Sending off key to Rovers thrashing

Penalty is converted past Jonny Grier to make it 2-0 for St Roch's (Pic by Sarah Peters)
Penalty is converted past Jonny Grier to make it 2-0 for St Roch's (Pic by Sarah Peters)

Carluke Rovers’ outgoing chairman Craig Martin believes the 45th minute sending off of Chick McCole was a crucial factor in his team’s 5-0 Central Division 1 home humbling by Glasgow side St Roch’s last Saturday.

McCole received a second yellow card for lunging at an opponent in the box, with Craig saying that the challenge had been instigated by the Rovers ace being verbally “wound up” by St Roch’s opponents.

“Chick is from the Glasgow area so the St Roch’s players decided to wind him up and he fell for it,” Craig said.

“You have to be able to handle abuse like that but it can’t have been easy for Chick.

“He lost the rag and lunged at the guy.

“It was a real pity because when Chick had been booked for dissent earlier in the match, some of our players had been pointing out that this booking meant that he couldn’t risk making a tough tackle.

“Chick’s subsequent dismissal certainly didn’t help our chances in the match.

“St Roch’s going 2-0 up against our 10 men killed the game. We then lost two quick goals in the second half and there was no chance of a recovery from there.”

Saturday’s result made it 11-0 to St Roch’s on aggregate in their two league contests with Carluke this season.

But Craig maintained that Rovers had been well in the latest fixture and were unfortunate to come out on the end of such a heavy defeat.

“If it wasn’t for bad luck we wouldn’t have any luck,” said Craig.

“It was one of those days for us.

“We played against a really good team and didn’t keep our discipline.”

After suffering three defeats in their last four league matches, ninth placed Rovers now find themselves just five points above the relegation zone.

Any aspirations of promotion have seemingly been replaced by a desire to simply stay in the division.

“The last few games have certainly changed our outlook on this season,” Craig said. “We need to start picking up points to get away from the relegation zone.

“The players certainly have the ability to do that but I don’t know if they have the will.”

One plus for Rovers was centre back Stevie Murray playing after four months out with a hamstring injury.