Interim Carluke Rovers gaffer Mark Weir oversaw an excellent win in Saturday’s 4-2 home triumph over Larkhall Thistle, writes Steven Kane.
Weir, who is still registered as a player, was an unused substitute as Rovers moved onto eighth place in McBookie.com League One with 26 points from 19 games.
Rovers, with Douglas Frame making his first start at centre back, moved Mark Cassidy into central midfield in a bid to give greater support to the strikers and offer more aerial threat.
Carluke started the game with a real sense of purpose and it only took three minutes for them to get on the scoresheet.
The ball was picked up in midfield by Greg Kane and he passed the ball through to new signing Jordan Conlon. Conlon still had a bit of work to do but evaded a tackle and calmly slotted the ball past Larkhall keeper David Cherrie.
In the seventh minute Conlon found Frame whose close range shot was well saved.
A sweeping Rovers move in the 21st minute then saw Dickson link with Frame before sending over a cross from the right which was met by the onrushing Conlon but a Larkhall defender managed to deflect his effort just over the bar.
After this whirlwind start things were to go from bad to worst for Larkhall Thistle when the industrious Frame was through on goal and got tangled up with Jack Adam of Larkhall.
The referee saw this as a deliberate act by the Larkhall defender and as the last man immediately brandished the red card much to the consternation of the travelling Larkhall support.
Despite being a man down, Larkhall equalised when Carluke failed to clear the ball effectively and a low cross from the right by Warren Grenfell was bundled over the line by Taylor Scott to make it 1-1.
Scott then had another effort on goal for Larkhall which just went past the left hand post.
A Dickson corner for Rovers then found Cassidy whose volley was saved by Cherrie’s feet.
Rovers then survived a scare when Stuart Mitchell managed to deflect a shot from close range just over the Carluke bar.
Larkhall’s Kyle Stewart was unlucky with a goal effort which hit the woodwork before Carluke went 2-1 up following a corner.
Dickson’s fine ball to the back post was bulleted home by Cassidy.
Larkhall had a strong penalty shout turned down early in the second half when Taylor Scott was pulled down in the box.
After Bartosz Mackiewicz volleyed over for the visitors, play raged to the other end where Conlon’s close range effort from a Cassidy cross was brilliantly saved by Cherrie.
Frame then chipped the ball over the keeper towards goal but the ball was cleared off the line by a defender.
Dickson had another effort superbly saved before Rovers scored two quick goals.
Firstly Frame’s cutback was blasted home by Conlon, before Conlon completed his hat-trick by converting Graeme Goodall’s low free-kick delivery from the right.
Larkhall got a late consolation when Shaun Gallagher slid the ball past Adam Brown.
This was an excellent result for Weir and his coaching staff as the rebuilding process continues at pace.
Next for this committed group of players is a tough away league game at Lesmahagow this Saturday, kick-off 1.45pm.