CARNOUSTIE Panmure were back on the road on Saturday when they travelled to meet Kelty Hearts in the ACA Sports East Super League.
For the game, manager Ian Gilzean was forced into making one change to the side that had started the previous week’s fixture against Bathgate. Scott Robertson sustained a bad ankle injury in Monday’s training session and his place was taken by Mark Matthew.
The Gowfers set the ball rolling playing down the slope on a pitch that was fairly soft as a result of heavy overnight rain and had an early chance when Watson chased a long through ball, but Fleming rushed from his line and was able to usher the ball behind for a goal kick. Two minutes later Hearts were awarded a free kick when Gates fouled Winiarski. The player took the kick himself and sent Smith away up the left where he sent the ball flashing across the face of the visitors’ goal, but with nobody getting a touch, the ball went out at the other side.
In five minutes, Young played C. Courts in but McCafferty rushed off his line and took the ball cleanly. The ‘keeper again came to the Gowfers’ rescue two minutes later when Young linked with Smith who fired in a great shot from the edge of the box, but McCafferty made a great save to touch the ball over the bar.
C. Courts took the corner and found Winiarski, but he directed his header straight at McCafferty. At the other end, Hendry tried to play Watson in, but again Fleming rushed out to claim the ball, before the visitors’ front man could get a touch.
The homesters then had a half-chance when Winiarski won a corner off Millar and Smith picked out T. Courts with his kick. He headed the ball back across the face of the goal to McCabe, but he sent his header over the top.
In 21 minutes Matthew was booked for a rather innocuous looking tackle on J. Clark and two minutes later Duffin was booked for a foul on McIlravey. A long ball forward by Hendry, in 26 minutes, found Watson who beat Kay then fired in a shot, but Fleming had no trouble making the save.
The home team was then awarded a free kick just on halfway which was taken by Kay and found Mauchlin. He fed the ball through to McCabe, but before he could get in a shot Millar made a great tackle and cleared the ball downfield. It was picked up by Duffin who hit it back into the Carnoustie box finding Young, but his free header was brilliantly touched over by McCafferty.
Millar then had two great clearing headers, firstly from a Smith corner then from the same player’s cross into the box. Just a minute later the Gowfers were dealt a massive blow when McCafferty came off his line to clear a ball and went down injured. It was obvious that, even after considerable treatment, he couldn’t continue and Jamieson came on to take his place.
The new ‘keeper was immediately called into action, first punching away a McCabe shot then, when the ball fell to the same player, getting down well to stop a low drive.
In 38 minutes Hendry sent in a free kick trying to find Perera, but again Fleming was quick off his line to take the ball cleanly. From his kick-out Gates went on a great run down the left almost to the bye-line and sent in a good cross which was just a shade too high for McIlravey to get his head to it.
Carnoustie continued to push and they were nearly rewarded when Matthew linked with Perera who fired in a low drive and Fleming saved at the second attempt. Right on the whistle McIlravey made a good run forward and sent in a cross, but unfortunately there was no player there to make any contact and the ball went out for a goal kick.
Half-time: Kelty Hearts 0, Carnoustie Panmure 0.
The homesters got the second half under way, but the first chance went to Carnoustie when B. Clark sent in a deep cross looking for Watson. However, as had happened on a few occasions throughout the match, Fleming was alert to the danger and came out quickly to intercept.
The Gowfers came close to breaking the deadlock in 51 minutes after Matthew took a pass from McIlravey then fired in a great shot, but Fleming got up to make an equally great save.
Play was stopped for a few minutes after a clash of heads between McCabe and Perera, with the Kelty player having to go off for treatment before being able to carry on. From a Fleming kick-out, C. Courts won a corner off Millar and found Young with his kick, but the Kelty man blasted the ball high over the bar.
In 57 minutes Carnoustie made their second change with Matthew coming off to make way for Cook. Next minute the homesters had a chance when a cross from Smith landed in the Gowfers’ goalmouth. The danger was only partially cleared and the ball fell to McCabe who blasted it back in. Only a joint effort by Millar and Hendry cleared the danger.
The Gowfers thought they had a great penalty claim on the hour mark after Perera went down under a challenge from a Hearts defender, when trying to get on the end of Watson cross, but the referee saw nothing wrong and waved play on.
In 69 minutes Kelty made their first change with Young being replaced by Meikle. Still the Gowfers kept plugging away and again had a chance when McIlravey got on the end of a Gates cross, but his shot cannoned off T. Courts and away to safety.
At the other end only a brilliant save by Jamieson stopped Kelty taking the lead after Mauchlin laid the ball off to Smith who fired in a low shot.
Nine minutes from the end the Gowfers made the breakthrough. Cook played the ball through to ROBERTS and he took a couple of steps then hit a rocket shot into the net from all of 25 yards.
Mauchlin was shown a yellow card a minute later after chopping down Clark. Hendry took the kick into the Kelty goalmouth finding Perera who cut round the full-back and laid the ball back to Watson, but the Carnoustie man delayed a shade to long and the ‘keeper dropped to smother his shot.
With the whistle due to sound Kelty sent Forbes on for Mauchlin and two minutes later Hendry played a long ball through to WATSON who took it round the advancing Fleming, who for once seemed slow to come off his line, then stroked it into the empty net and three more valuable points were in the bag.
Kelty Hearts: Fleming, Winiarski, Duffin, T. Courts, Kay, J. Clark, Smith, McCabe, C. Courts, Mauchlin (Forbes 91), Young (Meikle 69). Substitutes not used: King, Henderson, Penman, Newbigging and Hunter (gk).
Carnoustie Panmure: McCafferty (Jamieson 31), Hendry, Gates, Matthew (Cook 57), Millar, Tonner, McIlravey, Roberts, Watson, Perera, B. Clark. Substitutes not used: Narey, Johnson and Ferguson.
Referee: Mr Michael Taylor, Edinburgh.
After two weeks on the road, tomorrow (Saturday) the Gowfers are back on home turf as they play host to Musselburgh Athletic in the ACA Sports East Super League.
The Lothian side now occupies the bottom of the league position two points behind the Gowfers with one more game played, so this game takes on the mantle of the proverbial ‘six-pointer’.
The match gets under way at 2.30 p.m.
ACA Sports East Super League
P W L D F A Pts
Linlithgow 20 10 5 5 42 32 35
Hill o Beath 16 9 3 4 35 19 31
Bonnyrigg 14 8 2 4 39 20 28
Bo’ness 15 7 3 5 23 15 26
Camelon 19 7 8 4 30 28 25
Kelty 18 7 7 4 22 23 25
St Andrews 18 6 9 3 26 36 21
Bathgate 20 5 9 6 27 48 21
Lochee 17 5 9 3 25 31 18
Panmure 16 4 7 5 28 34 17
Musselburgh 17 4 10 3 33 44 15