Carluke Rovers 0-5 Thorniewood United: Heavy home loss for John Cumming Stadium men

Carluke Rovers boss Mark Weir cursed the defensive “schoolboy errors” which cost his side dearly in Saturday’s 5-0 home defeat by Thorniewood United.

Rovers' Mark O'Reilly (left) tries to make inroads against Thorniewood (Pic by Kevin Ramage)

After a loss which leaves Rovers 11th in West of Scotland League Conference B with 17 points from 19 games, Weir told the Carluke and Lanark Gazette: “We started off very well but I’ve been saying this since I first started speaking to you, it’s the goals we are giving away that’s costing us.

"It’s schoolboy error goals, not marking our men running off us and it’s just crazy goals we’re giving away.

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"Not taking it away from Thorniewood, I thought their two guys up top were a handful the full 90 minutes.”

After weathering early attacks by Carluke, Thorniewood broke the first half deadlock within 10 minutes at John Cumming Stadium when Lewis Archer’s cross was turned into his own net by luckless Rovers defender Christy Lawlor.

It was 2-0 when fine football by Darren Bowie preceded Small finishing well.

Archer, who was particularly impressive for Thorniewood, then turned provider again when his delivery was finished by Small.

A repeat performance for the next goal – an Archer cross being shot home by Small – then ended the first half with the visitors four goals up.

And ’Wood added their fifth goal on the hour mark when Brown shot home.

“Giving a team a four-goal start at half-time, you’re up against it right away,” Weir added.

"Second half performance was a lot better but it’s still not good enough.”

Although Weir expects to again be struggling with injuries to key players for this Saturday’s league trip to Kello Rovers, KO 1.30pm, he has at least been boosted by the return of skipper Mark Cassidy to training after a long term achilles injury.

"It’s a boost that Mark has returned to training but how close he is to playing again I can’t tell,” Weir said.

"It just depends how he reacts in being back involved with the rest of the squad.

"They’re all tricky games but Kello are directly below us (five points behind) so this game is massive,” Weir said.

"We had a nice cushion, a nice gap, between us. But they are gradually creeping up behind us now.

"I know they’ve got three games in hand over us so Saturday’s game’s a cup final to us.

"The main area I’m concentrating on now is trying to make us better defensively.

"I’m trying to bring new signings in, especially centre halves. I think I’ve phoned every club in Lanarkshire, asking about every guy who plays in that position.

"They’re either happy where they are or – with the long layoff – some players have turned to other sports or they’re not playing football just now.

"It’s not just myself, I take it that every other club is in the same kind of boat.”

Carluke’s local rivals Forth Wanderers – who didn’t have a competitive game last weekend – return to Conference A action at Girvan this Saturday, KO 1.30pm.