'You'll never see a freer header in your life' - Carluke Rovers co-boss Paul Davies frustrated as Royal Albert goalkeeper heads home in injury time to deny Carluke win

Carluke Rovers' Liam Motherwell appeared to be brought down in the box at Albert but no penalty was given (Pic by Kevin Ramage)Carluke Rovers' Liam Motherwell appeared to be brought down in the box at Albert but no penalty was given (Pic by Kevin Ramage)
Carluke Rovers' Liam Motherwell appeared to be brought down in the box at Albert but no penalty was given (Pic by Kevin Ramage)
In an incredible end to his first game as Carluke Rovers co-boss, Paul Davies was denied a win by a last gasp headed goal by Royal Albert goalkeeper Connor Blades.

Three minutes into injury time and with Rovers leading 3-2, an unmarked Blades rose to power home a corner from the right and spark wild celebrations from the Albert management on the touchline. Video footage of the goal has been viewed over 97,000 times on Twitter.

Gaffer Davies told the Carluke and Lanark Gazette: “The disappointing thing for me is there wasn’t a numerical advantage for Royal Albert there.

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"They kept a man back and we just hadn’t set. It’s not as if the boy has ghosted into the box, you’ll never have a freer header than that in your life.

"We were just not picking up. We were just standing in the six-yard box, not ready to deal with the ball.

"I’m very disappointed, as were the players who knew it was two points dropped.”

Prior to that incredible finish, Rovers had gone 1-0 down after six minutes when Taylor Jessimer was harshly penalised for handball in the box and Adam Hill scored from the penalty spot.

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"The penalty was harsh because Taylor's arm was by his side when the ball hit him,” Davies said. “So I don’t know what he can do with his arm.”

There was then further controversy on 60 minutes when Rovers’ Liam Motherwell appeared to be clearly brought down in the penalty area by the Albert keeper but the referee waved play on and booked Motherwell for diving.

"For me it was a stonewall penalty,” Davies added. “It was right in front of me and clear contact was made.”

But Carluke did level within three minutes when Christy Lawlor shot home, before swiftly going 2-1 up through Dylan Duddy’s penalty after James Frame had been brought down.

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Michael Barton’s side footer made it 3-1 Rovers on 70 minutes, before Albert pulled one back through Matthew Webb to make it an edgy final quarter of an hour for the visitors.

Then came the incredible finish when keeper Blades headed in from the stoppage time corner.

"We dominated the game in the second half and were under no pressure,” Davies said.

"But Royal Albert were resilient. They worked hard, they never gave up and we couldn’t shake them off even though we had more of the possession and played really good football in spells.”

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Davies, who with fellow co-boss Craig Gupwell has been in charge at Carluke since February, led Rovers’ first game in five weeks and it could scarcely have been more dramatic.

"I’m disappointed Carluke haven’t come away with maximum points,” Davies said. “However, Carluke haven’t won in 2022.

"So to get a point after the run they’d been on is at least something.”

Davies and Gupwell will return to their old club Newmains United this Saturday for Rovers’ final league game of the campaign.

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