Three and easy as ’Vale keep up title challenge

Ross Hepburn celebrates after putting Rossvale one up against Carluke
Ross Hepburn celebrates after putting Rossvale one up against Carluke

Managerless Rossvale maintained their promotion push with a fine 3-0 win over Carluke Rovers at Petershill Park on Saturday.

They made their intentions clear from the first minute as Alex Cassells fired over after getting on the end of a Jay McKay cutback.

Carluke proved they weren’t just there to make up the numbers as a Chick McCole cross found Stephen Murray whose header smacked off the face of Jon Connolly’s cross bar.

Ross Hepburn gave Rossvale the lead on 26 minutes.

A looping ball forward from the Rossvale defence was expertly controlled and cushioned by McKay into the path of Cassells.

His right-foot shot bounced kindly for Hepburn just outside the six yard box and he rifled the ball high into the Carluke net, giving ’keeper Jonny Grier no chance.

Rossvale dominated the remainder of the first half and should have extended their lead through a couple of opportunities that fell to Fraser Team.

But they did go 2-0 up in the 57th minute when Cassells laid the ball into the path of Corey Irvine whose rasping shot from just outside the penalty area found the back of the net just inside Grier’s right hand post.

Cassells put the game beyond any doubt 11 minutes from time when Hepburn lofted the ball over the top of the Carluke defence and Cassells go there first to lift it over the onrushing Grier into the empty net.

To Carluke’s credit they never gave up and almost pulled one back with two minutes remaining when Ian Watt’s headed effort had Jon Connolly displaying the best of his agility with a finger tip save over the bar.

The win keeps Rossvale in third place in the Central First Division table, four points behind leaders Renfrew with three games in hand.