The Ants put a run of four straight single goal defeats behind them to take all three points at the John Cumming stadium in a match that in truth could have finished 6-6 on the chances created by both teams.
Carluke had the first real chance of the game when a cross was inches away from the head of Haley but the striker couldn’t connect and the chance was gone, The Ants thought they had taken the lead in the 12th minute of the match when Grant Kelly put Graeme Crawford through on goal, his shot was saved by the keeper and in raced John Ball to knock the rebound into the net, however somehow the man in the middle deemed Ball to be offside despite being behind both Crawford and a Carluke defender when the shot was hit much to the annoyance of the Ants fans and management alike. The game flowed from end to end and Biggart found Jeffrey on the edge of the box but he dragged at the shot and it went past without troubling. Carluke took the lead in the 22nd minute in what appeared to be even more controversy. SAM BIGGART looked to try and whip a cross into the box on the volley but it looped over McCallum, appeared to hit the inside of the post and shoot back out, the ref was in no doubt though that the ball had crossed the line from his postion 25 yards away, The Ants players questioned the decision with Ball picking a booking for his protests, having reviewed the video at about 5 different speeds you have to say he got the decision spot on. McKenna then came close for Rovers but McCallum saved well with his legs and the chance was kicked to safety. The Ants were in the hunt for the equaliser and Littler headed just over before Conway failed to connect with a header properly under pressure from Weir, McIlvaney’s cross saw Kelly’s effort saved on the line by Tobin and Ball’s shot from the rebound deflected off McAllister and was hacked off the line by a Rovers defender and the halftime scoreline was Carluke 1 v 0 Ants.
Within a minute of the restart the Ants were level when RALPH GAMBA got on the end of Littler’s throw in to head past Tobin to the delight of the travelling Ants fans. The second half seemed to follow a similar pattern to the first with both sides enjoying spells of pressure and creating chances. Gallacher sent Ball through on goal but the Ants striker’s shot was well held by Tobin then Biggart fired in a great cross which flew over the Ants six yard box but Littler was on hand to clear. Weir then fired a shot from 25 yards which McCallum did really well not only to save but to hold onto the ball with a Rovers player closing in to pick up on any rebounds. The Rovers captain then hit the bar with a tremendous effort from fully 30 yards which had McCallum rooted to the spot but luckily the Ants managed to clear the danger from the rebound and the chance was gone. Rovers were enjoying their best spell of the game with these chances and McCallum had to be sharp again this time to deny Haley with his legs. From the resultant corner the Ants had Crawford to thank for keeping the scores level when Haley got on the end of the cross but the Ants man headed off the line before Marshall deflected Weir’s effort out for a corner from the goal line. The Ants survived this 10 minute spell and started to come more into the game again, Kelly was unlucky with an overhead kick attempt before Gamba almost got on the end of a Crawford cross but a Rovers defender beat the Ants man to it and headed it out for a corner. In the 85th minute the Ants brought on TONY DUFFY for his debut, replacing John Ball and it turned out to be an inspired substitution as one minute later he raced onto a through ball from Littler to fire past Tobin and give the Ants a 2-1 lead with 4 minutes left on the clock. Deep into injury time another Rovers corner caused a bit of a scramble in the Ants six yard box but McCallum eventually gathered the ball and the Ants had stopped the rot and put their first three points on the board.
Ants Website Man of the Match –