Carluke Rovers 2-1 Greenock: Rovers back in League One title race

Conor McDonald nets a brilliant winner for Carluke (Pic by Kevin Ramage)
Conor McDonald nets a brilliant winner for Carluke (Pic by Kevin Ramage)

Carluke Rovers are back in the McBookie.com League One title race after ending a run of three straight defeats by beating leaders Greenock to knock them off their perch.

Rovers triumphed 2-1 at John Cumming Stadium on Saturday – despite having Paul Donaghy sent off on 81 minutes when he received a second booking for dissent – with Conor McDonald scoring a stunning winner with just three minutes remaining.

Carluke, who had earlier taken a 44th minute lead through Ciaran Lafferty’s volley, conceded an equaliser to Alan Frizzell’s shot just 60 seconds later.

Rovers are now fifth in the table on 15 points, just three points behind new leaders Bellshill Athletic.

Carluke manager Derek Wilson told the Carluke and Lanark Gazette: “I was over the moon to win.

“I told the players I needed a reaction from the Wishaw game (a 2-1 Rovers loss on September 7) because they were very, very poor.

“I changed six positions, bringing in a bit of pace.

“There were plenty of runners and it worked a treat.

“We were superb in the first half. I can’t fault the players for their attitude.”

Wilson said Greenock didn’t really hurt his team in the second half on Saturday as they persisted in playing high balls into a strong wind which was often ineffective.

He added: “Greenock didn’t have many chances.

“Their high balls into the wind didn’t work.

“When we went down to 10 men I would have been happy with a point.

“Then Conor scored a great goal.

“He’d said to me I needed to get him playing further forward so he could score more goals.

“They responded well and it gives them a lift going into the Girvan game.”

Carluke visit Ayrshire this Saturday (kick-off 2pm), with Wilson adding: “Hopefully we can get the three points down there. If we can get onto the 18-point mark I will be delighted.”