Carluke Rovers striker Ian Watt is still feeling the pain after his side’s thrilling Scottish Junior Cup run finally came to an end on Saturday.
Rovers – conquerors of Super League First Division outfits Irvine Victoria and Irvine Meadow in previous rounds – crashed 3-2 at home to fellow Central Division 2 outfit Gartcairn in a last 16 replay.
“Losing to Gartcairn was disappointing after beating the teams from higher divisions in previous rounds,” said Watt, who is in his fifth season at Rovers. “We didn’t play to our ability.
“It is a sore defeat and quite hard to take in.
“It stings a lot just now.
“But we still have a lot to play for this season, plenty of things to focus on.
“It is all about our reaction now, how we cope this Saturday and the following Saturday.”
This could be a successful season for Rovers as they are in the promotion hunt, five points behind third placed Lanark United but with three games in hand.
“We play Lanark in two weeks’ time,” Watt said.
“That will be a big one. Hopefully the hurt of being knocked out of the cup will spur us on to get promotion.
“I’m quietly confident we will go up, but I don’t want to jinx myself here.”
Watt has netted 24 goals in a fine season for Rovers.
But the striker – who works as a window cleaner – was modest when asked the reasons for his successful season in front of goal.
“Me getting the 24 goals could be down to better service from my team-mates,” Watt said.
“Or it could just be that I’ve had a lot of luck this season.
“One thing this team does is create a lot of chances, which is good for me.”
Watt revealed that Rovers manager Colin Slater didn’t need to say much to the players in the dressing room after Saturday’s defeat, as he could see how much they were hurting.
Last weekend’s torrential rain meant that Rovers’ 3G artificial pitch helped their match become one of only seven junior league and cup matches in the central belt and Ayrshire to survive.
Forth Wanderers, Lesmahagow Juniors and Lanark United were all idle after their respective games against Neilston, Cambuslang and Ashfield were postponed. But all three will be hoping to return to competitive action this Saturday (fixtures above right).
Meanwhile, Lanark United have signed midfielder Dale Gordon (20) from Lowland League Club BSC Glasgow.