Carluke Rovers impress in friendly draw against side who play two leagues higher

Ian Watt netted a penalty opener for Carluke Rovers on Saturday
Ian Watt netted a penalty opener for Carluke Rovers on Saturday

With only five of last season’s side in their line-up, Carluke Rovers began their pre-season matches with a 2-2 home friendly draw against Rutherglen Glencairn on Saturday, writes Craig Martin.

Newly appointed assistant manager Spike McNeish was in charge of the squad in the absence of holidaymaking manager Colin Slater and can only be pleased with the outcome after facing a side two leagues above Carluke.

Yet Rovers went behind early on when McKay fired home a free-kick for the visitors.

The home side levelled the match on seven minutes after Greg Kane set Ian Watt in on goal. Watt was bundled over in the box at the expense of a penalty which he scored comfortably for 1-1.

Watt headed wide on 34 minutes before an excellent stop from Murray and a goal line clearance from new signing Aldin El-Zubaidi at the other end kept the scores level at half-time.

Carluke’s James Martin had a 30-yarder brilliantly tipped over and Kane’s parting shot was deflected too high.

Ex-Rovers man Stewart Hall tapped home for 2-1 to Glencairn but Rovers soon levelled when El-Zubaidi outjumped everybody to head home for 2-2.

Rovers second half keeper Thomson was called in to action to make a double save as the visitors looked to win the match but they were unable to beat the keeper.The final chance came for Carluke when Kane and Dunn again linked up but after a good turn Dunn's shot was blocked.

Carluke fielded a number of younger players today as well as new signings with none of them looking to be out of their depth and all looking capable of offering something to the side for the forthcoming season.

Carluke team: Murray (Thomson), Renwick, Lowdon (Lambie), El-Zubaidi, Gow, Browning (Dunn),Haddow, Kane, Martin (Blacklaw), Cassidy (McNeish), Watt.