Nitten hold Carnoustie to draw after Lochee United confirmed as relegated

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Carnoustie Panmure took a point from Newtongrange Star on Saturday and probably could have had all three.

With Lochee United’s relegation confirmed last week, the Gowfers are now tasked with pulling away from the relegation play-off spot.

The side headed for New Victoria Park for their last away league game of the season and a meeting with third placed Newtongrange Star in the McBookie.com East Superleague.

As in virtually every game this season, manager Alan McSkimming again found himself extremely short-handed with Sammy Simpson suspended as a result of his red card the previous week and Neal Ferrie, Luke McGeehan, Euan Buggins, Kev Cumming and Roddy Black all carrying injuries, and Greg Birmingham out working.

Alan was forced to draft in young Cammie Robertson and coach Grant Miller to occupy bench spots where they were joined by spare keeper Josh Allardyce.

Although it was the home side that got the game underway, it was the Gowfers who had the first chance after just five minutes, when Scott made a great run down the left then sent in a good cross to Smith; he fired in a low drive but put the ball into the side net.

In nine minutes it was the homester’s turn to have a half chance when Cherrie sent in a cross looking for King, but Macpherson came smartly off his line to intercept and take the catch.

Play was swinging from end to end and in 14 minutes the Gowfers again went close when Roberts fired in a 30 yard shot, but was just off target and the ball whizzed narrowly past Amos’s left-hand post.

In 19 minutes Newtongrange took the lead in a controversial fashion, after Wilson took a pass from King and knocked it past Macpherson from close in.

The Carnoustie lads drew the referee’s attention to his assistant, standing with his flag raised, to indicate that Wilson had been offside but the referee overruled him and allowed the goal to stand.

Star’s lead was not to last very long however as just four minutes later, the Gowfers won a corner off Kerr and Bews took the kick, finding Cook who rose majestically to bullet a header past Amos and level the tie.

In 29 minutes, both camps were concerned after Scott and Tolmie clashed heads in going for the same high ball.

Both physios were called into action and fortunately, after some treatment, both players were able to continue.

In 35 minutes Star had a half chance to edge back in front after Jamieson linked with King, then took the ball down the right, before firing it across the face of the goal but with no-one up, it whistled right across and out the other side without anyone getting a touch.

Two minutes later, Cropley became the first player to be shown the yellow card, this for a foul on Bews, who required attention from the physio before being able to resume.

In 41 minutes Newtongrange won a corner, when Roche deflected a King shot out behind and Cropley took the kick, but when the ball came over S Robertson rose to head it clear.

Two minutes later Newtongrange really should have gone ahead again when King burst through and with only Macpherson to beat, drilled in a low shot but the big keeper got down well to make the save and turn the ball round his post for a corner, which again was taken by Cropley but this time cleared by Millar.

After the restart, it was the homesters who set up an attack first, with King trying a shot which Macpherson did well to turn round his right-hand post for what turned out to be a fruitless corner.

In 50 minutes Star were again on the attack and Cherrie tried a 30 yard shot, but Macpherson got up well to touch it over the bar for another corner and again the Carnoustie defence dealt with it well.

Three minutes later, the Gowfers had a great chance to take the lead after Scott made a great run down the left, surged into the box, then was pulled down by Dunn and the referee immediately pointed to the spot. Bews took the kick, but it was a poor one and Amos got down to block it and the rebound was cleared away.

In 57 minutes the Gowfers had another chance to go in front, after a good cross by Smith found Scott all on his own, but he rather snatched at his shot and sent the ball narrowly over the top. Two minutes later, the homesters made their first change, with Dealand taking over from Kerr.

The Gowfers kept pushing forward and in 63 minutes a great cross from Cook found S Robertson but he put his header straight at Amos for an easy save.

In 66 minutes it was the home side, rather against the run of play, who snatched their second after Kine chased a long, through ball from Wilson then rounded the advancing Macpherson and rolled the ball into the empty net.

Four minutes later, Tolmie became the second player to be shown yellow, this for comments made to the referee.

Just two minutes later, Star had a chance to increase their lead when the ball was played through to Jamieson at the edge of the box and he loosed off a fierce shot, but this was blocked by his teammate King and Cook managed to clear the danger.

In 78 minutes, Smith became the first Gowfer’s player to be cautioned, this again for comments made to the referee.

The Gowfers kept up their pressure and two minutes later a great cross by McIlravey from wide on the right found S Robertson, but again he was just off target and sent the ball narrowly over the top.

In 82 minutes, the Gowfer’s pressure finally paid off when Roberts, who doesn’t score many goals for the club but makes them special when he does, fired off a shot from 20 yards and the ball flew past a bemused Ames into the net.

Six minutes later, a corner by Cropley caused a mild panic in the Carnoustie defence before the ball was cleared away by Millar.

Right on the whistle, the Gowfers made a change with Smith making way for the more defensively minded Miller and quite quickly after the referee brought the game to a close and the Gowfers had won another valuable point, yet bemoaning the fact that it should have been all three.

Newtongrange Star: Amos, McManus, Kerr, Tolmie, Dunn, Cherrie, Jamieson, Gillon, King, Wilson, Cropley. Subs: Dealand, Renton (GK).

Carnoustie Panmure: Macpherson, Cook, Neath, Roche, Millar, Roberts, McIlravey, S Robertson, Bews, Smith, Scott. Subs: C Robertson, Miller, Allardyce (GK)

Tomorrow (Saturday) after three weeks on the road, the Gowfers are back on home soil,throwing out the welcome mat to Scottish Cup Finalists Musselburgh Athletic for a tie in the McBookie.com East Superleague.

The Midlothian outfit lost out 5-4 on penalties to Hill of Beath last week in the quarter-final of the East of Scotland Cup after a 2-2 draw, and will therefore be keen to get back to winning ways before their final appearance in the Scottish.

They also have in their ranks one of the league’s top strikers Jordan Sheerin, who already has some 40 goals to his name this season, and this will no doubt be another tough encounter for the Gowfers.

Kick-off will again be at 2.30 p.m.

McBookie.com

East Superleague

P W D L F A Pts

Kelty Hearts 28 20 5 3 63 23 65

Bo’ness United 27 17 5 5 53 20 56

Nitten Star 25 15 6 4 48 25 51

Linlithgow R 23 13 5 5 52 29 44

Sauchie 27 11 8 8 42 46 41

Bonnyrigg R 28 11 4 13 50 48 37

Penicuik Ath 26 10 7 9 36 37 37

Broxburn Ath 28 8 12 8 39 42 36

Fauldhouse 28 8 9 11 46 52 33

Musselburgh 24 9 5 10 48 48 32

Hill of Beath 26 9 4 13 40 44 31

Camelon 25 8 4 13 32 51 28

Armadale 26 5 5 16 36 58 20

Carnoustie 25 4 6 15 26 51 18

Lochee United 28 4 5 19 40 77 17

Ballingry R 0 0 0 0 0 0 0