Lanark beat rivals Carluke Rovers for the fourth time this season in a tense match with ex Carluke striker Ian Watt scoring the only goal of the game, despite having been barracked and booed by the home support who used to cheer him on.
The visitors had a chance as early as the first minute when Stuart Annetts’ good close control ended with a fine pass into the path of Watt but a block from home keeper Cherrie kept him out.
Chances were few and far between for either side but Lanark did fashion the next when great work from Josh Gracie on the right saw him get to the byline but his cut back was put just over the bar by Lewis Hill.
Lanark thought they had taken the lead in the 15th minute when they won a corner on the left. PJ O’Donnell put a ball to the back post and,after a challenge with the keeper, Mark Haddow’s header looked to be creeping in but a last ditch clearance denied an opening goal.
It was 0-0 at the break but the second half got off to a fantastic start for the visitors when, from a corner, O’Donnell saw Watt move to the front post to get a glancing header that flew past the home keeper for 1-0 to spark wild celebrations among the big Lanark support.
Lanark pressed to get a quick second goal and had a chance when Lafferty laid the ball to Watt but the effort was saved at the expense of a corner that came to nothing.
In the 70th minute, after a bit of pressure, Carluke attacked down the right but a well struck shot from the right brought out an excellent save from Gareth Hallford in the Lanark goal. Then, a few minutes later, the home side broke again but Haddow put in a good block to keep Lanark’s lead intact.
Haddow was involved again in the 82 nd minute this time at the other end of the field when his good work ended with a ball to Watt but the striker’s shot went just wide.
The last action of the match came when Carluke’s Kane put in a low shot but again Hallford in the Lanark goal dealt with it comfortably.
This hard fought win was Lanark’s 14th in a row in the league and opened up the eight point gap at the top over Lesmahagow, whose match was postponed.
No doubt goals win games but, despite Watt’s winning strike, the man of the match for Lanark went to another ex Carluke man Mark Haddow who put in a fantastic performance in defence despite his advancing years.