Mark Weir exclusive: Carluke Rovers can win newly launched Breathing Space Cup

Carluke Rovers gaffer Mark Weir sees no reason why his side can’t win the newly-launched Breathing Space Cup after Saturday’s 5-1 home thumping of Royal Albert in their second game of the pre-season mini-league.
Mark Weir (1st right) surveys the action during Saturday's 5-1 thumping of Royal Albert (Pic by Kevin Ramage)Mark Weir (1st right) surveys the action during Saturday's 5-1 thumping of Royal Albert (Pic by Kevin Ramage)
Mark Weir (1st right) surveys the action during Saturday's 5-1 thumping of Royal Albert (Pic by Kevin Ramage)

Weir, whose troops romped home thanks to Kalvin Hill’s hat-trick to add to earlier strikes by Steven Frame (2), has Carluke second in the table just a point behind leaders Bellshill Athletic.

In a cut-throat division, Newmains United, Lesmahagow Juniors and Royal Albert are also sitting on three points from two games, with Forth Wanderers bottom on one point.

"I think it will go down to the wire, down to the last game,” Weir told the Carluke and Lanark Gazette.

"It’s all derby games and everybody is encouraged by the fact that there is a wee trophy at the end.

"We’ll be going to look and win every game now. If we can keep getting that level of performance, I don’t see why we can’t lift the trophy at the end of June.”

The performance of hat-trick hero Hill – newly signed from Kirkintilloch Rob Roy under-20s – was an obvious highlight for Carluke but he wasn’t alone in producing a fine display.

"Kalvin’s confidence will hopefully now be sky high,” Weir said. “Because I think that’s all he was lacking was getting a goal.

"I can’t fault his overall play. He was chasing down, tracking back. For a young boy to come into my squad and give me that performance was superb.

"He has hit the ground running and to link up with Steven Frame, who has a wee bit more experience, was excellent. They are starting to come along as a pair which is delightful for myself and Kenny.

“I can’t fault all the guys. The first half performance was superb off everybody.

"We kept the ball down and played the way myself and my assistant Kenny Neill are looking to play which was great. It dipped a wee bit in the second half but I’ll take that result and performance every Saturday.”

Weir said his side face another tough game in the mini league this Saturday, with Forth the visitors to John Cumming Stadium for a 2pm kick-off.

"I’’ll be giving all the guys game time and looking for another victory,” Weir said.

Last weekend’s win over Albert saw Carluke open the scoring after just eight minutes. Although Frame’s initial penalty was saved, he converted the rebound.

Frame shot home the hosts’ second on 16 minutes before it was 3-0 on 29 minutes when Hill shot home after an initial effort had rebounded back off the bar.

Frame bulleted home a Duddy corner on 69 minutes for 4-0 and then rounded the keeper before slotting home the fifth two minutes from the end.

Albert netted a last gasp consolation effort but it was a great day for Rovers.