CARNOUSTIE Panmure were back on home soil on Saturday when the played host to Musselburgh Athletic in the proverbial ‘six pointer’ in the ACA Sports East Super League.
With the Lothian side propping up the table and the Gowfers just above them, this game could have gone a long way to deciding who would make the drop to the Premier League.
Manager Ian Gilzean made two changes to the side that had defeated Kelty hearts the previous week. With regular ‘keeper John McCafferty picking up a serious knee injury, Craig Jamieson took over in goal and Steven Cook was also on from the start, with Mark Matthew dropping to the bench where he was joined by Steven Narey, Kevin Cumming, Stuart Ferguson, Alan McSkimming and Andy Cowan.
Carnoustie kicked off and immediately went on the attack when a long ball by Millar was pounced on by Perera, but he was flagged offside.
Musselburgh hit back with Russell making a good run up the right from a free kick but his cross was well held by Jamieson. Renton then laid on a chance for Currie who hit the ball from 30 yards out but his effort went well past.
Carnoustie got a lucky break when a drive by Russell was fumbled by Jamieson and knocked into the empty net by Currie, but he was offside. Musselburgh kept the pressure up and shots from Russell and Renton were blocked by desperate Carnoustie defending. The pressure was taken off the Gowfers when Tansey fouled McIlravey in midfield and Hendry’s kick was headed on by Watson, but it was an easy take for the ‘keeper.
Perera then fouled Murray 35 yards out to give Musselburgh a free kick but Burns hit his shot well over the bar. Carnoustie had another lucky escape when Noble made a run down the left and put in a deep cross to the far post, but although Renton was in a good position, he fired his shot into the side net.
In 27 minutes Watson was booked for dissent. Three minutes later Musselburgh had another good chance after forcing a corner off Millar. It was taken by Tansey but headed over by Gordon who should have done better.
The homesters were fortunate to take the lead in 34 minutes when a Burns passback to his ‘keeper was short and his attempted clearance was charged down by PERERA who was left to roll the ball into the empty net.
This gave Carnoustie a big lift and four minutes later they increased their lead when Clark sent Perera down the left. His deep cross to the far post was controlled by McILRAVEY and fired across the ‘keeper and into the far corner.
In 39 minutes Tonner took a head knock but after some treatment was able to carry on. A minute later Musselburgh pulled a goal back when TANSEY swung a deep ball into the box which Jamieson came out to claim, but the ball sailed over his hands and into the far corner of the net.
The visitors piled on the pressure and almost equalised when a Shand header seemed netbound, but Millar cleared for a corner. Tansey took the kick, but Tonner made a fine clearance.
Half-time: Carnoustie Panmure 2, Musselburgh 1.
Carnoustie made their first change before the second half started with Clark being replaced by Ferguson. In 46 minutes Murray required treatment for a leg knock, but he too was able to carry on. Renton was then put through by Shand but played the ball with has hand and was booked.
In 50 minutes the Gowfers made another change with McIlravey being replaced by Cumming. A minute later Roberts was booked for a foul on Tansey. Tansey then fouled Watson 35 yards out, but Hendry’s free-kick was easily dealt with by the defence.
THE LOTHIAN outfit piled on the pressure in search of a leveller and Tansey swung in a fine cross under the bar, but this time it was well held by Jamieson.
At the other end, Carnoustie’s Cumming made a good run across the box and was only stopped after a fine tackle by Hamilton. Tansey forced a corner off Ferguson and took the kick himself, but Cook made a fine clearance.
Currie had a chance from 20 yards out when Cook slipped, but he shot across the goal and out. On the hour mark Murray was replaced by King and he was immediately brought into the game when a Burns corner on the left found him, but he headed past.
Then Noble fouled Watson just outside the box. Gates took the kick and fired a low effort round the wall but it crept past the post.
Currie then pounced on a loose ball 25 yards out but shot well over. He was then booked in 71 minutes for a foul on Cook which the Carnoustie player took himself. His free found Perera who headed it down to Roberts but his shot, from just outside the box, whizzed past the right hand post.
In 74 minutes Watson was replaced by Narey. A rasping free kick by Burns, was stopped and cleared by a great Millar header.
With only 10 minutes left, Russell was replaced by McKenna. A minute later both Gates and Perera were booked for dissent. Musselburgh were keeping up the long balls into the Carnoustie box. In 90 minutes Tansey collected a great ball from King 10 yards out, but made a mess of his shot and it trundled past the post. The Gowfers finally cracked in 92 minutes when RENTON won the race for a long ball and fired a low drive past Jamieson from inside the box.
Carnoustie Panmure: Jamieson, Hendry, Gates, Cook, Millar, Tonner, McIlravey (Cumming 50), Roberts, Watson (Narey 74), Perera, Clark (Ferguson 45). Substitutes not used: Matthew, McSkimming and Cowan.
Musselburgh: Adams, Burns, Noble, Shand, Hamilton, Gordon, Murray (King 60), Russell (McKenna 80), Renton, Currie, Tansie. Substitutes not used: Renton (GK).
Referee: Mr Jeff Banks, Perth
Match ball sponsor: Mr D.A. Ramsay, Carnoustie .
Tomorrow, Saturday, the Gowfers head out for their last away game of the season, travelling to Thomson Park to meet Lochee United in the ACA Sports East Super League.
With the Gowfers losing 3-1 at home back in January, as well as their last four visits to Thomson Park, this will no doubt be another hard tie for them as they still require three points to make sure of beating the drop. Tomorrow’s match gets under way at 2.30 p.m.
The supporters’ bus leaves the Stag’s Head Inn at 1.30 p.m.
ACA Sports East Super League
P W L D F A Pts
Linlithgow Rose 20 10 5 5 42 32 35
Hill of Beath 17 10 3 4 36 19 34
Bonnyrigg Rose 15 9 2 4 41 20 31
Bo’ness United 16 7 4 5 25 19 26
Camelon 20 7 9 4 30 29 25
Kelty Hearts 18 7 7 4 22 23 25
Lochee United 18 6 9 3 29 33 21
St Andrews Utd 19 6 10 3 26 38 21
Bathgate Thistle 20 5 9 6 27 48 21
Carnoustie Pan 17 4 7 6 30 36 18
Musselburgh Ath 18 4 10 4 35 46 16