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Berwick Rangers Reserves 1 Burntisland Shipyard 0

Shipyard lose to freak goal.

The Shipyard suffered a narrow defeat to a Berwick Rangers side that had a sprinkling of players with first team experience in their ranks. In a game of few opportunities the home team were probably deserved winners as they had more of the chances and Mikey Couser was the busier keeper. The Shipyard started with the same team that had defeated Eyemouth United two weeks ago with the only changes being among the substitutes.

In the early stages Keith Buckley looked to impress against his former club and in the fifth minute he ran at the home defence but his shot lacked the power to beat Berwick keeper Ross McMullen. Adam Doig drove over as the visitors looked for an early goal and in the ninth minute it nearly came. After good work on the left hand side, Joe Samson put in a delightful cross that Buckley got his head to but his attempt drifted just wide of the far post. The home team’s first chance came in the 16th minute when Couser fumbled the ball, however, his defence was on hand to avert the danger. A good cross from the Berwick right had to be headed away for a corner and when the set piece was cleared to the edge of the box the resultant shot was not too far away. The Shipyard had another chance in the 22nd minute when Kevin Masson delivered a delightful free-kick to the back post. Unfortunately the diving Blair Smart could not get his head on the ball that in fairness he must have seen late. Grieg Tulloch missed a chance for Berwick when he knocked the ball over the bar from around ten yards and the home team continued to press at this stage but only had a couple of weak efforts at Couser’s goal to show for their efforts. A better opening arose for Berwick in the 35th minute but Couser blocked Tulloch’s strike with his legs as the striker bore down on him. Couser then held an attempt from Ryan Scanlon in what was the last chance of the first half.

Seven minutes into the second half saw Samson get forward and his powerful drive was held by McMullen. Berwick threatened a minute later and it took a great tackle from Pete Bell to clear the danger. The home team took the lead in the 64th minute with a bizarre goal. In what looked like a cross everyone appeared to leave the ball, this seemed to deceive Couser, and the ball went across the face of goal and in at the back post with Kenny O’Brien the man who had delivered the cross. A minute later Berwick sub Stephen Anderson shot over and shortly after that Couser did well to put off Dean Carse as he rounded him. As Couser dived at his feet, it was enough to see Carse stumble before the ball was cleared. Paul Currie almost doubled the home team’s lead when he showed great skill to flick the ball round Couser,  though his shot looked as if it would have when wide whether it had hit Andy MacDonald’s studs or not. The Shipyard were almost level with a quarter of an hour to go when the ball broke to Masson 25 yards from goal. His venomous strike took a deflection which put it just wide of the post with McMullen beaten. With five minutes to go Grant Blyth spurned another good chance for the visitors when Jamie Fyfe set him up with a shooting chance from eight yards but he dragged his shot wide of the far post. O’Brien had two chances for Berwick in added time but with the first he drove the ball over the bar and with the second Couser pulled off a good save to deny him.

Myles although naturally disappoint about the result, was upbeat about his team’s performance when he said “There wasn’t much in the game at all and not many clear cut chances at either end. The fact that a cross ends up in the back of the net for the only goal of the game probably sums the game up well. We stuck with playing two strikers today and we knew that it put a lot of responsibility on the midfield four to work hard to shut down the space which they did really well. I also thought that the back four defended very well and kept the Berwick chances to a minimum.
Out of possession we were probably as good today as we’ve been all season. My only criticism is that we didn’t keep possession as well as we should have, especially in the first half. We did improve a bit after half time though and created a couple of decent opportunities and only good goalkeeping or poor finishing stopped us from scoring”.

Teams: Berwick Rangers Reserves: R. McMullen; L. Turner; J. Gill; E. Saunderson; J. Elliot; K. O’Brien; R. Brady; P. Currie; D. Carse (R. Graham); G. Tulloch; R. Scanlon (S. Anderson). Unused Suns: R. Nevison & A. Tufail.

Burntisland Shipyard: M. Couser; A. MacDonald; P. Bell; B. Smart; A. Clark; K. Masson; D. Robertson; C. Lowe; K. Buckley; A. Doig; C. Samson. Unused Subs: J. Mushet; G. Bridges; J. McCrindle.

Referee: A. McIntyre.