AT THE seventh attempt, Carnoustie Panmure’s home match against Whitburn in the ACA Sports East Premier League finally went ahead at Laing Park on Saturday afternoon.
Originally scheduled for November 27 last year, the fixture had been postponed no fewer than six times due to a combination of snow, ice and waterlogged pitches.
With several players unavailable through injury, suspension or work commitments, the Gowfers’ squad was again down to the bare bones and manager Ian Gilzean could muster only two substitutes for the bench, although assistant manager Graeme Christie was prepared to go on in an emergency.
Carnoustie attacked from the kick-off and won an early free kick just inside the Whitburn half, but Hendry sent the ball straight into ‘keeper Carlin’s arms.
The visitors were next to show when a Murphy cross picked out Miller, whose shot from the edge of the box was turned behind for a corner. Martindale’s cross from the left produced some jostling in the home box and rather controversially Cumming was penalised for barging. From the resultant spot kick, MURPHY fired the ball low past Jamieson into his bottom left-hand corner, putting Whitburn ahead with just six minutes gone.
Stunned by the loss of that goal, the Gowfers stepped up a gear in response and almost levelled the score when a Roberts header from a Clark free kick was scrambled off the line by a visiting defender.
Carnoustie continued to press and in 15 minutes won a corner on the left. Clark’s cross was only partially cleared by McGurk and fell to COOK, whose shot from the edge of the box looped over Carlin’s head and ended up in the back of the net for the equaliser.
Shortly afterwards, Clark almost put the homesters ahead, but was just off target with a shot from the left-hand corner of the box.
In 24 minutes, Whitburn’s Craig limped off for treatment at the side of the park, but was unable to continue and three minutes later was replaced by Hampson.
Late in the first half, the Gowfers found themselves under a bit of pressure when Murphy broke clear on the visitors’ left and fired in a good cross, but Dickov squandered the opportunity by shooting well wide.
Back at the other end, a Gates free kick was headed clear by Woodhouse. Miller was first to the loose ball and raced away into the Carnoustie half, but his attempt to lob Jamieson from just past half-way was well off the mark.
Half-time: Carnoustie Panmure 1, Whitburn 1.
The second half began with Carnoustie firing on all cylinders. In the opening minute, Cumming had a shot blocked and the ball rebounded to Gates, who drove just wide of Carlin’s left-hand upright.
However, in 47 minutes, the Gowfers’ pressure paid off when a Cumming cross from the right was controlled by PERERA, who stabbed the ball home from close range.
Shortly afterwards, Clark almost doubled the homesters’ lead with a snap-shot from 25 yards, but saw the ball flash inches wide of the ‘keeper’s right-hand post.
In 54 minutes, Whitburn made a second substitution with Thomson replacing Mackay, who had picked up an ankle knock.
Perera set up another chance for Carnoustie with a great cross from the left, but Cumming’s shot lacked power and Carlin saved easily at the base of the post.
The first yellow card of the match was shown to Mooney in 60 minutes for a foul on Cumming on the half-way line.
Four minutes later, there were loud Carnoustie claims for a penalty when a Clark cross from the left appeared to be handled by Dickov inside the visitors’ box, but the incident went unseen by the referee and his assistant and all that was awarded was a fruitless corner.
Woodhouse then fouled Clark 35 yards out, but the resultant free kick cleared both the defensive wall and crossbar.
The Gowfers were now well on top and made their first change in 68 minutes, replacing Gates with McIlravey.
At this stage, Whitburn were seldom seen as an attacking force, but on one occasion a Mooney long throw from near the corner flag on the right was headed away by Hunter. The ball dropped out to substitute Thomson, who fired it back in from the edge of the box, but sent his shot over the bar.
In 74 minutes, Robertson suffered a recurrence of an ankle injury while blocking a shot and had to be carried-off with Narey taking his place.
During the stoppage, Whitburn also made a change with McCole taking over from Hampson.
When play eventually resumed, the visitors began to come back into the game and Tonner did well to clear a Miller shot off the line with Jamieson beaten.
In 77 minutes, Wright was cautioned for a foul on Cumming.
Another booking followed in 84 minutes when McGurk saw yellow after tripping Clark.
With time running out, Carnoustie survived a slight scare when a long ball forward from Murphy into the home box picked out Miller, who headed narrowly past when he should have done better.
Deep into stoppage time, a Cumming shot was parried away by Carlin, but PERERA was on hand to tap the loose ball home for the Gowfers’ third, thus ensuring their home unbeaten record remained intact.
Carnoustie Panmure: Jamieson, Hendry, Tonner, Robertson (Narey 74), Cook, Hunter, Clark, Roberts, Perera, Cumming and Gates (McIlravey 68). Substitute, not used - Christie.
Whitburn: Carlin, Wright, Mooney, Woodhouse, McGurk, Martindale, Murphy, Mackay (Thomson 54), Miller, Dickov, Craig (Hampson 27, McCole 75). Substitutes, not used - Wilson, Mahon, Rattray and West (gk).
Referee: R. McIntyre, Dundee.
Match-ball sponsor, Ed Oswald, Carnoustie.
Carnoustie have yet to lose at Laing Park this season, but are still looking for their first away league victory of the campaign. That may alter tomorrow (Saturday), when the Gowfers are due to make the relatively short trip to Tulloch Park, Perth, to face lowly Kinnoull, who currently sit third-bottom of the ACA Sports East Premier League.
Kick-off time is 2.15 p.m.
ACA Sports East Premier League
P W L D F A Pts
Broxburn A 13 8 4 1 38 21 25
St Andrews Utd 11 7 2 2 20 13 23
Glenrothes 10 7 2 1 34 19 22
Carn Panmure 13 6 3 4 28 21 22
Ballingry Rvrs 9 5 3 1 23 26 16
Broughty Ath 10 4 4 2 23 20 14
Arniston Rgrs 12 4 6 2 18 28 14
Penicuik Ath 11 3 4 4 22 20 13
Whitburn 12 4 8 0 20 27 12
Kinnoull 14 3 9 2 17 36 11
Armadale Th 9 2 3 4 14 13 10
Thornton Hibs 8 1 6 1 13 26 4