Rovers travelled to a windy though sunny Salcoats on Wednesday night to play their second league match of the season eager to rid themselves of the memories of Saturday’s disappointing performance against Ashfield Jnrs.
In ankle height grass it was never going to be a night to play expansive or adventurous passing football and Rovers were rocked after 30 seconds when a long ball out of the home sides defence caught the entire Carluke defence in a state of comatose.
Rovers centre half James McAllister saw the danger too late as he slid to intercept the ball on the edge of the box only to see it hit off the thighs of the Vics centre forward who ran clear in on goal and side footed the ball past the outrushing keeper into the right corner of the net.
The goal only served to sting Rovers into action and from the restart a Cassidy run from midfield saw him lay the ball off to McKenna on the front edge of the Vics box who in turn played in Byrne who’s shot from 15 yards was easily saved by the keeper.
A sustained period of Rovers pressure then forced the Vics to defend from their own penalty area and after a series of corners Carluke drew level in the 10th minute when Biggart curled the ball to the back post which was poked home by Eddie Haley.
Rovers could have gone ahead in the 12th minute when Cassidy put Haley clean through on goal with only the keeper to beat though he selfishly squared the ball to Byrne who’s shot at goal trundled into the keepers hands.
On 17 minutes Halley collected the ball with back to goal 35 yards out then spun his marker playing the ball into the path of Grierson who cut in from the right wing into the box.
Just as he was about to pull the trigger the Vics left back made a timely intervention.
Two minutes later a Greg Kane pass from the edge of the centre circle split the Vics defence wide open allowing McKenna a clear run in on goal.
A desperate grab on his shirt 23 yards from goal presented Rovrs with a scoring chance though the free kick was squandered as the shot trundled wide of the left hand post.
On 20 minutes an almost identical move saw McKenna’s shirt pulled and heels clipped inside the box with the penalty being clinically bulletted home by Sam Biggart.
Rovers continued to pile on the pressure and five minutes before half time could have extended their lead when a cleverly played Haley and McKenna one two inside the Vics box almost came off except for the tufted grass holding up the ball and suppressing the final shot on goal.
Half time Salcoats Vics 1 Carluke Rovers 2
Two minutes into the second half and Rovers went 3-1 ahead when a Cassidy chip over the head of the Vics centre half allowed Haley to race in on goal and place the ball across the keeper into the left corner of the net.
The remainder of the second half saw The home side defending in numbers and Carluke creating yet more goal scoring chances for Tamburinni, McKenna and Byrne to no avail.
Full time Salcoats Vics 1 Carluke Rovers 3.
Carluke play Muirkirk Jnrs at home on Saturday and will be looking to play with renewed confidence and determination as a result of this win .Match Report by Ian McKnight