It does not quite rival Hibs’ lamentable Scottish Cup record, but Stow’s failure to win a South Cup is beginning to prove a major frustration for the Villagers, writes Kenny Paterson.
In the 27 years since Stow were founded, they are yet to lift the most important knockout contest to Borders amateur footballer outside of the Scottish Cup.
Their latest failure maybe the most disappointing of the lot, with Stow looking good in reaching the South Cup semi-finals only to put in one of their worst performances of the season at Vale of Leithen’s soaking Victoria Park.
Gutted Stow player/manager Paul Young has now set his side the challenge of beating Hawick Waverley in the Beveridge Cup this weekend to keep their season alive.
Young said: “Hawick Waverley is a massive game for us now, and if we perform like we did against Carluke, we could end the season with nothing.
“It was just an unacceptable performance.”
Ryan Clapperton almost opened the scoring for Stow within the first minute only for Graeme Young to make a superb last-ditch challenge.
James Runciman went close with a curling shot but it was Carluke who bagged the opener through Mustafa El-Zudaidi’s volley on 14 minutes.
Stow responded immediately as Jordan Steele struck the post with a low shot but the striker would get his angles right a minute later as he slide a shot into the bottom corner.
But Alan Morton slammed a 20 yard shot past Tom Kerr in the Stow goal on 18 minutes to restore Carluke’s lead.
Young almost grabbed a second equaliser on the half hour only for Carluke stopper Cameron Stewart to make a good block.
And at the other end, the Scottish Amateur Cup quarter finalists grabbed a third to give themselves breathing space when Craig Stewart beat three Stow defenders before slamming the ball home on 43 minutes.
Man-of-the-match Craig Stewart then set up the fourth when his pass allowed Scott Murphy to add a fourth goal on 62 minutes.
Three goals behind, Stow ran out of ideas and failed to test Cameron Stewart in a poor second half.