Can Carluke Rovers reach the last eight of the Scottish Junior Cup?

Jubilant Carluke Rovers players celebrate beating Irvine Meadow in the previous round (Pic by Sarah Peters)
Jubilant Carluke Rovers players celebrate beating Irvine Meadow in the previous round (Pic by Sarah Peters)

Carluke Rovers, managed by Colin Slater, are gearing up for their biggest Scottish Junior Cup tie in over 30 years this Saturday.

And the last 16 trip to fellow Central Division 2 side Gartcairn represents a glorious chance for Rovers to go even further in the tournament.

“This is a massive game for the club,” said Rovers match reporter Craig Martin.

“Just to be involved in a tie like this gives everybody at the club a lift.

“I think we will take a decent support through there. A bus is leaving from the supporters’ club.

“We are not putting a bus on for the team because a lot of our laddies live through there anyway.

“The tie is creating a bit of interest among Gartcairn followers as well.

“Gartcairn’s stadium is just behind Airdrie Sports Centre.

“Their committee had considered the idea of switching the tie to the Excelsior Stadium this Friday night, but that plan never materialised as they wanted to maintain their home advantage.

“Getting through this tie would be brilliant from a financial aspect as well.”

Ironically, if the tie had been switched to the Friday night, it would have meant that Rovers stalwart Craig would have been able to attend.

As it is, he won’t be at MTC Park as he’ll instead be attending a first birthday party for his grandson Josh Gardiner.

“I’m sorry I’m missing the game,” Craig added. “But that will happen a few times in the next few weeks as I also have a stag weekend and a wedding.”

But Craig will be getting regular updates from a fixture which is being played just a fortnight after Rovers beat Gartcairn 3-2 in a home league match.

“We had never beaten Gartcairn before so it was good for us to get that monkey off our backs,” Craig said.

If this Saturday’s match ends in a draw, then a subsequent replay at John Cumming Stadium would also bring Rovers much needed gate receipts.

And a record crowd at John Cumming Stadium would be guaranteed if Rovers get past Gartcairn and draw a big gun at home in the quarter-finals.