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Burntisland Shipyard 2-4 Stirling University

Same old defensive woes hit Shippy hard again.

Unsurprisingly, it was the usual Shipyard Achilles heel that did the damage on Saturday as more poor defending and indecision cost them dearly in the rescheduled match against Stirling University. The students were four goals ahead before a late double from Billy Murray made the final scoreline more respectable. Not much went the Shipyard’s way throughout the match with two handball decisions at critical stages in the match going against them. With the match still tight the Shippy appealed for a penalty for handball in the Stirling box and much to everyone’s surprise, including the Stirling players, the referee deemed that it was Ben Anthony who had handled and awarded the visitors a free kick. Add in a clear handball in the build up to the third Stirling goal that went unpunished, then you knew it wasn’t going to be the Shipyard’s day.

With the Watt brothers on holiday and Cammy Lewis still out injured from the original match the Shippy team was much changed from the previous encounter.

The first real chance came along in the 15th minute when a hesitant home defence allowed Favour Aigbokie to break clear, however, the big striker failed to hit the target. He got another chance similar to the first only three minutes later as the Shippy defence left the ball to each other and this time he made no mistake from the edge of the area. We had the penalty incident before the University doubled their lead. Once again, the Shipyard defence were all at sea as a Ben Craig-Hislop shot took a deflection and looped over Scott Costello in the Shippy goals. The visitors more or less put the game to bed a minute before half-time as, in controversial circumstances, a handball went unnoticed which allowed Jose Ignacio Navarro to fire the ball home. The Shippy had offered nothing as an attacking force in the first period.

Stirling scored a fourth goal in the 55th minute as Hislop netted his second with questions once again being asked about the quality of the defending. The Shippy finally got an effort on target in the 69th minute when Shaun Keatings stooped to head a Harris Kay cross, however, keeper Andrew Rowan was still awake and made the save. The introduction of Murray gave Stirling something different to think about as he put himself about and he reduced the deficit when he headed home a Sam Glancy corner from close range. The young striker then headed over in the 90th minute but he was not to be denied a second as he bravely headed in another, in what was to be the last action of the game.

Manager Lee Richardson was far from happy after the match when he said “The individual errors are killing us. What is most disappointing for me is that Stirling didn’t have to work hard for their goals. We are gifting teams’ goals game after game and until it stops, we are going to struggle”.

Next week (21/10/2023) we are at home yet again, this time against Kennoway Star Hearts for a league match with the kick off at 2.30pm.

Burntisland Shipyard: S. Costello; L. Ross (M. Gibb); I. Millar; M. James; K. Kicks; H. Kay (M. Robertson); CJ. Thomson (E. Bauld); S. Glancy; B. Anthony (B. Murray); S. Keatings; D. Thomson (R. MacAulay).

Stirling University: A. Rowan; C. Doan; M. Harty; J. Farrell; A. Peris; N. Harney-Rogerson; B. Craig-Hislop; A. Leese; F. Aigbokie; JI. Navarro; B. Moule. Subs: R. Lennon; J. Elliot; O. Kanwei; A. Napier; D. Copeland.

Referee: W. McAleese.