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Carluke Rovers earn vital win at Royal Albert

Stevie Murray headed home Carluke’s second goal. Photo courtesy of Kevin Ramage

Carluke Rovers continued their promotion charge by sealing a 3-1 win against Royal Albert at Tileworks Park on Monday night.

Greg Fernie fired the visitors ahead before Stevie Murray doubled their lead after the interval.

Ian Watt wrapped up all three points with 20 minutes remaining before the home side netted a late consolation goal.

The Clydesdale club occupy fifth place in the Central District Second Division – two spots outside promotion – and have just two games remaining.

Colin Slater’s side trail fourth placed Vale of Leven by one point and third placed Lanark United by two points.

The Rovers can still secure promotion but must win their last two games and are relying on Lanark United and sixth placed Gartcairn, who have three games remaining, to drop points if they are to go up.

Carluke made a blistering start to the game and were ahead after just seven minutes when a Mark Weir free kick found Greg Fernie at the back post who sealed his 15th goal of the season.

The visitors continued to dominate possession and Fernie played an excellent through ball to Ian Watt on the left flank who cut inside and attempted an audacious chip that was tipped onto the bar before being cleared by the Albert defence.

Fernie could have extended Carluke’s lead moments before the interval when a corner was met by the forward at the back post but his effort went wide of the target.

Carluke doubled their lead five minutes after the interval from another set piece when Watt’s corner was met by the head of Stevie Murray who made no mistake from close range.

The home side pressed forward in a bid to reduce the deficit with Rovers keepers Dan Tobin producing a fine save before launching a counter attack, with Watt’s low effort seemingly going over the line but no goal was given.

Tobin was called into action soon after when a driven cross found an Albert forward inside the Rovers box but the keeper produced a superb point blank save.

Carluke added a third goal in the closing stages of the game when Jonny Wilson played the ball into the path of Watt and his initial effort was saved before he pounced on the rebound to net his 30th goal of the season.

The home side continued to push forward until the final whistle and were rewarded for their endeavours when a deflected shot fell to their centre forward to slotted the ball past Tobin to end Carluke’ chances of securing a clean sheet.