GOWFERS FIGHTBACK FOR DESERVED POINT

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BROXBURN ATH 3  CARNOUSTIE PANMURE 3

“A game of two halves” is a well used cliché in football but if ever a game deserved the title then it was this afternoons clash at Albyn Park as Alan McSkimming’s Gowfers came back from trailing 3-0 at half time to take a point.

Carnoustie travelled with only 12 fit players and two of those were goalkeepers, Derek Paterson was at a wedding while Sam Simpson and Paddy Conway joined the injured list. Fortunately McSkimming was able to welcome back Adam Harwood, Luke McGeehan and Jake Mair although the latter wore a heavy strapping on his thigh. McGeehan dropped in at left back with Mair in front and Bailey Steel reverted to his more familiar central midfield spot.

The Gowfers started well and put early pressure on the home defence but after spurning two early half chances it started to unravel. Alan Cormack had already been forced in to two excellent saves before Broxburn took the lead on 20 minutes, a Ross Nimmo pass found home captain Nick Locke, he lost his marker before hitting a sweet shot into the far corner of Cormacks net. Seven minutes later and it was 2-0, this time, the ball was given away on the left and quickly fed to Darren Gribben who placed his shot in to Cormacks bottom corner. Just three minutes later it looked to be game over as the Carnoustie defence, who were looking punch drunk by this stage, allowed the ball through to Zander Miller, 6 yards out and the Broxburn man made no mistake.

Whatever was said to Carnoustie at half time worked as they came out with renewed vigour and desire forcing the homeside back for long periods with Ryan Dignan a real handful. However, it was looking like the visitors would get nothing from the game especially when vehement calls for a penalty for handball were turned down by referee Peter Stewart. With 9 minutes remaining that all changed, Jamie McCabe picked the ball up in the middle of the park, beat two men before feeding Dignan, the striker advanced but was halted by a trip just inside the box and the official pointed straight to the spot. With regular penalty taker Sam Simpson missing, McCabe took responsibility and sent the keeper the wrong way to pull one back. Two minutes later it was 3-2, Broxburn struggled with a Ewan Buggins cross and scrambled the ball behind for a corner, Buggins was involved again as his thumping header from McCabes corner was parried by the keeper but only on to the toe of Dignans boot and he made no mistake from close in. Carnoustie could now smell blood and the equaliser came on 87 minutes, Robert Urquhart did well and got his head on a McGeehan cross, the winger headed the ball across goal and Dignan managed to nod it in to the back of the net. Deep in to stoppage time, Carnoustie had John Roberts sent off for a second booking but held on to take a deserved point that had looked highly unlikely at half time.

Character and spirit were the keys to a great fightback in a game that looked to be lost, with players returning to fitness Carnoustie now need to build on this valuable point from a visit to one of the harder venues in the Super League

Carnoustie : Cormack, Buggins, McGeehan, Harwood, Gourlay, Roberts, Urquhart, Steel, Dignan, McCabe, Mair (Martin)

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