CARLUKE Rovers made it three wins out of four with last Saturday’s fine 2-1 home derby victory over Lesmahagow Juniors.
Rovers – 11/5 underdogs with the bookies – created their first chance on 10 minutes after Aidan Ward, making his first start, had sent an excellent ball into the path of Ian Watt. He in turn squared a pass to Ryan Smillie, who outstripped his marker before shooting wide.
Rovers’ Burns met a 20th minute corner but his header was blocked. His effort from the rebound was cleared to Weir on the right, but his shot ended in the side netting.
Watt then broke away on the right and – despite being fouled – he managed to get a shot away which went just wide of the ’Gow goal.
The hard working Chick McCole in the home side’s midfield created the next chance when he set Smillie free on the right but his ball across goal found no takers.
Weir sent a free-kick just over before Watt’s effort was saved after Ward’s set up.
Rovers finally took the lead on 41 minutes when Smillie turned and shot home after good build-up play between Burns and Watt, who had beaten two defenders after cutting into the box.
Rovers could have gone two up before half-time but Watt’s weak header from Weir’s cross was saved.
The hosts had chances soon after the break but Weir’s free-kick was blocked before a setpiece into the box was headed just wide by Burns.
Carlike finally got a second goal in bizarre fashion after 58 minutes when Watt’s persistence saw him block an attempted clearance and the ball spun into the net from the edge of the box.
Despite this body blow, ’Gow hit back on 62 minutes when they broke down the right and a good cutback was well placed into the home net for 2-1.
Lesmahagow went with three up front for the last part of the match and pinned the home defence back for long spells. But Carluke countered this by bringing the excellent Mark Haddow back and he controlled all they threw at him.
The last chance of note for the home side fell to Watt but his snap shot was saved by ’Gow keeper Barnes.
The visitors’ best chance to get level came in the 86th minute when a good move ended with a shot from close range that was saved by home keeper Jonny Grier, with Scott Bellew completing the clearance.
A late ’Gow shot flashed wide as the away team suffered their first defeat under Billy MacDonald.