Carluke United under-11 seven-a-side team finished a hugely creditable third in their age group at their first ever Blackpool Cup International tournament over the Easter weekend, writes Craig Goldthorp.
United recovered from a 3-0 defeat in their opener against Belfast side Shankhill Juniors with two group wins – a 1-0 success awarded as their opponents failed to show up followed by a resounding 7-0 victory over Riverside Beanos from Dundee.
Goalscorers in that one were Oliver Goodbrand (2), Connor North, Mac Mackay, Aaron Nuttall, Jack Mcrae and Isaac Callan.
This result gave Carluke second place in their section and set up a quarter-final tie against Aberdeenshire team Portlethen on the Sunday morning.
An excellent goalkeeping display from Lewis McKendrick and a very good all round team performance helped the boys to a hard 1-0 victory thanks to Goodbrand’s goal.
Unfortunately defender Callum Hogg received a bad injury in this match and was taken to hospital with a serious arm injury.
The semi-final was against another Northern Ireland side this time from Dungannon, and they proved too strong for Carluke and the match ended in a 3-0 defeat.
But United excelled in the third/fourth place playoff game against Shankhill Juniors, with the boys boosted by Callum coming back from hospital.
Shankhill took the lead before Goodbrand levelled and the Scots went 2-1 up with a Mcrae strike.
Shankhill came back to make it 2-2 before Carluke won it in dramatic style when Isaac Callan blasted in the rebound after his initial effort had been saved.
The team and officials thank everyone for their support and help with fundraising to make the trip possible and all parents and grandparents who cheered the boys on.
Another highlight of the trip came on the Friday afternoon when some Carluke players and their dads met ex-Motherwell FC favourite Louis Moult as his Preston North End teamed warmed up before their match against Ipswich Town.