2017 REVIEW OF THE YEAR – PART TWO

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During the summer of 2017, Carnoustie added several players to the squad, Adam Harwood signed on a permanent deal after spending the previous season on loan, while central defender Derek Paterson joined from Kirriemuir Thistle along with Pat Martin from Dundee North End, Ryan Dignan from Dundee Violet and Marc Walker from Arbroath Vics were all added before pre-season. Manager Alan McSkimming had also got Jake Mair to join his squad although work commitments meant he would delay signing.

The pre-season started with a game against Fife Thistle and Carnoustie blew away the cobwebs with an emphatic 10-0 victory, Pat Martin helped himself to a hat trick while Ryan Dignan scored twice. The other goals came from Adam Harwood, Derek Paterson, Marc Walker and Sam Simpson.

The midweek run out against Fife Thistle was followed up with a tougher task against Highland League side Huntly. Sam Simpson scored twice as Carnoustie won 2-1.
Carnoustie had been hit by a number of injuries and in the third pre-season game, a makeshift side that included Jamie Robbie appearing as an outfield substitute went down 3-2 to Luncarty away from home, Steven Cook and Robert Urquhart getting the goals.

As the injured list grew, a fourth friendly at Dunbar United had to be postponed

The bread and butter of the McBookie.com Super League began at Bo’ness United and the first competitive encounter wasn’t without its controversy. The home side took the lead from a controversial penalty after Adam Harwood was punished for a foul that was outside the penalty area. Pat Martin equalised before half time but Bo’ness restored their lead midway through the second half.

That first defeat was followed by a 5-0 midweek defeat at home to Lochee United before Broxburn visited Laing Park on the following Saturday. The Gowfers performed much better and deserved the 3-2 win against their Lothian visitors. Ryan Dignan scored twice with Martin once more on the score sheet. Unfortunately, Martin was shown a second yellow card and sent off late on.

Carnoustie made it two wins on the bounce on the following Wednesday night with a comfortable 2-0 win at Forfar West End, Marc Walker and Sam Simpson getting the goals. Two wins became three at Newtongrange when two Dignan strikes saw McSkimming’s men win 2-1 against a side that had received a reprieve from relegation after Kelty Hearts joined the East Of Scotland League.The rich vein of form continued at home to Camelon in the Super League as goals from Ewan Buggins, Pat Martin and Sam Simpson completed a 3-1 win over the Falkirk side.

Paddy Conway had been with the squad on loan from Carnoustie YM due to the lengthy casualty list and was rewarded with a permanent deal at the club, strengthening the player pathway within the Community Club.

With four wins in August, Carnoustie started September with a fifth, away at West Calder in the East Of Scotland Cup, Cook, Walker and Jake Mair, who had signed a permanent deal prior to the game, getting the goals. New ground was broken on 9th September as The Gowfers visited Kennoway Star Hearts for the first time. Carnoustie trailed 2-0 at the break and were down top ten men after Adam Harwood was sent off, just before the break. Derek Paterson pulled a goal back just after half time but Kennoway restored their two goal cushion on the hour mark, Carnoustie were far from dead and when Steven Cook scored a second for The Gowfers with fifteen minutes left it was game one. Paterson scored his second and Carnoustie’s equaliser five minutes from time to secure a point that could have been all three had Mair not fluffed his lines in the last minute.

The Gowfers run came to an end at home to Penicuik at Laing Park as they went down 3-0 but seven days later Scone Thistle were beaten 3-1 in the GA Engineering Cup with Dignan scoring twice and Simpson netting the other. As usual a trip to New Dundas Park yielded nothing as Bonnyrigg Rose were comfortable 4-0 winners to bring September to a close.
October began in a very strange manner against Broughty Athletic when, despite dominating parts of the game, Carnoustie ended up getting well beaten 6-2 by their neighbours, Simpson scored the first Carnoustie goal with Graham Hay putting through his own net for the second. The defeat to Broughty Athletic was followed by a 2-1 defeat at Hill of Beath, Dignan getting the goal before Jeanfield won 3-1 at Laing Park in a bad defeat, Dignan scoring again.

The final game of October saw Carnoustie make the long trip north to take on Longside in the Scottish Junior Cup. The Gowfers returned south with a place in the Third Round secured after a comfortable 4-1 victory. Sam Simpson scored twice alongside a Ryan Dignan strike but the game will be remembered for a wonder strike from Captain Steven Cook as well as a red card for substitute Pat Martin.

A trip to Sauchie at the beginning of November resulted in a 1-0 defeat that saw the Carnoustie staff exasperated at some of the referee’s decisions. The visit to Sauchie was followed by a trip to Broxburn where The Gowfers fighting spirit came to the for, as they came back from 3-0 down with nine minutes remaining to draw 3-3. Dignan was on the mark again with two goals and Jamie McCabe scored the other. Dundonald were the next visitors to Laing Park and despite not playing that well, ran away with the three points from a 4-0 win.
Carnoustie had been drawn against Petershill in the Scottish Junior Cup Third Round with the game scheduled for 25th November, however, mother nature had other ideas and the game was postponed four times. Despite being told that there would be no games on the 23rd or 30th December due to the festive period, Carnoustie were told that the game would have to be played on the 23rd. Despite going in to the game with a very limited squad, The Gowfers recorded an excellent 2-1 win with the goals coming from Ryan Dignan once again and an own goal. Carnoustie now face a trip to Kilsyth Rangers in the New Year.

The Gowfers completed the year in fourteenth place on 14 points along with Sauchie and Bo’ness United.

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