HEAVY overnight rain almost resulted in Carnoustie Panmure’s away fixture against Coupar Angus in the D.J. Laing League Cup on Saturday afternoon being switched to Laing Park.
However, the hosts’ Foxhall Park was declared playable after a 9 a.m. pitch inspection and the game went ahead at the Perthshire venue as originally planned.
Mike McIlravey and Kev Cumming were both on from the start for the Gowfers with Greg Beattie being unavailable and Josh Perera dropping to the bench where he was joined by Steven Cook and assistant manager Graeme Christie.
Carnoustie did most of the early pressing on the heavy surface and opened the scoring in nine minutes. GATES took a pass from Clark out on the left and advanced to the edge of the box before squeezing the ball home between ‘keeper Spence and the near post.
In 13 minutes, the Gowfers came close to adding a second when Milne fired the ball low and hard across the ‘keeper only to see it cannon off the left-hand post and be cleared away by McColl.
Cumming and Roberts both had shots saved by Spence before Carnoustie eventually doubled their lead in 20 minutes. McIlravey won possession in midfield and played a pass through to CLARK, who spotted the ‘keeper off his line and lobbed the ball over his head into the empty net.
Just a minute later it was three. Gates took the ball almost to the bye-line before seeing his cross flicked on by Milne to McILRAVEY, who scored from two yards.
From the restart, Coupar Angus surged forward and the ball fell to Cocker, but he squandered the opportunity by putting his shot high over the bar.
In the next home attack, Millar was forced to concede a corner, but F. Smith’s cross was punched away by McCafferty. The ball dropped out to McBride, whose snap shot from just outside the box was well saved by the Gowfers’ ‘keeper.
Carnoustie pushed forward once more and again came close in 33 minutes when Milne worked a neat one-two with Gates, then fired in a low shot, but Spence got down well to make a great save.
However, a minute later, the Gowfers did edge further ahead. Millar set up the chance with a good ball through to MILNE, who turned and smashed it past Spence from 20 yards.
The first booking of the match occurred in 42 minutes when the homesters’ McBride was shown the yellow card for comments made to the referee.
Half-time: Coupar Angus 0, Carnoustie Panmure 4.
On the restart, Carnoustie were again first to show and created a few early chances. The best of these came in 52 minutes when a Clark corner was only partially cleared by Rooney. Gates fired the ball back in, but sent it just wide of Spence’s left-hand upright.
In 57 minutes, Narey was replaced by Perera, and just a minute later Coupar Angus also made a change with Gray taking over from Cocker.
Duncan was booked in 63 minutes after referee Ferguson took exception to something the player had said.
Four minutes later, Duncan again had words with the referee and this time was shown a straight red card for foul and abusive language towards the match official.
Coupar Angus were now down to 10 and Carnoustie quickly made their extra man advantage tell by going nap in 69 minutes. Milne was fouled by substitute Gray inside the home box and from the resultant spot kick, GATES made no mistake, sending Spence the wrong way.
Two minutes later, GATES completed his second hat-trick in successive games when he crossed the ball from wide on the right and it found the back of the net off the inside of the ‘keeper’s right-hand post without anyone else getting a touch.
Coupar Angus made a second substitution in 73 minutes, replacing Rooney with Malone. Two minutes later, Gray was cautioned for a late tackle on Perera.
In 79 minutes, the Gowfers went seven up when a loose ball fell to GATES, whose first-time rocket shot from all of 35 yards flew past Spence, giving the ‘keeper no chance.
Cromb fouled Gates in 84 minutes and became the fourth Coupar Angus player to be yellow-carded. From the resultant free kick, Millar played the ball through to Gates, whose fierce low drive flashed narrowly past Spence’s left-hand post.
At this point the home side made their third and final change, replacing McBride with Valentine.
Three minutes into stoppage time, Milne was brought down by Townsley inside the box, and CUMMING duly converted the spot kick to complete the Gowfers’ eightsome reel.
Coupar Angus: Spence, Cromb, McColl, Rooney (Malone 73), Townsley, A. Smith, F. Smith, Duncan, McBride (Valentine 87), Cocker (Gray 58), Burgess. Substitute, not used: Ewan.
Carnoustie Panmure: McCafferty, Tonner, Roberts, Millar, Narey (Perera 57), Hendry, McIlravey, Cumming, Clark, Milne, Gates. Substitutes, not used: Cook and Christie.
Referee, W. Ferguson, Forfar.
After two weeks on the road, Carnoustie are back on home turf tomorrow (Saturday) when Kirrie Thistle visit Laing Park in the D.J. Laing League Cup Group A decider.
Kick-off is at 2.30 p.m.