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Burntisland Shipyard 2-3 Peebles Rovers

Sloppy Shipyard slump to defeat.

The Shipyard, as that well used cliché says “snatched defeat from the jaws of victory” at Recreation Park on Saturday as they went down 3-2 against Peebles Rovers. Having twice taken the lead through Shaun Keatings and Ben Anthony, the Shippy conceded two late penalty kicks which were converted by Grant Wilson, to condemn the Shipyard to defeat in the first game of the season. The Shippy missed a host of good chances and were also denied a late equaliser as the referee deemed that Lewis Ross was offside as he knocked the ball into the net from close range. A contentious decision to say the least.

Prior to the match a tribute was paid to the late Neil McLeod as his son Ollie led the team out and laid a wreath on the centre spot before a minute’s applause took place in recognition of our dear friend.

There were six competitive debuts for the Shipyard though the starting eleven had to be changed as it was decided not to risk Craig Watt as during the warm up as he still felt a niggle on a recent injury. He was replaced by Dan Thomson.

There was very little in the way of goalmouth action in the early stages as both teams looked to settle, however, the deadlock was broken in fine style as the Shippy took the lead on twenty minutes. Ryan Watt burst down the right-hand side as his measured cross took out the keeper and Keatsy was on hand at the back post to knock the ball home from a tight angle. Unfortunately, that advantage only lasted seven minutes as the unchallenged Jamie Mackay headed home from a corner. A D. Thomson shot from the edge of the box was held by keeper Ross Coates. A minute before halftime a superb block denied Keatings as he looked certain to notch his second of the match and on the stroke of the interval Coates brilliantly tipped over an Anthony drive.

The Shippy got off to a great start in the second half as Anthony smashed the ball home from a narrowing angle giving Coates no chance. Hamish Milne headed clear from under the bar and injured himself in the process though he was able to continue after treatment. A great chance fell to CJ Thomson in the 54th minutes when the young midfielder found himself in space in the centre of the box. However, he didn’t get his shot away quickly enough and the keeper was able to save and gather the loose ball. Three minutes later Milne also spurned a golden opportunity as his powerful strike hit the outside of the post following a Michael Gibb cutback. Peebles were level in the 70th minute from the penalty spot after the referee penalised Iain Millar for handball. Given what the SFA head of referees had told us at a meeting on Thursday night, it seems the rank-and-file refs haven’t been told, as this was harsh. Big Millzy’s hands were in front of his body when the ball was smashed at him and in no way whatsoever was he making his body bigger. Wilson struck home the kick with aplomb. Peebles were awarded another penalty six minutes later and this time there was no argument as Millar fouled his opponent at the edge of the area. Once again Wilson made no mistake from twelve yards. A Harris Kay free kick was saved by Coates and we then had the controversial offside decision against Ross but despite putting the Peebles defence under a lot of pressure the Shippy couldn’t get the goal they deserved.

We now quickly move on to Wednesday night as Edinburgh United visit Recreation Park for our second league match of the season. Kick-off is at 7.30pm.

Burntisland Shipyard: S. Costello; M. Gibb; L. Ross; H. Milne; I. Millar (R. MacAulay); D. Thomson (B. Murray); CJ. Thomson; H. Kay; B. Anthony; R. Watt (C. Lewis); S. Keatings. Unused Subs: A. Brown; D. Pierce; S. Strang.

Peebles Rovers: R. Coates; B. Brown; C. Mackenzie; R. Lamb; G. Doyle; L. Maclean; J. Mackay; G. Wilson; F. Stewart; P. Dickson. Subs: H. McGill; S. Robertson; J. Dodds; N. McDonald; M. Joyce.

Referee: E. Walls.