Muirkirk 0-5 Carluke Rovers: Ciaran Lafferty scores five and misses penalty

An astonishing five-goal haul by Ciaran Lafferty – who also missed a penalty – eased Carluke Rovers to a 5-0 away win against Muirkirk on Saturday, writes Craig Goldthorp.

The emphatic success means that fifth placed Rovers will move up to League Two’s third and final promotion slot – pipping Vale of Clyde on goal difference – with a home win over Annbank United in their final league game of the season this Saturday, kick-off 2pm.

Rovers chairman Ian McKnight told the Carluke and Lanark Gazette: “Ciaran just had one of those exceptional games where he was unplayable.

“The service to him from midfield was first class.

“He sclaffed the penalty, but we’ll forgive him for missing that!”

McKnight said it was “unfortunate” that promotion rivals Vale of Clyde had landed a shock 2-1 win with an injury time goal at champions Lanark United on Saturday.

The Rovers supremo added: “It was just one of those games.

“Lanark’s focus was on receiving the trophy.

“I’m quite sure Lanark would have liked to lift the trophy with a home win.

“They could have done us a favour but that is neither here nor there.

“We can’t rely on other teams to try and boost our chances of promotion.

“The mood in our camp is still quite buoyant and we are looking forward to this Saturday’s game.

“If we win it we are promoted so we have to go all out for the win.

“We can’t sit back and let them attack us.

“We just need to nullify their play all over the park.

“We need to go out with the right attitude and apply ourselves fully for 90 minutes to a man.”

This Saturday’s match will be Ian’s last as Rovers chairman before stepping down from the role.

“Hopefully I’ll be celebrating a promotion this weekend but it’s not the end of the world if we don’t.”