TABLE-TOPPERS St Andrews United were the opposition for Carnoustie Panmure in an ACA Sports East Premier League fixture at Laing Park on Saturday.
Manager Ian Gilzean fielded a home starting 11 unchanged from the previous week.
Bench spots went to Steven Narey, Kevin Cumming, Greg Beattie, Mark Matthew, Scott Robertson and spare goalkeeper John McCafferty.
Included in the visitors’ line-up were ex-Gowfers Allan Ramsay and Sean Muhsin, WHILE Gus Malone is the Recreation Park club’s assistant manager.
St Andrews kicked off and had the better of early exchanges. Wilson seemed to be nudged off the ball by Hunter in the home box, but the referee waved aside United’s penalty claims.
There was controversy at the other end after Carnoustie thought they were ahead. Milne ran on to a long through-ball from Hendry and beat ‘keeper Bennett with a well-placed shot, only for the ‘goal’ to be ruled offside.
In 18 minutes, Carnoustie were forced to make an early change when Gates went off with a pulled hamstring. The loss of the previous week’s double goalscorer was a blow to the Gowfers, who sent on Cumming in his place.
As play continued to swing from end to end, St Andrews were unlucky not to go ahead in 23 minutes when Sutherland’s header from a McInnes cross had Jamieson beaten, but the ball came back off the crossbar and was headed clear by Cook.
The homesters then won a free kick 30 yards out, but Clark’s attempt at goal was well held by Bennett, under pressure from Hunter.
Moments later, Carnoustie had another half-chance after Milne collected a Tonner clearance and played the ball square to Perera, but his shot was week and held easily by Bennett.
Just when the Gowfers were threatening to get on top, St Andrews opened the scoring in 31 minutes. McINNES beat Hendry to a long through pass from Patrick and tucked the ball past the advancing Jamieson.
The Fifers almost doubled their lead from another long punt deep into the Carnoustie box. The defence left the ball for Jamieson, but Sutherland got to it first only to loft his shot over the bar when faced with an empty goal.
In 39 minutes, Cumming was fouled by Dammer on the left, but McIlravey’s free kick was well held by Bennett.
The Gowfers continued to press and scored a deserved equaliser in 42 minutes. Having worked his way into the box, Milne tried to go round Bennett, but was brought down by the ‘keeper, who was promptly booked. The resultant spot kick was taken by McILRAVEY, who hammered the ball into the net.
Half-time: Carnoustie Panmure 1, St Andrews United 1.
Carnoustie got the second half under way, but St Andrews were first to show when Sutherland tried a snap shot from 30 yards but Jamieson saved.
In 55 minutes, Roberts was booked for a foul on Wilson. Three minutes later, Brash saw ‘yellow’ for a bad foul on McIlravey, who required treatment before continuing.
St Andrews were still doing most of the pressing and again came close when a McInnes fierce drive from the edge of the box produced a great save from Jamieson, who turned the ball over the bar for a fruitless corner.
In 65 minutes a McInnes shot from close-in was palmed away by Jamieson, but MUHSIN fired the loose ball home, restoring United’s lead.
Carnoustie responded with a substitution in 68 minutes, replacing Roberts with Robertson.
St Andrews came close to increasing their lead when Sutherland headed narrowly over from a Muhsin cross.
In 72 minutes, the Gowfers made a further change, introducing Beattie for McIlravey.
The referee produced his yellow card again seven minutes later when Ramsay was cautioned for a foul on Clark.
With time running out, Carnoustie almost equalised when a Cumming cross was knocked back by Perera to Milne, who shot just wide.
St Andrews made a late substitution in 88 minutes, replacing Sutherland with Dignan, who shot narrowly past in the final minute.
The referee blew for full-time and the Gowfers’ first home defeat of the season.
Carnoustie Panmure: Jamieson, Hendry, Tonner, McIlravey (Beattie 72), Cook, Hunter, Clark, Roberts (Robertson 68), Perera, Milne, Gates (Cumming 18). Substitutes, not used - Narey, Matthew and McCafferty (gk).
St Andrews United: Bennett, Brash, Fotheringham, Dammer, McGuigan, Patrick, Muhsin, Ramsay, McInnes, Sutherland (Dignan 88), Wilson. Substitutes, not used - Finlay, Paterson, Farquharson and Dorward.
Referee: G. Harris, Coupar Angus.
Match-ball sponsor: Tony Bottone, Carnoustie.
Tomorrow (Saturday), Carnoustie are scheduled to visit Memorial Park to face Thornton Hibs in the ACA Sports East Premier League.
However, the Fife club carried out extensive remedial work to their pitch in the close season. This left massive drainage problems, and they have played only one home game this season. Tomorrow’s game is dependant on the weather.
All being well, kick-off time is set for 2.30 p.m.
Next Saturday, April 9, the Gowfers will again be on the road, this time for an away league fixture against Arniston Rangers at Gorebridge.
ACA Sports East Premier League
P W L D F A Pts
St Andrews United 14 10 2 2 28 17 32
Broxburn Athletic 16 10 5 1 47 27 31
Carn. Panmure 16 8 4 4 35 26 28
Glenrothes 11 8 2 1 36 19 25
Ballingry Rovers 13 7 5 1 28 31 22
Arniston Rangers 13 5 6 2 20 28 17
Penicuik Athletic 13 4 5 4 24 22 16
Broughty Athletic 11 4 5 2 23 22 14
Kinnoull 17 4 11 2 22 42 14
Armadale Thistle 11 3 4 4 20 18 13
Whitburn 15 4 11 0 21 33 12
Thornton Hibs 10 1 8 1 15 34 4