Carluke Rovers ‘Laff-ing’ all the way to next round as Ciaran goal dumps Hermes

Rovers goal hero Ciaran Lafferty (second from left) celebrates with team-mates Greg Kane and Craig Grierson after the strike which downed Hermes (Pic by Kevin Ramage)
Rovers goal hero Ciaran Lafferty (second from left) celebrates with team-mates Greg Kane and Craig Grierson after the strike which downed Hermes (Pic by Kevin Ramage)

Carluke Rovers battled their way into the fourth round of the Scottish Junior Cup by beating North Super League title favourites Hermes FC 1-0 on Saturday.

Hermes’ first chance saw the ball crash off the bar as Rovers’ defence failed to cut out a long diagonal ball which found the Hermes striker on the penalty spot whose turn and shot ricocheted off the woodwork.

Rovers keeper Dave Cherrie then pulled off a magnificent save as he smothered a netbound shot at the back post.

Seconds later he closed off the angles at his near post to see another shot fly high and wide of the target.

After 15 minutes Rovers seemed to have weathered the early storm and a Weir free-kick from the right was headed inches wide by a lurking Lafferty at the back post.

Two minutes later Weir sent Ross McNeil clear in on goal who snatched at his shot which trundled into the keeper’s hands.

Rovers continued to press forward and just before half time Lafferty was inches away from opening the scoring as Biggart flashed the ball across the goal line after outsprinting Hermes right back down the left wing.

Five minutes into the second half and Rovers opened the scoring when Biggart outsprinted the right back and squared the ball to Weir who shrugged off three players before slipping the ball to Lafferty inside the box who struck a finely angled shot across the keeper into the net.

The remainder of the half saw both defences on top with Rovers Drew Lindsay twice cutting out dangerous through balls in the dying minutes of the game.

Rovers chairman Ian McKnight told the Carluke and Lanark Gazette: “This was an excellent result for us against a side that like to get the ball down and play quick passing football.

“We were lucky not to be two or three goals down in the first five minutes but we grew in confidence.

“We were forced to play at a very high tempo, which suited us.

“Mark Weir rolled back the years when setting up the goal and Ciaran picked his spot really well into the far corner.

“And it was an inspired tactical move by the manager to play Mark Cassidy – who normally plays up front or in midfield – at centre half as he was excellent.”

“We hope to get a big team home or away in the next round to guarantee big gate receipts.”

Rovers are at home to Vale of Leven in a League Two encounter this Saturday, kick-off 2pm.