Carluke Rovers 2 v 3 Lanark United.
McBookie. Com West Region League One Saturday 01/02/2020
Carluke Rovers 2 v 3 Lanark United.
Report provided by Craig Martin
In an at times bad tempered local derby Lanark came out on top with a narrow win that keeps them clear at the top of League One despite playing for over an hour with ten men after one time Rovers player Ian Watt was ordered off, Lanark in fact increased their lead at the top with closest rivals Ardrossan and The Gow dropping points.
Lanark created the first chance when a good corner in from Watt found the head of Mark Haddow but his effort from a tight angle hit the post before being cleared.
Despite this early chance for then visitors it was in fact the home side who took the lead when a break on the right ended with a good ball in that was headed home by ex Lanark player Jordan Conlon for 1-0, this goal saw the home side play with a bit of confidence with Conlon being the main threat to Lanark.
Fortunately for the league leaders they got back on level terms quickly when a free kick from the right on 9 mins from Scott Nicol again found Haddow and his looping header found the net for 1-1.
The match went through a period that lacked any real quality until mid way through the half a fine ball from James Martin set Shug Kerr free on goal and his shot was partly blocked by Brown in the home goal before striking the underside of the bar and appearing to cross the line but the referee did not agree and the scores stayed level.
Watt had the next chance for Lanark on 28 mins when he picked up a l;lose ball before driving in to the penalty area but his end shot squirmed just past the post with the keeper stranded, unfortunately Watt’s next involvement in the match was on 32 mins when he put in a poor challenge to stop a Carluke attack and the referee wasted no time in producing the red card reducing Lanark to ten men.
Carluke failed to take advantage of the extra man and it was in fact Lanark who produced the best chance just before half time when another Nicol free kick found Cammy LAwson this time but his header was saved.
Half time Carluke Rovers 1 v 1 Lanark United.
Lanark’s management team saw fit to make a formation change at half time with Kieran Brannan being put back up front after having dropped back to cover for Watt and the change had immediate effect when he was put through with an excellent ball from Sean Lindsay and after the home keeper looking favourite to win the ball after a poor touch from Brannan he somehow came out with the ball and fired a low shot in to the net from wide left after only 20 seconds of the half to put Lanark in front in the match for the first time at 2-1.
Lanark were showing no sign of having a man less and continued to create chances first for Brannan who fired over the bar then for Kerr from a good Lawson ball but he put his shot just wide of the far post with the home defence and keeper beaten.
Brannan was involved again on 65 mins when he was set free by another good ball and after rounding Brown in the home goal he was brought down by the keeper at the expense of a penalty and only a caution for the keeper, Lewis Hill stepped up to take the spot kick and again made no mistake firing the ball home for 3-1 to the visiting United.
This goal finally seemed to spur the home side in to action and they produced a good chance from a corner on 75 mins but Conlon headed over the bar then Gareth Hallford in the Lanark goal had to look lively to turn a Mark Cassidy shot from distance over the bar.
The best chance for Carluke came when Lanark were surprisingly chasing the game leaving only Callum Anderson covering a three man home attack but after the ball was played wide to Jamie Dickson his shot from point blank range was turned away brilliantly by Hallford for a corner.
Lanark’s last chance of note came on 82 mins when another good ball picked out Kerr on the left but after cutting in to the penalty area his final shot was blocked.
The final goal of the match came with five minutes remaining when Carluke won a free kick 25 yards out that was taken by Dickson and his excellent strike found the corner of the Lanark net for a second Carluke goal for 3-2.
The home side pushed the visitors back but could not final another breakthrough and Lanark held firm to record their fourth league win in a row since the turn of the year, all by a single goal but each one giving three points none the less.
Lanark team. Hallford, C.Anderson, Haddow, Lawson, Nicol, Watt, Lindsay, Hill, Martin, Brannan(Collins), Kerr.