Despite breaking his right big toe in the build-up, Carluke Rovers keeper David Cherrie played a massive part in their stunning Ardagh Group West of Scotland Cup third round upset at Kilbirnie, writes Stephen Coutts.
The keeper, who works at McLean’s Coaches bus depot in Airdrie, dropped a bus wheel on his foot hours before Saturday’s kick-off and thought his big moment was over.
But he played and held firm right through 90 goalless minutes and a dramatic penalty shoot-out in which he blocked Mick O’Byrne’s spot kick with his good leg to send Rovers into the quarter finals.
He told the Carluke and Lanark Gazette: “I broke my right big toe and I struggled throughout the game but thankfully it’s not my kicking foot and I said to the gaffer we need to strap it up and get through it and that’s what we did.
“I saved the decisive penalty with my left foot which is my good foot and to be honest we’re hoping for a big away day next and Auchinleck Talbot would be a dream but if we get a home tie it’ll be all the better as well.
“We stuck at it as a team and we managed to do it. We came to Valefield Park as underdogs but we matched them all the way and their fans will go away disappointed.
“To be honest we’re in the bottom Junior league and to come to somewhere like this and beat a team like this is unreal.
“Hopefully this can kick us on.”
Rovers keeper Cherrie added: “In the shoot-out I was nervous and standing on the line with their fans behind me was something else.
“But we got the result and we’re through.
“If we can keep playing like that and go for promotion it draws people to the club to watch us and get people behind us and generate interest in the club.
“We want someone big in this cup as Wishaw had it last season with their excellent Scottish Cup run.
“But we’re still the underdogs whichever way you look at it.
“I’ve played against Pollok once when I was at Forth Wanderers and what a game it was at their stadium and don’t get me wrong they beat us but what an experience that was.”
Rovers gaffer Derek Wilson paid tribute to Cherrie by saying: “David broke his toe but luckily it wasn’t his kicking foot then we had a player on the bench who would’ve started – but got caught in traffic on the M8 on the way down.
“When your day starts off like this you wonder what else can go against you but we got the result and it’s back to league business but we need to carry it on and make sure this is not a one-off result.”