Central District First Division
Sat 23 January 2016
Score: 3 - 2

Match Report

Gutted is probably the best way to describe the feeling in the Rovers camp after Saturdays defeat to league leaders Renfrew after they looked to have snatched a draw late in the match.

The early part of the match saw Rovers put pressure on their hosts without actually creating a clear cut chance but it was Renfrew who had the best chance to open the scoring in the 6th min when Scott Burns in the Carluke defence gave away a penalty with a rash challenge. Fortunately for Rovers Renfrews no 9 Kinney fired the ball over Jonny Griers bar.

The visiting Rovers took the lead in their next attack in 11 mins when a Scott Bellew challenge won the ball before he played it inside to Ryan Smillie who’s pass to Ian Watt saw him outstrip his marker on the right before putting in a superb flighted shot that left the home keeper stranded ass it sailed in to the net for 1-0 to Carluke.

The home side were almost gifted a way back in to the match in 14 mins when Bellew was woefully short with a pass back to Grier but the final shot went across goal and was cleared.

The Rovers looked to increase their lead in their best part of the match and saw Aiden Ward steal the ball in midfield before setting Watt free but his effort was just wide then Ward and Mark Haddow linked up to provide a chance for Smilley but his shot was saved.

Haddow was the provider again in the 27th min when he put Smillie clear but his effort was cleared for a throw in with the ball eventually landing with Watt but again the wee strikers effort was just wide of the post.

In the 34th min Carluke were awarded a free kick on the right and Mark Weir put the ball in to the path off Smillie on the right but his effort on goal was blocked clear with the striker claiming a hand had been used but no penalty was forthcoming.

As the first half drew to a close Renfrew forced a series of corners with Haddow being on hand to clear the danger on a couple of occasions with some excellent defending.

The home side thought they had forced an equaliser on the stroke of half time when Burns gave away a free kick on the right and as it was headed towards goal Chris Zok tapped it past Grier but the whistle was blown for off side and the goal was not given.

Half time Renfrew 0 v 1 Carluke Rovers.

The second half saw Renfrew look to get level in the match and Kinney saw an effort go just over the bar in the 46th min before he did get his goal in the 48th when poor marking from a throw in allowed a header across goal before Kinney placed a header beyond Grier for 1-1.

The home side were playing their best football of the match in this period and they took the lead in the 64th min when a free kick found Zok on the left but as he headed towards goal Grier looked favourite to clear the ball he reached first, but it bounced off his knee falling kindly for Zok who scored from a tight angle for 2-1 to Renfrew.

Rovers put pressure on their hosts after this goal with Jamie Dickson finding Smillie on the left but his low cut back was cleared by the Renfrew defence, then a Burns clearance found Watt but his shot was saved.

As the game opened up Renfrew looked to have increased their lead in the 73rd min when they worked their way through the Rovers defence but Kinneys close range effort was tipped round the post by Grier.

Rovers had a great chance to level in 76 mins when a fantastic cross field ball from Dickson found Watt on the left and after beating a couple of defenders on his way in to the box he hit a perfect shot that beat Baird in the Renfrew goal but hit the post before being cleared.

As the game neared an end Bellew was next to have a shot on goal which was blocked for a corner which was then headed just over by Burns.

Rovers final chance came in 92 mins when Liam Thomson cut in from the left and hit a low shot that looked to be going wide but the referee had seen a bit of wrestling of a Rovers attacker in the box and awarded a penalty to Carluke. Smillie stepped up and confidently placed the ball to the right as the keeper went the other was to make it 2-2.

Rovers looked to have pinched a point but in their next attack Renfrew broke on the right and a final low shot from Hocknull squirmed under Grier and fired them in front with what proved to be the last action of the match and a sucker punch for the Rovers.

Rovers team.
Grier, Bellew, Burns, Wilson, McDougall, Ward(Dickson),Haddow, McCole, Weir(Thomson), Smille, Watt.

Match Report by Craig Martin