AFTER two weeks on the road, Carnoustie Panmure were back on home soil on Saturday when they played host to Kelty Hearts in the McBookie.com East Super League.
With manager Ian Gilzean on holiday, team matters were in the hands of assistant manager Graeme Christie and coach Alan McSkimming who made four changes to the side which had had won at Brechin Vics the previous week.
On loan ‘keeper Joe McGovern dislocated a shoulder while training with Dundee United on Friday, so Chris McPherson was back between the sticks. Joining him in the starting line-up were Stuart Ferguson, Scott Robertson and Graeme Dailly, while Steven Narey, Mike Mcilravey and Josh Perera dropped to the bench where they were joined by trialist Cameron Stephen, and trialist ‘keeper Paul Findlay.
Kelty kicked off, but Carnoustie, with the wind in their favour, were first to show with a free kick by Clark from 40 yards out which was headed behind by Duffin. Clark’s kick was punched out for a throw by the ‘keeper. Ferguson sent the ball to L. Scott, but although he got a shot off, it went wide of the post.
Forbes and Robertson both required treatment after a clash of heads, but both were able to carry on. The Gowfers kept pressing and came close twice. The first effort was by Dailly who tried a shot from 25 yards which went high. Then L. Scott laid a ball off to Roberts who hit a shot again from 25 yards out, but the ‘keeper did well to touch his drive over the top for a fruitless corner.
Clark then put a great ball through for Ferguson to chase but it was too strong and carried out for a goal kick. Kelty finally came into the game when Smith put Cargill through but he was well offside.
Dailly was fouled by H. McCabe and recovered after some treatment. The visitors were awarded a free kick for a Roberts foul on Ritchie and Smith swung in a dangerous looking free kick, but Millar stepped in to clear well. Another great crossfield ball by Smith to Philip gave Kelty a chance, but his fierce drive was punched away by McPherson.
T. Courts picked up the first yellow card of the game for a foul on M. Scott. Hesitation by Young just outside the Carnoustie box gave the Fifers another chance allowing Philip to put D. Gray through, but his shot went right across the goal and out the far side for a goal kick.
At the other end, Carnoustie almost took the lead when Robertson laid a ball back to Ferguson who was all of 35 yards out, but his powerful drive struck the bar and came down for Duffin to clear.
The Gowfers kept the pressure up and a Robertson cross was just too strong for Dailly to get a touch and knock it home, but in 43 minutes they took a deserved lead. A long ball by Robertson was chased by DAILLY and as the ‘keeper came out he chipped the ball over him and into the empty net.
Half-time: Carnoustie Panmure 1, Kelty Hearts 0.
The visitors started the second half quickly and straightaway Cargill was put through by C. Courts, but he shot weakly at McPherson. C. Courts then took a long throw for D. Gray to head on into the box, but it was easily held by McPherson.
IN 58 minutes L. Scott was booked for a foul on Smith who took the resulting free-kick himself, but his shot was well over the top.
The home team came close when M. Scott burst through the Kelty defence into the box, but the ‘keeper was alert and blocked his shot well.
In 63 minutes Carnoustie made their first change with L. Scott being replaced by McIlravey. The visitors continued to press hard and a C. Courts cross was cleared out for a corner by Millar. When Smith swung in the kick, Young was there to clear the danger with a strong header up the park.
Robertson then lost possession to Cargill 30 yards out, but his low shot went past the post. A Smith effort, again from about 30 yards, was turned past by McPherson who then held C. Courts’ corner.
Then it was Carnoustie’s turn to press and McIlravey made a driving run into the box and shot, but Fleming made a fine save to deny him. In 76 minutes Roberts was booked for a foul on Ritchie and a minute later Philip was replaced by A. Gray.
C. Courts made a driving run into the home box, but McPherson made a brave save at his feet and required treatment for a leg knock, but was able to carry on.
In 81 minutes M. Scott was replaced by Perera and Winiarski took over from T. Courts . A high ball into the Gowfers’ box by Smith put the defence under pressure, but McPherson showed a safe pair of hands to hold well.
The visitors were throwing everything at Carnoustie in an effort to get an equaliser and Perera had to get back in defence to head clear a Smith corner. H. McCabe then fired a long ball through, but Duffin had run offside and the attack was stopped.
Kelty were awarded a corner in the dying seconds and even their ‘keeper charged upfield into Carnoustie’s box, but the defence stood firm and McPherson held on to the ball safely for an excellent Carnoustie win.
Carnoustie Panmure: McPherson, Cook, Ferguson, Millar, Young, Robertson, M. Scott (Perera 81), Roberts, Dailly, L. Scott (McIlravey 63), Clark. Substitutes not used: Narey, Stephen (T), and Findlay (gk T).
Kelty Hearts: Fleming, Philip (A. Gray 77), Forbes, T. Courts (Winiarski 81), Duffin, Ritchie, Smith, H. McCabe, C. Courts, D. Gray, Cargill. Substitutes not used: N. McCabe, Penman and Lunn (gk).
Referee: Mr Mike Runcone, Monifieth.
Matchball sponsor: Brunton Design Studio, Carnoustie
Tomorrow (Saturday) the Gowfers are back on the road but won’t be heading to Bonnyrigg Rose as they originally thought. With the Lothians club having several players on international duty, they have exercised their option to postpone their league game and so the Gowfers will head instead for Olive Bank Stadium to meet Musselburgh Athletic in the McBookie.com East Super League.
Musselburgh finished last season just a point above the Gowfers and with both sides having made several changes to their player pools, tomorrow’s game looks set to be a close encounter. Kick-off is scheduled for 2.30 p.m.
McBookie.com East Super League
P W L D F A Pts
Linlithgow 5 5 0 0 16 6 15
Bonnyrigg 4 2 1 1 10 7 7
Sauchie 4 2 1 1 9 8 7
Kelty Hearts 3 2 1 0 10 6 6
Camelon 5 2 3 0 10 10 6
Bo’ness 4 2 1 1 6 7 6
Hill of Beath 4 2 2 0 6 8 6
Broxburn 5 1 3 1 7 8 4
Carnoustie 4 1 2 1 4 7 4
St Andrews 4 1 2 1 6 11 4
Musselburgh 4 0 2 2 5 7 2
Lochee United 3 0 1 2 5 8 2