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Carnoustie blew away the festive cobwebs at Dundee St James as Phil McGuire’s side thumped their hosts 7-1 to start 2023 with three points.

The Gowfers were with out several players due to injury and suspension which left the manager having to shuffle the pack in personnel and position. Danny Millar, Gordon Macdonald and Brian Clark all came into the starting XI with limited options on the bench.

The heavy rain over the festive period and in the build up to the game meant the game began on a heavy pitch but the Gowfers got off to the perfect start after just five minutes as Dylan Stephen found Gordon Macdonald who made no mistake from the middle of the box. Just seven minutes later it was 2-0, St James couldn’t clear the ball and it found its way to Ross Fraser on the right who after getting the ball away from his fit curled a great effort into the bottom corner. Brian Clark then got in on the act after 23 minutes, his initial effort on goal was blocked by a defender but when the ball broke back to the Carnoustie man, he made no mistake from 15 yards to make it 3-0 to the visitors and then just two minutes later Macdonald grabbed his second and The Gowfers fourth as his shut from the edge of the box appeared to go straight through the keepers hands and into the net. St James were given the opportunity to get on the score sheet on 27 minutes when Ryan Roche was penalised for a foul in the box but Jamie McCann saw his penalty come back off the post.

St James did pull a goal back five minutes into the second half and the goal had a touch of the bizarre about it, a counter attack found Connor Bisgrove on the left and his pass through to was totally missed by Callum Mitchell and went past a stranded Darren Clarkson and into the net, despite a last ditch attempt by Greg Warwick to clear. The goal of the game came on 52 minutes, a cross from the right was only partially cleared to Clark just inside the box and he beat five St James men, leaving them on the floor, before slipping the ball home to make it 5-1 to Carnoustie. It took until the 78th minute for last season’s top scorer Dale Reid to get in on the act but he then scored twice in sixty seconds, his first came after he was found in acres of space by Ross Fraser on the edge of the box and Reid smashed the ball home and then within 60 seconds, a cross by substitute Daniel Dorovic was turned home by Reid at the near post.

A comfortable win for The Gowfers that sets them up nicely for next weekends visit of Midlands League leaders Dundee North End to Laing Park

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