St Anthony’s McKenna Park hasn’t been the happiest of hunting grounds for the Rovers in recent seasons and with the Carluke men eager to extend a current six game unbeaten run it was keeper Dave Cherrie who repeatedly defied the Ants with an inspired ninety minute display between the sticks.
Rovers had two chances to open the scoring in the first ninety seconds of the game when Biggart delivered a wickedly whipped cross from the left onto the right foot of Lafferty in front of goal who’s angled shot was saved by the sprawling keepers legs with Larkin reacting instinctively firing in the follow up shot straight into the keepers hands.
Seconds later the ball was in Carluke’s box when Biggart was uncharacteristically turned on the 18yard line with the resulting shot being turned round the base of the post by Cherrie.
Rovers opened the scoring on 17minutes after excellent patient build up play when Weir found Pettigrew on the right wing who’s cross was fired home by Lafferty at the front post.
Three minutes later and Rovers were three ahead when Larkin, Pettigrew and Lafferty played a neat one touch triangular passing move inside the box with Lafferty sidefooting the ball past the outstretched Ants keeper.
On the stroke of half time Cherrie flung himself at full stretch across goal to palm a long range shot over the bar which was heading for the top left corner of the net.
Half Time St Anthony’s 0 Carluke Rovers 3
With the second half a mere two minutes old Cherrie pulled off another fine full stretch save low to his right to turn the ball round the post from a free kick.
With the home side working hard to keep possession and open up the Rovers defence Cherrie again was at the centre of the action and made a double save on the hour mark firstly from a 25 yard looping shot which he tipped over the bar then he blocked a shot when he raced off his line to intercept a dangerous 1:1 through ball.
Rovers regained some composure midway through the second half and Lafferty was unlucky not to get his hat trick after 70 minutes when Weir set up a counter attack allowing Lafferty to run in on goal with his shot rebounding off the post to safety.
The Ants pulled a goal back on 73 minutes when a McAllister slip on the rain sodden pitch allowed Ants right winger to deliver a cross which was fired home from close range.
Rovers then made a triple substitution with Haley, Kane and McKenna replacing Larkin, Lafferty and Pettigrew.
With five minutes remaining Rovers ended the contest when Grierson, McDonald and McKenna all combined to set up Greg Kane in front of goal to slot home their fourth goal of the afternoon.Match Report by Ian McKnight