HAVING booked their places in the last four with victories over Kirrie Thistle and Blairgowrie respectively at the weekend, Group A and B winners Carnoustie Panmure and Arbroath Vics went head-to-head at Ogilvy Park, Arbroath, on Tuesday evening in the first of the D.J. Laing League Cup semi-finals.
Vics kicked-off, but the first half-chance fell to Carnoustie in 12 minutes.
Milne chased a long through ball from Roberts, but Hutcheson rushed from his line to clear before the striker could get the vital touch.
In 19 minutes, Gates worked his way forward for Carnoustie, but blasted his rocket shot against Durno and the ball was cleared by Gray.
The Gowfers had a scare on the half-hour mark when the ball broke to Owbridge, who unleashed a fierce shot, but McCafferty brought off a great save to keep his charge intact.
In 39 minutes, McDowell was shown the yellow card for a foul on McIlravey.
With the interval fast approaching, Carnoustie came close following a Clark corner on the left. Robertson powered in a header, which was partially cleared by McLeish and the loose ball fell to Millar, who shot narrowly over.
Half-time: Arbroath Vics 0, Carnoustie Panmure 0.
Straight from the restart, Carnoustie lost the ball to McLeish, who took it up the right and crossed inside to OWBRIDGE, who beat McCafferty from close-range to put Vics ahead with only 41 seconds played.
The Gowfers were rocked again in 54 minutes when a McLeish corner from the right picked out DURNO, who bulleted a header past McCafferty for the home side’s second.
In 66 minutes, Roberts limped off and was replaced by Hendry.
Three minutes later, Vics had another half-chance, but Fotheringham first-timed his shot well wide of McCafferty’s right-hand post.
Carnoustie pulled a goal back in 71 minutes when Robertson fed CLARK, who set off on a mazy run, beating four men on the way, before drilling the ball low into the corner of the net.
This gave the Gowfers fresh heart and in 74 minutes the tie was all square after a Robertson cross picked out COOK, who volleyed the ball into the back of the net, giving Hutcheson no chance.
In 80 minutes, Vics came close to regaining the lead when during a goalmouth scramble Owbridge had three attempts blocked by McCafferty before the ball was cleared away by Millar.
Next minute, the home side were reduced to 10 men after McDowell was shown a second yellow card, immediately followed by the red.
Two minutes later, Milne was booked for persistent fouling, and shortly afterwards Gates also saw yellow for his comments to one of the assistant referees.
The referee was now a busy man as in 89 minutes Sturrock was cautioned for blatantly blocking Clark in the midst of a run.
With the watch showing four minutes of stoppage time, Carnoustie snatched a scarcely deserved winner when Milne knocked the ball down to COOK, who thumped it past Hutcheson to send the Gowfers through to face Lochee United in the final.
Arbroath Vics - Hutcheson, McLeish, Florence, Gray, Durno, Sturrock, McDowell, Fotheringham, Oubridge, Warren (Smith 81), Stephen. Substitutes, not used - Lawson, Jones, McKenzie, Laing and Cargill (gk).
Carnoustie Panmure - McCafferty, Tonner, Roberts (Hendry 66), Millar, Robertson, Cook, McIlravey, Cumming, Clark, Milne, Gates. Substitutes, not used - Perera, Narey and Ferguson.
Referee, W. Ferguson, Forfar.
Carnoustie Panmure 6,
Kirrie Thistle 0
CARNOUSTIE Panmure progressed to the semi-finals of the D.J. Laing League Cup with a 100 per cent record, having scored 27 goals on the way.
Their final Group A match was against Kirrie Thistle at Laing Park on Saturday afternoon.
The homesters maintained their impressive form with first-half goals by CLARK, MILLAR and MILNE.
Another three in the second period by GATES, MCILRAVEY andCUMMING were indicative of the homesters’ superiority.
Tomorrow (Saturday), Carnoustie welcome Bathgate Thistle to Laing Park for their opening East Region Super League fixture. Kick-off is scheduled for 2.30 p.m.
The Gowfers have been drawn at home to Arbroath Vics in the preliminary round of the GA Engineering Cup. A date for the tie has yet to be arranged, but the winners will be at home to Montrose Roselea in the first round proper.
CARNOUSTIE Panmure manager Ian Gilzean is looking forward to their first Super League game.
His confidence remains in the team remains solid despite their last minute 3-2 victory over Arbroath Vics.
Ian said: “It’s good to win. Some people thought we were dead and buried after we went down two goals.
“We changed the system up a bit, started moving the ball around better and started looking sharper.
“We kept plugging away at it, and we nicked it at the end. I guess they’ll be disappointed they lost it, after being 2-0 up 20 minutes from the end.”
Despite Scott Gates receiving a yellow card for back-chatting a match official, Ian was happy overall with the discipline of his side.
He said: “I think it was just a heat of the moment thing, but on the whole the discipline was quite good.
“The lads left the officials alone and didn’t get too involved. It can be very hard for players sometimes, especially when decisions are not going the way they think they should.”
With the cup final not until next month, the Gowfers have set their sights on making an impact on their new league.
He said: “The cup goes to the back burner now, the Super League starts on Saturday and we are definitely looking forward to it.
“The league is definitely what it’s all about. The best teams win and the worst are relegated. I want us to be up there challenging for the top spot with the best of them.”
He added: “Whatever happens we need to work hard, stay together and work as unit.
“Bathgate have been in the Super League since it started, so it will be a tough game, but it shouldn’t hold any fears for us.”