Dundee Downfield 2, Carnoustie Panmure 2
Downfield won 4-2 on penalties
CARNOUSTIE Panmure made a shock early exit from this season’s John Walker East of Scotland Cup after losing 4-2 on penalties to Premier League new boys Dundee Downfield in a first round tie at Downfield Park on Saturday afternoon.
Gowfers’ manager Ian Gilzean was unavailable for the tie and entrusted team matters to his assistant Graeme Christie, whose starting 11 was unchanged from that which faced Linlithgow Rose the previous week. Bench spots went to Scott Gates, Kevin Cumming, Mark Matthew and Josh Perera.
Downfield kicked-off playing down the slight slope on a surface very wet as a result of heavy overnight rain.
The first half-chance of the match came Carnoustie’s way from a Clark corner in four minutes. Millar got a slight touch to the ball with his head, but ‘keeper Thain clutched it safely.
Three minutes later, Downfield had a half-chance of their own at the other end after a Payne shot was only partially cleared by the Gowfers’ defence. The loose ball broke to K. Scott, who fired it back in, but McCafferty got down well to make the save.
At this stage, Downfield were doing most of the pressing and Carnoustie had a scare in 20 minutes when a Gormley cross picked out Bremner, whose header struck the top of the crossbar and went over.
From McCafferty’s goal kick, McIlravey made a good run forward and won a corner off Deuchars. Clark played the ball to the near post where Millar got to it ahead of Reilly, but knocked his effort just wide of Thain’s left-hand upright.
With half an hour on the watch, Downfield came the closest yet to opening the scoring. Roberts lost the ball to K. Scott, who took a couple of steps before drilling in a shot, which struck McCafferty’s left-hand post and skidded across the face of the goal before being thumped clear by McIlravey.
As play surged to the other end, Cook got a touch to a low driven cross from Milne, but Thain brought off a great save to keep his charge intact.
The Gowfers continued to press and in 36 minutes Clark won a corner off Tront out on the right. Clark took the kick and played the ball to the far side to Narey, who hooked it back in, but Thain got up to take it cleanly.
Four minutes later, a Narey shot was parried away by Thain, but COOK, following up, knocked the loose ball home to give Carnoustie the lead.
Half-time: Dundee Downfield 0, Carnoustie Panmure 1.
As the second half got underway, the heavy rain, which had started midway through the opening period, continued to fall, making the already saturated surface even slippier and more difficult for the players.
In 48 minutes, Downfield made a change with M. Scott replacing Vannet.
Carnoustie were rocked back on their heels seven minutes later when a Gormley cross from the home left found TRONT, who fired the ball into the roof of the net to level the tie.
Two minutes later, the Gowfers made a double substitution with Cook and McIlravey making way for Cumming and Gates.
In 69 minutes the Gowfers regained the lead when Clark fed MILNE, who beat the offside trap and ran forward into the box before firing the ball past Thain into the net. Five minutes later, the Spiders made a second change with Murray going on to replace Esposito.
In 83 minutes, the tie was all square again after MURRAY made a great run through the Gowfers’ defence before drilling the ball home.
Carnoustie’s third and final substitution saw Perera replace Clark in 85 minutes.
With only two minutes of regulation time remaining, Downfield almost snatched the winner, but McCafferty pulled off a superb double save to keep the Gowfers’ hopes alive.
In stoppage time, Downfield were awarded a throw-in, but Milne disagreed with the referee’s decision and earned himself a yellow card for his protestations.
Moments later, the match official brought the tie to a close and it was on to kicks from the penalty spot to settle the issue.
K. SCOTT made no mistake with Downfield’s first, and GATES did likewise for Carnoustie.
TRONT then netted for the Spiders, as did TONNER for the Gowfers.
Downfield’s third was scored by COX, but Milne shot wide of Thain’s left-hand post to hand the advantage to the homesters.
MURRAY duly slotted home the Spiders’ fourth and when Narey crashed his kick off the ‘keeper’s left-hand upright, Carnoustie were out of the competition.
Dundee Downfield - Thain, Reilly, Gormley, Cox, Deuchars, Tront, Esposito (Murray 74), Vannet (M. Scott 48), K. Scott, Payne, Bremner. Substitutes, not used - Martin, Ross, Lindsay.
Carnoustie Panmure - McCafferty, Tonner, Roberts, Millar, Narey, Hendry, McIlravey (Gates 57), Robertson, Clark (Perera 85), Milne, Cook (Cumming 57). Substitute, not used - Matthew.
Referee: K. Shroeder, Dundee.
Tomorrow (Saturday), Carnoustie are away to fellow promoted side St Andrews United in the ACA Sports East Super League.
In the corresponding fixture last season, the Fifers ran out 2-1 winners, so the Gowfers will be out for revenge in order to remain close to the top of the table.
Kick-off time at Recreation Park is scheduled for 2.30 p.m.
The Gowfers’ Supporters’ Club bus to St Andrews leaves from the Stag’s Head at 12.30 p.m.