Carluke Rovers boss Mark Weir Breathing more easily after fightback against Forth Wanderers
After a below par first half display, Carluke Rovers kept alive their dreams of winning the Breathing Space Cup mini league by mounting a stirring second half fightback against local rivals Forth Wanderers.
Deservedly leading 2-1 at the interval at John Cumming Stadium on Saturday despite Steven Frame’s goal for Rovers, Forth were pegged back after the break when Dillan Duddy shot home.
“The first half was terrible,” Rovers manager Mark Weir told the Carluke and Lanark Gazette.
"I thought to be honest it was a game of two halves. Forth were 2-1 up at half-time and it could have been a lot more.
"I gave them a wee bit of a rollicking at half-time looking for a reaction and I got a reaction.
"And in the end, after we got it back to two each I thought we were going to go on and sneak a winner.
"But the difference between our performance on Saturday compared to the Royal Albert game (a 5-1 Rovers win the previous week) was night and day.
"It’s not an excuse but I was missing four guys that started that game. It gave these other guys an opportunity to show me what they’ve got and it didn’t work out as planned.”
Rovers, third in the table after three matches, trail leaders Bellshill Athletic by three points with two rounds of fixtures remaining.
So a win at home to Bellshill – bossed by Weir’s predecessor Derek Wilson – this Thursday (KO 8pm) is imperative to keep alive their hopes of finishing top of the pile.
"This is possibly the best game we could have,” Weir said. "It’s a massive game and the good thing is we’re at home again. It makes it spicier that it is a former Carluke Rovers manager and half of their team that we’re taking on.
"It will make the game a wee bit fiery. It’s a game I’m looking forward to, to see a lot of old friends as well.
"Hopefully I can get the players up and ready for Thursday night.”
Bellshill boss Wilson told us: “With Carluke being my old club, I’m looking forward to going back up. Mark will be wanting to put one over on us but vice versa.
"I had success at Carluke, getting promoted and then they turned round and said I wasn’t required so it left a sour taste in my mouth but it’s fine now.”