Carluke Rovers boss John Dunn eyeing promotion after winning his first league game in charge

Carluke Rovers manager John Dunn (Pic by Sarah Peters)
Carluke Rovers manager John Dunn (Pic by Sarah Peters)

Carluke Rovers punters were treated to a fine passing display as the John Cumming Stadium men managed a 3-2 home success over Vale of Leven on Saturday.

It was a first Central Division 2 match in charge of the club for new Rovers gaffer John Dunn, who is eyeing a promotion run with Rovers now fifth in the table and just four points off a promotion spot with a game in hand.

“There was a feelgood factor in the dressing room among the players after Saturday’s match,” Dunn said.

“The boys were jubilant and there was a buzz in the ground.

“Undoubtedly it looks good for a promotion push from us now.

“We just need to start getting a good run going.”

Yet Saturday’s match saw Vale take the lead completely against the run of play on 15 minutes. A long ball wasn’t dealt with by Carluke centre half Aldin El Zubaidi who was far too casual and short with his pass back to keeper Gareth Halford.

The mistake was pounced upon by the Vale forward who shot in from 20 yards.

There was a blow for Rovers late in the half when Halford went off injured after landing heavily on his left shoulder when collecting a high cross.

A deserved Rovers equaliser arrived on 50 minutes when Sam Biggart headed in after a brilliant run and cross on the left by winger James Martin. And it was soon 2-1 to Carluke as an identical move again saw Biggart head in a Martin cross.

Although Vale equalised with a header following a corner, Rovers won it when substitute Eddie Haley netted after an Ian Watt cross to the back post.

“The 3-2 scoreline flattered Vale of Leven massively,” Dunn added.

“We were on the front foot from the start and there was an intensity about us.

“There was also a real desire and a discipline from us with the guys working hard for each other.

“They kept the ball on the deck which was effective against a team who are physical, roll their sleeves up and put their foot in.

“But we matched that and didn’t get involved in some of the physicality off the ball which was really pleasing.”

* Carluke’s local rivals Lanark United were drawn away to either Penicuik or Kilbirnie in Tuesday’s third round draw for the Scottish Junior Cup.

And Forth or Irvine Vics are at home to Lochore, with Arthurlie or Lesmahagow hosting Cupar Angus. The ties are due to be played on Saturday, November 25.