Heartache as Carluke Rovers crash out of Scottish Junior Cup at last 16 stage

It's agony for Carluke Rovers defenders as Kevin Ross heads Gartcairn into a 1-0 lead in front of a 400+ crowd at John Cumming Stadium on Saturday (Pic by Jim Clare)
It's agony for Carluke Rovers defenders as Kevin Ross heads Gartcairn into a 1-0 lead in front of a 400+ crowd at John Cumming Stadium on Saturday (Pic by Jim Clare)
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Carluke Rovers missed a golden opportunity to get into the last eight of the Scottish Junior Cup on Saturday when they lost 3-2 at home to fellow Central Division 2 outfit Gartcairn.

The Airdrie visitors spurned a great early chance when Love saw an effort go just over the bar in the second minute.

Rovers’ first chance fell to top scorer Ian Watt after eight minutes when a long ball from defence saw him bear down on the visitors goal but he shot wide. Good work from Gary Gow then set up Mark Haddow but his effort sailed well over.

Sam Biggart headed wide from a Mark Weir corner for Rovers, before Chick McCole set up Alberto Vezza but the youngster’s shot was again wide.

Carluke – playing their first last 16 Scottish Junior Cup tie in over 30 years – paid for these missed chances when a corner was powered home by the head of Kevin Ross to put Gartcairn ahead after 19 minutes.

After a chance for McCole came to nothing Rovers got back on level terms in 27 minutes when good work from Watt won a corner which was swung in by Weir and Watt bundled the ball home at the back post.

Carluke keeper Dan Tobin had to make a good save at the feet of a Gartcairn attacker before yet another shot went just wide of his goal.

Another corner for the visitors caused confusion in the home defence and after a netbound effort was blocked another shot was parried by Tobin, but Tait was quickest to react and fired the ball in from a tight angle for 2-1.

The last action of the half fell to the home side when Biggart rolled the ball to Weir but his effort was well saved.

Carluke’s task was made even more difficult early in the second half when a cross from the right was diverted past Tobin by Gow for 3-1.

But Rovers rallied for a few minutes after this and Vezza saw a shot deflected over the visiting bar in 50 minutes before good build up work allowed Vezza to lay the ball into the path of Gow but his shot was well saved.

Carluke’s Greg Fernie got a sight of goal in the 65th minute but he shot over.

But Rovers were thrown a lifeline in the 72nd minute when Vezza collected the ball wide on the right before cutting inside, leaving defenders in his wake and hitting a glorious left foot shot high into the net for 3-2.

Gartcairn held out comfortably though to reach the quarter-finals with Carluke now having time to concentrate on league duties.