On Saturday Carnoustie Panmure were back on the hunt for points, when they played host to Clackmannanshire outfit, Sauchie Juniors, in the McBookie.com East Superleague.
When the committee lads arrived at the park, before 8 a.m., to make arrangements for the game, they found that, as a result of fairly heavy rain having fallen throughout Thursday night and well into Friday, that several parts of the pitch were rather soggy and therefore called for an official inspection.
This was carried out by referee, Mike Roncone, before 9 a.m. and when he gave it the thumbs up, the game was on.
For perhaps the first time this season, manager Alan McSkimming had a full pool to pick from, apart from the suspended Kev Cumming, and made several changes to the side that triumphed against Bathgate Thistle, the previous week.
Goalkeeper Chris Macpherson dropped to the bench as did John Roberts. Neal Ferrie took over between the sticks and Euan Buggins was on from the start. Joining Macpherson and Roberts on the bench were Roddy Black, Marc Scott and Greg Birmingham.
The Gowfers kicked off playing towards the town and could scarcely have made a worse start, as with only three minutes on the watch, Sime took the ball up the left then sent in a cross. Ferrie came off line then stopped and MORRISON nipped in to head the ball over his head, into the net, from eight yards.
In 10 minutes the Gowfers had a half chance to level matters, when Cook burst through and fired off a shot from 25 yards, but put the ball straight at Harkins who had no trouble making the save. Three minutes later the Gowfers had another chance and again it was Cook who was involved, firing in another low drive. This time the ‘keeper got down, but fumbled the ball at the first attempt then recovered and smothered it before any of the Gowfers’ players could take advantage.
In 18 minutes the Gowfers did draw level, after SMITH chased a long ball, got round the visitor’s defence, then lobbed it over the advancing Harkins, into the net. The homesters kept pushing forward and again came close in 28 minutes, when Smith fired in a fierce drive from 20 yards, only to see his netbound shot blocked away by Dolan, with Sime completing the clearance.
Five minutes later the Gowfers had another chance to edge in front, after Robertson was fouled by Samuel, on the edge of the box. Bews took the resultant free kick, but wasted the chance, blasting the ball high over the bar.
Soon after it was Sauchie who came close, after Wilson fed a low cross in to Morrison, who fired in a shot, but Robertson got up to head the ball off the line and it was cleared away downfield, by Millar.
In 38 minutes, the visitors regained the lead after Cook lost the ball in midfield to Kelly, who then played it through to MORRISON, who stroked it past Ferrie, from just inside the box. In 42 minutes Simpson became the first player to be shown a yellow card, this for comments made to the referee.
Half-time: Carnoustie Panmure 1, Sauchie Juniors 2.
The visitors set the ball rolling to start the second period and, with the wind at their backs, pushed downfield where Morgan tried a long-range shot, but put the ball straight at Ferrie, who had no trouble making the save.
In 52 minutes, the Gowfers came very close to getting back on level terms, after Neath sent in a great cross to McIlravey, at the back post, and he loosed off a shot, only to see it blocked off the line by King. Two minutes later, Neath played a good ball through to Smith, on the edge of the box, but before he could get off a shot, he was fouled by Kelly, who was booked for his trouble.
Robertson took the kick, but sent the ball well wide of Harkin’s left-hand post. In 64 minutes, the Gowfers made a change, with McIlravey going off to make way for M. Scott, and just two minutes later the visitors also made a change with McTaggart replacing Wilson and Black also replaced Bews, for the Gowfers.
In 70 minutes, the visitors won a free kick on the edge of the centre-circle when substitute Black fouled Morrison, within minutes of being on the park. McCulloch took the free kick, but sent it well wide of Ferrie’s right-hand post.
A minute later King became the third player to enter the referee’s book. M. Scott was causing all sorts of havoc in the Sauchie defence, with his numerous runs and in 75 minutes sent in a great cross to the back post where Smith fired in a shot, only to see Harkins bring off a great save, tipping the ball on to the post, from where it rebounded and was cleared by McCulloch.
A minute later, the visitors made their second change with Samuel going off to make way for Hendrie. In 80 minutes, the Gowfers were at last rewarded for all their pressure when Robertson sent in a good cross and M. SCOTT drove his shot past Harkins, into the net, giving the ‘keeper no chance.
Five minutes later, the Gowfers won another free kick in midfield, when M. Scott was brought down by Dolan. Robertson took the kick and sent the ball deep into the Sauchie box, but Sime got across to clear it away before a Gowfer’s player could get a vital touch. In 89 minutes McCulloch was booked for a foul on McGeehan. With the watch about to tick over into stoppage time, the Gowfers had a last half-chance when Smith played in a cross, from wide on the right, but M. Scott rather snatched at his shot and sent the ball well wide of Harkin’s right-hand post.
Seconds later the referee brought the match to a close and the Gowfers had won what could be a another priceless point in their battle to stay in the Superleague.
Carnoustie Panmure : Ferrie, Cook, Neath, Millar, Robertson, Buggins, McIlravey, Bews, McGeehan, Smith, Simpson. Substitutes – Black, M. Scott, Roberts, Birmingham and MacPherson (GK).
Sauchie Juniors: Harkins, Dolan, Sime, King, McCulloch, Morgan, Wilson, Morrison, Kelly, Diack, Samuel. Substitutes – Burns, McTaggart, Bownes, Hendrie, Dolan (GK)
Tomorrow (Saturday), Carnoustie the Gowfers are again on home soil, with the visitors this week being Newtongrange Star, for a tie in the McBookie.com East Superleague.
This game was first scheduled for January 10, but had to be postponed after heavy overnight rain left the Laing Park pitch totally unplayable. This will be the sides’ first meeting of the season and promises to be another severe test for Alan McSkimming’s men with “Nitten” currently sitting in third spot in the table, having had 10 wins, three draws and only two defeats in their 15 games played, scoring 30 goals, in the process, and conceding only 13.
When the Midlothians side last visited Laing Park on October 5, 2013, it was they who came out on top, with a 2-0 win, and this time round the Gowfers will no doubt be keen to avenge that defeat.
Tomorrow’s action is again scheduled to get under way at 2.30 p.m.
McBookie.com East Superleague
Results – Lochee United 2, Fauldhouse United 3; Carnoustie Panmure 2, Sauchie Juniors 2; Bonnyrigg Rose 0, Broxburn Athletic 1; Newtongrange Star 0, Kelty Hearts 1.
P W D L F A Pts
Kelty 21 16 4 1 53 16 52
Bo’ness 16 10 3 3 35 14 33
Newtongrange 15 10 3 2 30 13 33
Linlithgow 15 10 2 3 41 18 32
Penicuik 18 8 6 4 30 24 30
Bonnyrigg 19 8 3 8 37 37 27
Musselburgh 16 7 4 5 28 26 25
Broxburn 19 5 10 4 26 26 25
Sauchie 19 6 6 7 25 38 24
Hill of Beath 18 6 3 9 26 30 21
Fauldhouse 20 5 6 9 32 37 21
Camelon 18 4 4 10 20 35 16
Carnoustie 17 2 5 10 17 38 11
Armadale 17 2 3 12 22 40 9
Lochee 18 2 2 14 28 57 8
Ballingry 0 0 0 0 0 0 0