Kelty Hearts 4, Carnoustie Panmure 1
On Saturday, Carnoustie Panmure travelled to Central Park, in the Kingdom of Fife, to meet Kelty Hearts in the McBookie.com, East Superleague.
Manager Alan McSkimming was again short of personnel, with new signing, Luke McGeehan back home in Ireland, fellow student Daniel Neath in Sheffield and Roddy Black, also in Ireland, for the festive break.
John Roberts and Kev Cumming were both still carrying ankle knocks, Marc Kohler was off-shore and of course, long-term injury victim, Liam Scott was still unavailable.
The Gowfers made the worst possible start to the match when, with only three minutes on the watch, Ritchie ran on to a through ball and went down in the box after a clash with Buggins and the referee immediately pointed to the spot. O’REILLY took the kick and made no mistake.
Some minutes later the Fifers had the ball in the net again, but this time it was ruled offside and the Gowfers could breathe again. On the half-hour mark, the Gowfers had a half-chance to level matters, but McIlravey put his shot straight at Allison, who had no trouble making the save.
In 42 minutes the homesters doubled their lead after some good play involving Ritchie and O’GRADY, who tried a shot which was blocked away, but he reacted first and pounced on the loose ball and slotted it past Ferrie.
Half-time: Kelty Hearts 2, Carnoustie Panmure 0.
For the first minutes after the break, the Gowfers were giving a better account of themselves on what was a very heavy pitch and against a big, powerful home side, but in 54 minutes some slack defending allowed McCABE to slot home number three.
Carnoustie, to their credit, kept plugging on against the much more experienced Kelty side, without really troubling their ‘keeper, and suffered a further setback in 75 minutes when O’REILLY ran through to fire home his own second and his side’s fourth.
Five minutes later the Gowfers did reduce the leeway when BIRMINGHAM made a good run down the right, cut inside, before firing home from a tight angle.
Two minutes later they had a half-chance to add their second after McIlravey made a good run forward, beating two men, before trying a shot, but it was just off target and the ball flashed narrowly past the keeper’s left-hand post.
Moments later the referee brought the match to a close and the Gowfers had fallen to the league leaders, who looked like they are going to be very hard to beat in the run for the championship.
Carnoustie Panmure – Ferrie, Cook, Buggins, Millar, Kenneth, Simpson, Bews, S. Robertson, M. Scott, Smith, McIlravey. Substitutes – Birmingham, C. Robertson, R. Roache (trialist), Macpherson (GK).
As if having to play table-toppers, Kelty Hearts in their first game of 2015, wasn’t hard enough, things don’t get any easier for the Gowfers, as tomorrow (Saturday), they play host to second placed Newtongrange Star, in the McBookie.com, East Superleague.
‘Nitten’, who finished fourth in the table last season, are again going great guns with 10 wins, three draws and only one defeat in their 14 games played, to be three points adrift of Kelty with a game in hand.
When the Midlothian side last visited Laing Park, back on October 5, 2013, they won 2-0, to leave with all three points, and Alan McSkimming’s men will have to up their game somewhat to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen again. Tomorrow’s game will start at 1.45 p.m.
Results – Newtongrange Star 2, Penicuik Athletic 1; Linlithgow Rose 5, Sauchie Juniors 0; Kelty Hearts 4, Carnoustie Panmure 1; Boness United 3, Camelon Juniors 2.
P W D L F A Pts
Kelty Hearts 15 11 3 1 43 14 36
Newtongrange 14 10 3 1 30 12 33
Bo’ness Utd 13 8 3 3 32 14 27
Linlithgow 12 8 2 2 35 15 26
Bonnyrigg 14 7 2 5 32 27 23
Penicuik 15 6 5 4 22 21 23
Musselburgh 13 6 2 5 21 22 20
Sauchie 15 5 4 6 17 31 19
Broxburn 14 3 8 3 19 18 17
Hill of Beath 14 4 3 7 21 25 15
Camelon 17 3 4 10 18 34 13
Fauldhouse 13 2 5 6 20 25 11
Armadale Thi 13 2 3 8 17 30 9
Carnoustie 13 2 3 8 13 31 9
Lochee Utd 12 2 0 10 19 40 6
Ballingry 0 0 0 0 0 0 0