On Saturday, Carnoustie Panmure were glad to be back in action, when they welcomed League leaders, Kelty Hearts to Laing Park for a game in the McBookie.com, East Superleague.
Manager Alan McSkimming was rather better placed, personnel wise, for this meeting with the Fifers, than he had been for their first meeting, six weeks earlier, with Steven Cook, John Roberts and Kev Cumming, all back from injury.
In addition, Luke McGeehan and Daniel Neath were both back from the festive break and new signing Graham Webster was on board and ready to go.
Cook, McGeehan, Webster and Cumming, were all on from the start, while Neath and Roberts were given bench seats along with Greig Birmingham, Gary Kenneth and spare ‘keeper, Chris Macpherson.
The visitors set the ball rolling, playing towards the Barry end, and pushed forward with Dalziel linking with Currie, but Robertson was on hand to clear the ball away downfield.
Kelty had the first real chance after seven minutes, when Currie tried a shot from the edge of the box, but put the ball wide of Ferrie’s left-hand post. Three minutes later they won a free kick when O’Reilly was fouled by Robertson on the edge of the box. O’Reilly took the kick himself, but his shot was blocked by the defensive wall and was cleared away to safety.
In 15 minutes, Black became the first player to be shown the yellow card, this for a foul on Currie, in the middle of the pitch.
Five minutes later it was the Gowfers’ turn to win a free kick, when Cumming was fouled by Currie, but with the Kelty man still lying on the ground, Cumming stamped on him and was shown a straight red card. As he made his way off the pitch, he made some comments to the referee and was immediately shown a second straight red.
In 23 minutes, Webster was cautioned for a foul on Currie. The game was beginning to get a bit towsy and in 26 minutes, Duffin became the first Kelty player to see the yellow card, for a foul on M. Scott and just four minutes later, his team-mate Leighton followed him into the referee’s book, for bringing down McGeehan.
Just before the break, Dalziel took a pass from Currie and fired in a shot from around 10 yards, but Ferrie got down well to make a good save and keep his charge intact.
Half-time: Carnoustie Panmure 0, Kelty Hearts 0.
After the restart, the Gowfers came close to opening their account, when M. Scott made a great run up the left, then sent a great cross into Millar, some 15 yards out, who fired off a shot, only to see the ball rebound off the bar and be cleared away downfield.
On the hour mark, the Gowfers had to soldier on with nine men, when McIlravey had to leave the field for treatment to a head knock. The visitors took full advantage of the Gowfers’ misfortune to snatch the lead when Ferrie failed to control a high ball into the goalmouth and CURRIE pounced to hammer the ball into the net from six yards.
Before the restart, the patched up McIlravey was able to rejoin the fray. In 70 minutes, Buggins was brought down by T. Courts, just outside the box, and McIlravey took the kick, but his shot was blocked by the defensive wall and was cleared away by O’Neill.
Five minutes later the Gowfers made their first change, with McIlravey going off to make way for Birmingham.
In 78 minutes, the Gowfers came close to levelling the tie after Cook took a pass from Webster, then drilled in a low shot, only to see the ball cleared off the line, by Duffin, with ‘keeper Allison beaten.
With the whistle due to sound at any moment, Webster tried a long-range shot, but Allison was equal to the task and made the save. From the ‘keeper’s kick out, play surged to the other end and the ball was picked up by McCABE, who blasted it past Ferrie from 15 yards, giving the ‘keeper no chance.
From the restart, play swept towards the Kelty goal, with M. Scott taking the ball to the bye-line where he was challenged by Currie. When the referee awarded a free kick to the visitors, Scott made his feelings known to the official, in no uncertain terms, and was immediately shown a red card and the Gowfers were down to nine men.
Carnoustie Panmure: Ferrie, Cook, Buggins, Millar, Robertson, McGeehan, McIlravey, Black, Webster, Cumming, M. Scott. Substitutes – Birmingham, Neath, Roberts, Kenneth and Macpherson (GK).
Tomorrow (Saturday), the Gowfers get a brief break from trying to collect league points, when they head for the Warout Stadium to meet Glenrothes Juniors in the second round of the D.J. Laing, East of Scotland Cup.
The last time the pair met was in the first round of the same competition, at the same venue, almost exactly two years ago, when, on February 9, 2013, the Gowfers lost 3-2 on penalties after a 0-0 draw.
The Gowfers, who don’t have a particularly good record, in recent seasons, against lower league sides, won’t have it easy against the Fifers, who, although lying second-bottom in the Premier League table, had a creditable 1-1 draw last Saturday away to second placed Dalkeith, and actually led the game until they got a man sent off.
Action in tomorrow’s tie, which will be played to a finish, with kicks from the penalty spot to decide the winner should they finish all square after the regulation 90 minutes, is scheduled to get under way at 2.15 p.m.