EAST of Scotland League side Whitehill Welfare provided the opposition for Carnoustie Panmure in their final pre-season friendly at Laing Park on Saturday afternoon.
Manager Ian Gilzean made two changes to the starting line-up which had faced Dundee United XI the previous week. John Roberts and Mike McIlravey were both on from the start with Stuart Ferguson and Kevin Milne dropping to the bench where they were joined by Josh Perera, John Tonner, Greg Beattie, and trialist Stephen Hegarty.
From the kick-off, Carnoustie played the ball deep into the Whitehill half, but it was collected safely by ‘keeper Tansey, who immediately launched a long punt back upfield. Robertson was weak with a headed backpass towards his own goal and the in-rushing GORMLEY was quick to pounce, blasting the ball past McCafferty with only a minute on the watch.
Shortly afterwards, Hendry had a chance to get the Gowfers back on level terms, but shot well past from the edge of the box.
Whitehill continued to dominate and doubled their lead in 14 minutes. Hall’s long cross-field pass from right to left found GORMLEY, who beat Narey for pace and from the corner of the box fired across McCafferty into the net.
Despite being two goals down, Carnoustie kept plugging away and reduced the leeway in 22 minutes. Clark fed the ball out to the left from where Gates put in a fine cross to MCILRAVEY, who headed low past Tansey from six yards.
Moments later, the Gowfers almost drew level following another Gates cross from the left, but Clark’s shot was well held by the ‘keeper.
Whitehill stepped up a gear in response and in 30 minutes a Manson 20-yard effort flashed just wide of McCafferty’s left-hand post.
However, five minutes later, the visitors did succeed in restoring their two-goal advantage when MCINTOSH cut in from the left and fired past McCafferty into the far corner of the net.
In 41 minutes, Whitehill were awarded a free kick 35 yards out. HERD blasted the ball over the defensive wall and high into the roof of the net for Welfare’s fourth.
Half-time: Carnoustie Panmure 1, Whitehill Welfare 4.
Carnoustie resumed with Perera, Tonner, Milne and Ferguson on for Narey, Millar, Hendry and McIlravey.
In 54 minutes, the Gowfers pulled a goal back when good play by Perera at the edge of the box created an opening for MILNE, who beat Tansey just inside his right-hand post from 15 yards.
Carnoustie now went in search of further goals, but were again caught on the break in 62 minutes. A long punt forward deceived Cook and as the ball dropped over his head, MCINTOSH was presented with an open goal and powered a shot past McCafferty, giving the ‘keeper no chance.
Shortly afterwards, the Gowfers made a double substitution with Beattie and Steven Hegarty replacing Robertson and Cumming.
Whitehill remained on top and Kidd should have added to the scoreline, but shot straight at McCafferty, who saved easily.
Right on the final whistle, Ferguson came close for Carnoustie with a fierce drive from just outside the box, but Tansey touched the ball over for a fruitless corner.
Carnoustie Panmure - McCafferty, Narey, Roberts, Millar, Robertson, Hendry, Cook, Cumming, Clark, McIlravey, Gates. Substitutes, all used - Perera, Tonner, Ferguson, Milne, Beattie, Hegarty.
Whitehill Welfare - Tansey, Hall, Robertson, Young, Thom, Kidd, McIntosh, Herd, Gormley, Manson, Sproule. Substitutes - Taylor, Sommerville, Trialist.
Referee: P. Reid, Edinburgh.
Carnoustie Panmure 6,
Forfar West End 1
CARNOUSTIE Panmure began their D.J. Laing League Cup campaign with a resounding 6-1 home victory over fellow East Super League side Forfar West End at Laing Park on Wednesday evening.
CLARK (17, 51, 52 and 86 mins), MCILRAVEY (39 minutes) and HENDRY (61 minutes) were on target for the Gowfers, while trialist D. ROMILLY (91 mins) snatched a late consolation counter for West End.
Carnoustie Panmure - McCafferty, Tonner, Roberts, Millar, Robertson, Hendry, Cook, Perera, Clark, McIlravey, Gates. Substitutes - Narey, Beattie, Cumming, Christie.
Forfar West End - Burns (T), Dempster (T), Blair, Low, Black, Sturrock, Al-Saftar, Duncan, D. Romilly (T), M. Romilly (T), Fyfe. Substitutes - McVicar, Hardie (T), McIntosh (T), Wylie (T).
Referee: R. McIntyre, Dundee.
Match-ball sponsor, Carnoustie Golf Shop.
CARNOUSTIE Panmure manager Ian Gilzean believes that pre-season upsets will make his squad stronger and more resolute.
Speaking to GazetteSport on Tuesday he said he was more concerned about approaching games than past ones.
On the topic of losing 5-2 to Whitehill Welfare on Saturday he said: “At the moment it’s important that everyone gets some playing time, gets enough minutes and fitness under their belt.
“We need to give everyone a fair crack of the whip because you don’t know what will happen in the coming weeks.
“Whitehill were a good side. They were a little bit stronger and sharper than us, and are a few more games into their pre-season.”
Ian was sanguine, picking out the positives from the defeat. He said: “Kevin Milne is delighted to be back on the scoresheet where he belongs, that’s what he’s all about. Kev Cumming and Scott Gates did very well. Both of them had excellent games.”
Gates has become a focal point for goalscoring opportunities in the last two Panmure games, and Ian has high hopes for him in the coming campaign.
“He’s done well these last couple of games. He’s back to taking out defenders and playing the ball well up the park, but he needs to concentrate on his delivery, when that works he makes it easy for the forwards.
“Scott is looking sharp just now and hopefully he’ll play a big part for us this season.”
The Gowfers’ boss is now looking forward to what he considers the real challenges facing the team, the first competitive games.
The D.J. Laing League Cup fixture against Brechin Vics could also provide a thorny problem for the Gowfers, who have never played the East Region North Division squad before.
The manager said: “We’ve not played them before, so we’re heading into unknown territory there. Brechin have nothing to lose, so all the pressure is on us on Saturday.
“We can’t afford to treat this game lightly, as soon as you start doing that, you start losing.”
Tomorrow (Saturday), Carnoustie travel to Nursery Park for a D.J. Laing League Cup sectional tie against Brechin Vics with a 2.30 p.m. kick-off.
The Gowfers last visited the venue for a mid-season friendly on October 13, 2008, and returned home with a 2-0 win.