CARNOUSTIE Panmure’s programmed G.A. Engineering first round tie against Lochee Harp on Saturday was postponed after a 10.30 a.m. inspection revealed the Beechwood Park pitch to be badly waterlogged and totally unplayable.
Gowfers’ manager Ian Gilzean, however, got together with his Harp counterpart Mike Kelly and they hastily arranged a friendly on the artificial surface at the Dundee International Sports Centre (DISC).
For the match, the boss made several changes to the side that had triumphed over Musselburgh the previous week. Danny Millar was unavailable and Brian Clark had picked up a foot injury in mid-week so Steven Narey, Josh Perera, Mike McIlravey and Harry Neave were all on from the start, with Graeme Dailly and Marc Scott dropping to the bench where they were joined by trialist Ben Cushnie and assistant manager Graeme Christie.
The Gowfers kicked off and had a half-chance after only two minutes when McIlravey ran on to a through ball, but he put his shot wide of Bell’s right-hand post. They came close again a few minutes later when Neave tried a shot from wide on the right, but the ball struck the top of the bar with the ‘keeper well beaten.
In eight minutes it was Harp’s turn to come close when a Craig free kick, from some 30 yards out found Mann who powered in a header, but Macpherson got up well to touch it over the bar for a fruitless corner.
Three minutes later Neave took a pass from Roberts and fired off a shot, but Bell brought off a good save to keep the scoresheet blank.
The Gowfers were doing most of the attacking and deservedly took the lead after 17 minutes when the ball came through to NEAVE and he drilled it past Bell, giving the ‘keeper no chance. They pressed forward again through McIlravey who took the ball to the bye-line then fired it across the face of the goal, but there was no Carnoustie player far enough up to get a touch on it.
The Gowfers doubled their lead in 34 minutes when Perera took the ball up the right and played it in to McILRAVEY who volleyed it first time past Bell, into the net.
Half-time: Lochee Harp 0, Carnoustie Panmure 2.
Within a minute of the restart Harp nearly reduced the leeway when Storrier took a pass from Craig and fired off a rocket shot which went narrowly over the top.
Carnoustie went further ahead in 51 minutes when McIlravey took the ball down the right and played the it to PERERA who made no mistake from 12 yards. Ten minutes later they scored a fourth when MARC SCOTT ran on to a through ball and, spotting the ‘keeper off his line, coolly lobbed it over his head and into the net.
The Gowfers continued to press forward and had several chance to incease their lead before finally ‘going nap’ in 72 minutes. Dailly fed the ball through to McILRAVEY who took it forward before slotting it past Bell.
Because of the tight schedule at the DISC, the game was played in two 40-minute halfs with virtually no half-time break and, with 82 minutes on the watch, the referee brought the match to a close.
Despite most of the match being played in a heavy drizzle, the players all considered it to be a worthwhile exercise and much better than training.
Lochee Harp: Bell, Gormley, Fotheringham, Christison, Millar, Paterson, Rooney, Craig, Mann, Storrier, Valentine. Substitutes, all used: M. Scott, Milne, Smith, Gallacher, Gray, Ellis and Brown (GK)
Carnoustie Panmure: Macpherson, Cook, Ferguson, Narey, Young, Robertson, L. Scott, Roberts, Perera, McIlravey, Neave. Substitutes, all used: Cushnie (T), Dailly, Christie and Marc Scott.
Referee: Mr Chris McNab, Glenrothes.
Tomorrow, Saturday, after two weeks on the road the Gowfers are back on home turf when they welcome Dundonald Bluebell to Laing Park in the second round of the Scottish Junior Cup, sponsored by Emirates Airways.
This will be the second time the pair have clashed in the national competition, with the last one being back on December 2, 2006, when the Fifers ran out 2-1 winners in the third round.
The match gets under way at 2.30 p.m. and should they finish all square after 90 minutes, then it’s on to Moorside Park, Cardenden for a replay the following week.
P W L D F A Pts
Linlithgow 6 6 0 0 20 7 18
Bo’ness 6 4 1 1 16 10 12
Kelty 4 3 1 0 14 6 9
Hill of Beath 6 3 3 0 8 12 9
Broxburn 6 2 3 1 10 8 7
Bonnyrigg 5 2 2 1 12 11 7
Sauchie 5 2 2 1 10 10 7
Carnoustie 5 2 2 1 6 8 7
Camelon 5 2 3 0 10 10 6
St Andrews 6 1 4 1 8 21 4
Lochee 3 0 1 2 5 8 2
Musselburgh 6 0 4 2 6 13 2