Carluke Rovers welcomed Premiership opposition in the shape of Clydebank for this Scottish Cup 2nd Round tie at the John Cumming Stadium. Clydebank, who have had an indifferent start to their league campaign were hoping for a victory against a Carluke side without a game for a couple of weeks.
Out of respect for their higher league opposition Carluke started the game with one up front and a five man midfield to try and win that battle against their more illustrious opponents.
The game kicked off and there wasn’t much to report as both teams were feeling each other out and trying to get a foothold in the game in the first 10 minutes. However from nowhere in the 13th minute Munro of Clydebank latched onto a long ball down the right wing and crossed in low to the back post where it was met by McClair who had the easiest of tap ins to make the score 1-0 to Clydebank.
This was an early setback for Carluke but they continued to compete with Clydebank and in the 18th minute got a break when a good ball by Mark Weir found Stephen Larkin who managed to get in front of his defender and scored from a very tight angle to make the score 1-1.
This equaliser seemed to spur Clydebank into action and there followed a sustained period of possession culminating in a good save from Carluke Keeper Kevin McAllister as Clydebank No10 Little tried to lob him when through on goal. The Keeper managed to keep the ball out at full stretch.
Carluke were not without their moments either and a long kickout was picked up by Larkin whose neat lob just eluded Dominic McMeekin as the Clydebank keeper came out to clear. However Clydebank were growing more into the game and only great goalkeeping by Carluke’s McAllister kept the Bankies at bay. On 32 minutes he made a great save with his feet when Cammy McClair was through on goal.
However the second Clydebank goal was not long in coming as a Carluke defender got dispossessed and the ball was knocked into Chris Black who found the bottom of the net with his shot despite the valiant attempts of Mark Cassidy to thwart his effort. 2-1 to Clydebank.
Clydebank’s tails were now up and they continued to put the Carluke defence under pressure and only a great save by McAllister denied them a third when Little knocked the ball onto Conor Lynas whose shot was deflected by the feet of McAllister and out for a corner.
This was to be the last action of the half and Clydebank went in looking comfortable with their 2-1 lead.
If Carluke were to get back into this game they had to start the second half strongly but it was Clydebank who started the stronger when firstly McAllister had to make another good save from a Conor Lynas shot from 10 yards out. This was followed two minutes later when the same player crossed from the left but the ball was just out of the reach of Little.
Carluke were restricted to hitting Clydebank on the break and Conor McDonald made a good run down the right and played a one two cutting inside and then onto his right but his heroics of a couple of weeks ago were not to be repeated as his shot sailed over the bar from 25 yards.
Despite all Carluke efforts Clydebank did look a cut above and the game was effectively over in the 68th minute. McClair ran down the left and with a clever stepover left his marker and sent a lovely cross to the back post where it was met by Conor Lynas who bulleted it into the empty net to make the score 3-1 to Clydebank.
In 78 minutes Carluke Rovers made a substitution taking off captain Mark Weir and replacing him with Maxi Neossi in midfield. This could well be Mark’s last ever Scottish Cup appearance for Carluke after 20 years with the Club and it was fitting that he played this game in front of such a large crowd who can still appreciate his undoubted ability and leadership on the park.
The action was not over however and Carluke’s man of the match keeper KP McAllister was called into action again in the 80th minute when Cammy McClair broke down the right and picked out substitute Hepburn running though the middle but again the Carluke Keeper thwarted Clydebank. This was the last meaningful action and Clydebank progressed as worthy winners on the day. Final
Score Carluke Rovers 1 Clydebank 3.
Photography by Kevin Ramage