Neither side went in to this game on particularly good form.
St Andrews had suffered defeats at the hands of Bonnyrigg Rose and Kelty Hearts while the visitors, Carnoustie, had also seen defeats against Linlithgow and Sauchie.
United manager Hastie was once again forced into changes owing to players being on holiday - MacRae and McMullan were missing but Kevin Cumming returned. With injury continuing to keep out Bennett, Ryan Sloan continued in goal and there was a return to the bench for Ryan McAllister following his suspension.
United started well against a back drop of bright September sunshine and the roar of the aircraft at Leuchars Airshow, and it was the home side that flew in to an early lead.
McQuade swung in a corner from the left that Porteous managed to head back to Dignan. His first effort was well blocked by McGovern in the visitors’ goal but the St Andrews man reacted first to touch the rebound home.
Suttie was unlucky with a shot from outside the area went inches over the bar after good work from McQuade.
Carnoustie had a chance to draw level after 14 minutes when Saints failed to clear a corner and the ball fell to Scott who wriggled free before firing into the side netting.
Saints made it 2-0 when Sutherland and McInnes combined well on the left before the midfielder whipped a vicious cross across the box which Ferguson got a boot to but could only direct it onto a post. As the ball came back it hit McQuade before bobbling over the line.
Saints were cruising and an emphatic win looked on the cards. However, they seemed to sit back and got dragged in to a fractious midfield dogfight with the ball rarely seeing its way to the space out on the wings.
Sutherland was booked after 26 minutes for his part in a flashpoint with Ferguson.
Cumming should have scored against his former team after a long clearance from Sloan was whipped across goal by Sutherland but McGovern managed to fingertip the ball away from the big striker.
Carnoustie managed to pull a goal back when a long ball over the top was seized upon by Liam Scott, the youngster raced clear and slotted it into the net beyond Sloan. Carnoustie were forced in to an early substitution when Hunter had to be replaced by Miller.
Saints returned to the field minus Hendry, a hamstring injury forcing his replacement by McAllister.
United had a double opportunity to put the game beyond their visitors when Sutherland did well to beat Young on the byline before firing the ball across the box, Dignan got a foot to it but saw his effort come back off Ferguson on the line. The ball fell back to Suttie on the edge of the box but he saw his effort go high over the bar.
United were dealt a massive injury blow after 54 minutes when Seeley went down trying to tackle Marc Scott. The Saints man had to be helped from the field and was later diagnosed with a torn hamstring, Hunter replacing the unfortunate Seeley.
The visitors almost immediately replaced Clark with McIlvarey. Ferguson was booked for a scything tackle on Dignan on the righthand side and when the free kick came in McGovern made a hash of his save but the ball was eventually cleared by his defence.
McQuade was replaced by Buchan minutes for United as manger Hardie went for fresh legs and in a last throw of the dice from Carnoustie boss Ian Gilzean, Perera replaced Marc Scott.
Carnoustie were beginning to get the upper hand as they pressed for an equaliser and Porteous was unfortunate to concede a free kick for a foul on Dailly on the 77th minute. McInnes was booked for a challenge on Roberts.
Carnoustie were level on the 85th minute when the ball was fed to McIlvarey on the right and he skated past Hunter before racing in to the box and beating Sloan at the near post.
The visitors had a chance to win when McIlvarey once again caused havoc on the right but Robertson headed over with Sloan to beat.
As the game peated out, Buchan and Suttie were booked for United.
A disappointing result in the end for United who threw away a two-goal lead after creating some good football early one but defensive frailties came back to haunt them.
Tomorrow (Saturday) Saints face the joys of the Emirates Scottish Cup when Spartans visit Recreation Park with a kick off at 2.30pm.
An added attraction at tomorrows fixture will be an appearance by Uniteds mascot, Gizzy the ring-tailed lemur, from Fife Animal Centre at Collessie.
St Andrews United FC has announced that both the junior club’s main shirt and warm-up sponsors have extended their partnerships through to June of next year.
Volkswagen dealership, Barnetts of St Andrews, are delighted to repeat the success of last season’s venture andwill see the company name prominent on the back of the players’ shirts as well as the front for the new campaign.
The firm’s general manager, Robert Nee, said:”Barnetts always seeks to go that extra mile for its customers, and St Andrews United has done exactly the same for us. In winning the East of Scotland Cup, the team has exceeded expectations and shown itself to be champion material.”
Mitchells Deli, who operate in the town’s Market Street, created a stir back in January when free soup was on offer at a United match to celebrate the launch of their warm-up kit sponsorship by “warming up” the spectators.
Club chairman, David Cunningham, added: ”Both Barnetts of St Andrews and Mitchells Deli are top class local businesses with which we hope to be associated for a long time.
“We are grateful for their support as we seek to build on the team’s success in the new season and look forward to working together with them to further raise our profile of United and that of our sponsors over the coming year and beyond.”