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Burntisland Shipyard 2 Leith Athletic 4

Penalty call costs Shipyard dear.

A slack five minute spell after a contentious penalty decision cost the Shipyard dearly as they succumbed to Premier Division Leith Athletic for the third time this season. Manager Myles Allan made two changes to the starting line-up from last week. With Jordan Mushet attending a family wedding, young goalkeeper Callum Speedie was signed on loan from Cowdenbeath and made his debut while Alan Clark returned to the side with Blair Smart dropping to the bench. Despite unnecessary concerns from the visitors the referee deemed the pitch perfectly playable for this Image Printers Qualifying League match at Recreation Park.

The visitors had a close shave in the 4th minute when an in-swinging corner from Grant Blyth resulted in the ball rebounding off the far post and Dale Robertson’s follow-up effort was blocked by a Leith defender. Just 60 seconds later and it was the Shipyard who were under pressure as the Leith’s Chris Barrie had a powerful effort saved by Speedie. Grant Blyth collected a Bridges throw-in in the 9th minute and advanced to the edge of the box before striking just wide of the goalkeeper’s right-hand post. In the 22nd minute, Dale Robertson found Keith Buckley in the box and the big striker did well to turn the defence before unleashing a shot that was blocked by the Leith goalkeeper Jamie Newman. Four minutes later the home side were gifted the opening goal when a cross-field pass from the Dan Simpson was volleyed back towards goal by his fellow defender, Mark Leslie. However, with the goalkeeper out of position, the ball trundled into the unguarded net. The Shipyard had chances to increase their lead when firstly JP McPhail cut inside from the right flank but his left footed effort was saved by Newman and then Blyth’s right footed shot went narrowly wide. Leith came close to an equaliser in the 44th minute when Grant Burns had an effort from the edge of the box deflected wide for a corner. However, the visitors didn’t have long to wait for the equaliser. Speedie’s sliced goal kick eventually landed at the feet of Chris Barrie and he found Chris Wright at the far post to tap home from close range on the stroke of half time.

Kevin Masson had a long range effort in the 64th minute which went narrowly over and then good work from substitute Jamie Fyfe and Grant Blyth created an opening for Buckley but his front post effort went narrowly wide. There was a controversial moment in the 71st minute when Craig Lowe was upended in the box by a Leith defender but with the home side expecting a penalty award, referee Gill waved away the claims much to the bemusement of the Shipyard support. He must have been the only person in the ground that never seen it as a penalty. The perceived injustice seemed to distract the Shipyard and just six minutes later they found themselves 4-1 down. Quick-fire goals from Allan, Leslie and Campbell in a whirlwind spell put the game beyond the home side. The Shipyard were given a glimmer of hope in the 83rd minute when a Dale Robertson free-kick wasn’t cleared and Jamie Fyfe thumped home a volley from 8 yards to make it 2-4 but Leith saw out the remaining minutes comfortably to hold on to the win.

After the match the manager said “Despite the result, I have no complaints about the effort from the guys, other than that five minute spell when we lost our concentration. I think it was quite natural for the players to feel aggrieved at not getting the penalty award as I believe it to be as strong a claim for a penalty as you will see. However, it’s important not to let that distract you from the job at hand and I feel that too many players allowed themselves to lose their focus on the match”. Myles was able to take some positives from the match and added “Compared to the game against Leith a few weeks ago, it was a vast improvement and with the two good performances in our previous couple games too, it is an encouraging end to 2013. We need to take that into the league games against teams in our own division now and, if we can, I can see a more positive time in 2014.”

Teams: Burntisland Shipyard: C. Speedie; G. Bridges; P. Bell; A. Clark; C. McKay; K. Masson; JP. McPhail (J. Fyfe); S. Blake (C .Lowe); K. Buckley; D. Robertson; G. Blyth; Unused Subs: B. Smart; J. Crombie; R. Sartarello.

Leith Athletic: Newman, Hogg, Hall, Simpson, Leslie, Burns, Barrie, Cairns, Wright, Mason, Tracey. Subs: Allan, Black, Campbell, Gordon, Trialist.

Referee: M. Gill.