Rovers clinch away win with a late goal


Ian Mcknight

Car­luke Rovers’ Craig Gri­er­son was re­warded for a re­lent­less per­for­mance at Ash­field when he net­ted the win­ning goal near the end.

The vis­i­tors were dealt a huge dou­ble blow be­fore a ball was even kicked on Satur­day.

Just be­fore they started, striker Ciaran Laf­ferty re­ported sick, while cap­tain Mark Weir pulled up dur­ing the warmup with a calf prob­lem.

Ross Mac­neil and Do­minic Chiedu came into the start­ing line-up on a slip­pery sur­face which the home side set­tled onto more com­fort­ably than Car­luke.

On 15 min­utes Rovers re­ceived a warn­ing of things to come when Dave Cher­rie dived low to his left to turn a close- range shot round the post af­ter the Rovers de­fence failed to cut off the sup­ply of crosses into their box.

Rovers again failed to heed the warn­ings two min­utes later when Ash­field’s un­marked striker was pre­sented with a free header in­side the six-yard box which he flashed across the face of goal for his fel­low striker to tap home the opener.

Rovers had rarely threat­ened the home side’s goal, cre­at­ing their first real scor­ing chance af­ter 35 min­utes when Chedu threaded a pass to Mcneil on the edge of the box with his snatched shot hit­ting the side-net­ting.

Ash­field went two ahead with eight min­utes of the first half re­main­ing fol­low­ing another deep cross from the right to Rovers back post. That was headed down to the feet of an Ash­field striker who stroked the ball in from 12 yards.

With sec­onds re­main­ing in the first half Cher­rie pulled off a fan­tas­tic re­ac­tion save when he tipped a 25-yard net­bound shot round the post.

Rovers pulled a goal back straight from the restart as the ball was passed back to the home side’s keeper who was unaware of Eddie Ha­ley sprint­ing to­wards him. Ha­ley poked the ball through his legs to claw one back.

The goal seemed to in­ject be­lief into the whole Rovers side with Gri­er­son tire­lessly run­ning at the Ash­field de­fence and link­ing the play freely from mid­field.

With Rovers now mount­ing at­tack af­ter at­tack they scored an equaliser on 75 min­utes when Gri­er­son set Fitz­patrick free down the right wing, and his cross met the head of Sam Big­gart who an­gled his header into the net.

With 10 min­utes re­main­ing, Rovers snatched the win when Gri­er­son fin­ished off a well con­structed at­tack.

Win­ning strike Craig Gri­er­son (Pic by Kevin Ra­m­age)

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