The monkey has been well and truly removed from the Gowfers’ back after their dramatic last minute victory against Camelon on Wednesday.
Taking the idea of a late finisher to the extreme, striker Mike McIlravey secured Carnoustie Panmure’s future in the Superleague with a solo run in the dying minutes of the game to sink the Mariners 2-1.
Asked if he had breathed a sigh of relief at the result gaffer Alan McSkimming told GazetteSport: “I certainly did! It was the best I’ve slept in a few weeks now!
“I was really happy and just delighted for everybody.”
Forewarned is forearmed as they say and playing Camelon in the East of Scotland Cup turned out to be a valuable experience.
Alan explained: “We ended up getting beaten 3-0 on Saturday, but the scoreline didn’t reflect how the game went.
“If we had taken our chances we should have gotten something, but we knew how they set up and what we needed to do. So we went to Carmuirs Park with a gameplan that would frustrate Camelon and it worked perfectly.”
Partly due to it being a midweek fixture Panmure were short six of their regulars, forcing the boss to bring in four trialists and have two late fitness tests at short notice.
It didn’t seem to hold them back too much according to Alan, although it was 48 minutes in before they opened their account.
The boss said: “In terms of the game, it was very even in the first half and we probably just edged it, but in the second half we had a corner goal from Danny Millar and we never really looked back.”
That was until the final five minutes when the Mariners had a little help from the 12th man and evened the score.
Alan said: “Then to the amazement of everybody, the Camelon players, management and the spectators the referee awarded a penalty for a challenge from Liam Scott and then it went to one-all.
“We didn’t feel the game had gone by though even in the last four or five minutes because we were making so many chances on goal.”
Leaving it late, but still very much on time Mike McIlravey salvaged the game and their league hopes.
“Mike McIlravey has been criticised by some of the players recently for not taking his chances,” said Alan, “But he’s paid them back now.
“He picked the ball up and ran half the pitch before putting it past the goalie, and what a sweet way to go about it!
“We got what we deserved out of the game and it showed the work ethic and character of everyone on the team.”
With their league status secure for another season, Alan is hoping to try out a few things in their final game tomorrow (Saturday) as they face the Mariners for a third time in a week, but they certainly won’t be resting on their laurels.
“We are looking to take another three points from Camelon. We took four from them last season, but I want to make it six.”