Brechin Vics 1, Carnoustie Panmure 4
CARNOUSTIE Panmure had a short break from trying to collect league points on Saturday, travelling instead to Victoria Park to meet Brechin Vics in the preliminary round of the G.A. Engineering Cup.
For the tie, manager Ian Gilzean was forced into making four changes to the side that had started against St Andrews the previous week. Stuart Ferguson and Scott Hunter were both carrying injuries, Scott Robertson was on holiday and Graeme Dailly was unavailable, so Steven Narey, Danny Millar, Mike McIlravey and Josh Perera were all on from the start with bench spots going to Harry Neave, Andy Cowan and goalkeeper Chris McPherson.
The home side kicked off, playing up the slope and facing a stiffish westerly wind. Whitworth sent a long ball up the left, but Cook stepped in to make a timely interception and send the ball downfield to Perera who was caught offside.
Goalkeeper Robbie took the free-kick and found Stark who sent a good ball through to Buggins, but his deep cross had too much weight behind it and the and it went out for a goal kick. In three minutes, Cook sent a good ball through for M. Scott to chase, but Stark got there first and cleared the danger. Roberts then picked out Perera with another good ball, but the Carnoustie player’s control let him down and Gourlay stepped in to clear.
In eight minutes L. Scott sent in a good cross looking for McIlravey, but again Gourlay was there to intercept and clear. The Gowfers’ early pressure paid off two minutes later when L. Scott sent his brother down the right and after taking the ball forward he sent in a low, hard ball, finding McILRAVEY who fired it into the net giving Robbie no chance.
They almost doubled their lead in 12 minutes when M. Scott sent in a deep cross for Perera, but Robbie came off his line to claim it before the Carnoustie man could get a touch. At the other end Buggins picked up a loose ball then tried a low drive from the edge of the box, but McGovern had no trouble making the save.
In 15 minutes the visitors again went close after Cook picked out Narey with a throw-in and he fed the ball through to M. Scott who fired in a shot from the edge of the box, only to see it whizz past Robbie’s left-hand post, with the ‘keeper scrambling desperately across his line.
Five minutes later Robbie touched a Clark corner over for a second flag kick which McIlravey took short to M. Scott. He sent in a deep cross finding Perera, but his header was just over the bar. Gourlay then sent a free kick into the Gowfers’ box where Millar looked to be fouled by Buggins when he went to head clear, but it wasn’t given and Cook had to come to the rescue to clear the danger.
M. Scot then linked with brother Liam who sent in a great cross to find Narey, but again the shot went just wide of the Vic’s post.
At the other end Carnoustie had a great chance to add to their tally when a McIlravey corner was met by Perera, six yards out, but his powerful header again went narrowly over the top.
However with half an hour on the watch the Gowfers’ pressure paid off, albeit in a rather bizarre fashion. Dunn nipped in to head a Narey long ball back to his keeper who was rushing out, but he spilled it and it broke to M. SCOTT who rounded the keeper and stroked it into the empty net.
The Gowfers were denied a penalty when McIlravey picked up a great pass from Perera then went down under a challenge from the keeper, but the referee waved away the claims and awarded a goal kick. Right on the whistle Young sent a long ball down to McIlravey, but before he could get a shot off, Robbie rushed from his line to claim it and the referee brought the first half to a close.
Half-time: Brechin Vics 0, Carnoustie Panmure 2.
The Gowfers started after the break the same way they ended the first half, on the attack, with Perera trying a shot from a McIlravey cross, but it was blocked by Dunn and although it fell to Clark who sent it back in, Robbie made a good save.
In 48 minutes the home side hauled themselves back into the match after Stark stole the ball from Cook and played it to EATON who fired it past McGovern into the bottom left-hand corner of the net. Two minutes later Stark became the first player to see a yellow card after a trip on McIlravey and Ross limped off to be replaced by Eaton.
Buggins then became the second player booked after voicing his protests a bit too forcefully when the referee mistakenly thought that Clark’s cross had gone behind off Gourlay and gave a corner. McIlravey took the corner and picked out PERERA at the near post and he rose to head home and restore the Gowfers’ two-goal lead.
They came close to adding another when Young played a ball through to McIlravey, but Gourlay made a great interception before he could get his shot off. Carnoustie kept pushing forward and, after a string of fruitless corners, McIlravey played a ball through to Perera, but he had strayed offside. Then L. Scott fed McIlravey, but the ball bobbled up on the surface and Dunn was able to thump it clear.
They then came very close to adding a fourth after a Perera shot was blocked and fell to Millar, who blasted it back in, but Robbie threw up a hand to deflect it off the underside of the bar and it was cleared downfield by Cairney. The home side then made a second change with Buggins being replaced by Fyfe.
Still Carnoustie pushed forward. Firstly Perera played a quick one-two with Narey who fired his shot into the side net, from 12 yards, then McIlravey played a great ball through to M. Scott who outpaced his marker before firing in a shot from a tight angle, but Robbie got down to make a good save at the base of his post.
In 76 minutes the Vics made their final change with R. Young taking over from Laing. A minute later Millar missed a great chance after M. Scott laid the ball off to him, but he fired over the top. The Gowfers then made their first change with Cowan replacing Cook. He played a ball through to M. Scott who knocked it back to Narey, but his shot was again fired narrowly over the top. Perera then made way for Neave.
The Vics then went down to ten men after Dunn was helped from the field and they had used all their substitutes. With fully three minutes of stoppage time on the watch, Neave made a run into the box where he was fouled by Easton and the referee awarded a penalty. NEAVE took the kick himself and slammed the ball into the bottom corner of the net giving Robbie no chance.
Brechin Vics: Robbie, Gourlay, Stark, Ross (Eaton 53), Cairney, Dunn, Laing (R. Young 76), Easton, Whitworth, Buggins (Fyfe 68), Eaton. Substitute not used: Gauld.
Carnoustie Panmure: McGovern, Cook (Cowan 79), Narey, Millar, J. Young, Roberts, L. Scott, McIlravey, Perera (Neave 86), M. Scott, Clark. Substitute not used: McPherson (GK).
Referee: Mr Chris Fordyce, Dundee.
Tomorrow, Saturday, after two weeks on the road, the Gowfers are back on home soil when they welcome Kelty Hearts in the McBookie.com East Super League.
The Fifers have made a great start to the season and were on an eleven game unbeaten run before losing to last season’s Champions, Bonnyrigg Rose a couple of weeks ago. They returned to winning ways last week however, knocking Arbroath Vics out of the ‘Scottish’ and the Gowfers will have to be at their very best to take anything out of tomorrow’s tie which gets under way at 2.30 p.m.
Results: GA Engineering Cup Preliminary Round; Brechin Vics 1, Carnoustie 4. McBookie.com East Super League - Bonnyrigg Rose 2, Sauchie 2; Linlithgow Rose 4, Camelon 3; Musselburgh Athletic 2; Broxburn Athletic 2.