Understrength Gowfers no match for Highland League runners-up

Cove Rangers 6, Carnoustie Panmure 0

AN UNDERSTRENGTH Carnoustie Panmure squad travelled north on Saturday for a pre-season friendly against Cove Rangers, who finished second in last season’s Highland League.

Greg Beattie, Kevin Cumming, Mike McIlravey, Josh Perera and John Tonner were all on holiday, and manager Ian Gilzean was also without the services of Andy Cowan and Alan McSkimming, both awaiting knee operations, and Scott Hunter, who has joined the police.

To add to the Gowfers’ woes, John Roberts felt a knee sore during the pre-match warm-up and was replaced by Mark Matthew, leaving only assistant manager Graeme Christie on the bench. Both new signings Stuart Ferguson and Danny Millar were on from the start.

Cove were quickly into their stride and opened the scoring in five minutes after a Webster cross picked out C. Watson, whose flashing header crashed back off the crossbar. As the Gowfers’ defence struggled to clear their lines, the ball broke to PARK, who gave McCafferty no chance.

The home side continued to have the bulk of the play and doubled their lead in 10 minutes. D. Milne dispossessed Gates and bored deep into the Carnoustie half before feeding the ball to PARK, who smashed in number two.

In 14 minutes, C. Watson appeared yards offside, but was allowed to run on. However, his fierce shot produced a great save from McCafferty who turned the ball round his left-hand post for what proved to be a fruitless corner.

Two minutes later, the Gowfers fell further behind after D. Milne fired in a shot from the left-hand edge of the box. The ball flashed off the face of the bar and was pounced on by C. WATSON, who cut inside Ferguson before beating McCafferty from a tight angle.

Shortly afterwards, it was almost four as Cove surged forward once more, but D. Milne headed high over the top from Webster’s cross.

In 25 minutes, Webster again broke clear on the right and crossed to Park, who powered in a fierce header, but McCafferty managed to beat the ball away with Hendry completing the clearance.

Still Cove continued to press and in 31 minutes D. Milne linked with Johnston who fired in a shot but again McCafferty threw himself to his left and pushed the ball round the post for a corner.

Carnoustie were now coming more into the game and following a further spell of pressure they won a corner off Pawlett in 38 minutes. Gates crossed the ball to the back post, looking for K. Milne but McKenzie came smartly off his line and got to it first.

Two minutes later Narey fed the ball through to Cook who fired in a shot but McKenzie was able to take it cleanly.

Right on the half-time whistle, Webster went down in the Gowfers’ box when tackled by Matthew, but the referee waved play on despite home claims for a penalty.

Half-time: Cove Rangers 3, Carnoustie Panmure 0.

Two minutes after the restart, Carnoustie thought they had pulled a goal back. Cook played the ball through to Clark, who fired it home, but the referee’s assistant had his flag up and the ‘goal’ was disallowed.

In 61 minutes, D. Milne came close for Cove with a 30-yard effort, which McCafferty did well to touch round his right-hand post. Substitute Burke powered in a header from D. Milne’s flag kick, but the ball skidded off the top of the bar and out behind.

The Gowfers were dealt another blow in 68 minutes when Matthew went down holding his shoulder. After some treatment from the physio he was helped from the pitch and replaced by Christie.

In 71 minutes Cove edged further ahead. C. Watson linked with D. MILNE, who fired the ball past McCafferty.

Just a minute later, the homesters went nap after C. Watson was fouled by K. Milne just outside the box. PARK took the free kick and rifled the ball past McCafferty to complete his hat-trick.

Carnoustie had a lucky escape in 76 minutes when C. Watson lobbed the out-rushing McCafferty only to see the ball rebound from the right-hand post and be cleared away by Hendry.

However, Cove’s pressure was rewarded with a sixth counter in 84 minutes when a shot by substitute STEWART took a deflection off Millar, deceiving McCafferty, to complete a miserable afternoon for the Gowfers.

Teams:

Cove Rangers - McKenzie (Sim 68), Jeffrey, Pawlett (Moorhouse 65), Emslie (Beagrie 65), E. Watson, Heads (Burke 45), Webster, C. Watson (Stewart 61), D. Milne (Scully 80), Johnston, Park.

Carnoustie Panmure - McCafferty, Narey, Ferguson, Millar, Robertson, Hendry, Cook, Matthew (Christie 69), K. Milne, Clark, Gates.

Referee, M. McNab, Westhill, Aberdeen.

Broken shoulderblade

A post-match visit to hospital revealed Mark Matthew had sustained a broken shoulderblade and a dislocated collarbone and he may be out for up to 10 weeks.

Tomorrow’s match

Tomorrow (Saturday), Carnoustie welcome a Dundee United XI to Laing Park for another pre-season friendly. Kick-off is at 2 p.m.