rovers Watt opened the scoring on 23 minutes when Cassidy floated a 20 yard pass onto his stride and a looping half volley dipped in under the bar and into the net.

The remainder of the half see-sawed with both teams showing committed attacking football.

Half Time Carluke 1 Gartcairn 0

The second half saw Cairn on the attack and accelerate the tempo of an already high octane game and on 52 minutes scored an equaliser when Striker Arbuckle peeled off his marker to the back post and as the curling left wing cross arrived he made no mistake with a close range header.

Cairn almost went ahead 3 minutes later when Rovers keeper Liam Grant turned a low driven Arbuckle shot round his right hand post.

Watt then Martin came close for Rovers following some neat build up play only to see their respective shots held by the visitors keeper .

Cairn were reduced to 10 men in the 80th minute when their right back received a second booking for a high footed and awkward looking tackle on Graeme Martin then were down to 9 men after 85 minutes when the always combative and sometimes combustible Ross received his marching orders for a deliberate hand ball with Watt running clean in on goal then seconds later was adjudged to have elbowed Rovers James McAllister off the ball.

Full time 1-1 with Rovers pleased to end what has been a challenging season both on and off the park.

Match Report by Ian McKnight