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East Fife 2-0 Burntisland Shipyard

Missed chances cost Shippy dear.

Two late goals from East Fife won them this Fife Cup tie, however, they were made to fight all the way against a determined and resolute Shipyard. The match looked like it might be heading to penalties until a great strike from Brogan Walls gave the hosts the lead with fourteen minutes remaining. The goal that clinched the match came in added time, just seconds after Shaun Keatings had struck the East Fife bar with a looping shot. Mikey Couser stared in goal for the Shippy with Matty Robertson and Ethan Bauld getting starts in the defence. Mark James moved back into midfield and Craig Watt returned in place of the unavailable Sam Glancy. Following his two goals from the bench against Stirling University Billy Murray started up front in place of Ben Anthony.

 Shippy keeper Couser had a few impressive saves throughout the match, unlike home keeper Reece Beveridge who would have been happy that, despite several good opportunities, nearly all of the Shippy efforts were off target.

The Shipyard spurned a great chance in the eight minute when Keatings broke clear but he blazed over with only the keeper to beat. C. Watt then teed up Murray but once again the attempt was off target. C. Watt himself then missed a great chance when he headed over a Keatings corner from around six yards. The hosts started to put the Shipyard defence under a bit more pressure but they never seriously troubled Couser until the 35th minute. Mikey was up to the challenge though as he saved low at his righthand post. East Fife started to dominate proceedings as the first half was drawing to a close with Gregor Nicol shooting over. Couser then pulled off a magnificent stop as he denied Brendan Ramsay with an outstretched leg with the forward looking certain to score. The last action of the period saw Nicol again fail to find the target from a good position.

Shippy manager Lee Richardson made a double change at the interval with Lewis Ross and Anthony replacing Robertson and Murray. Benji was involved in the action quickly as be drove into the box but his effort flashed across the face of goal with no one able to capitalise on the loose ball. The Shippy spurned another great chance from a corner as C. Watt and Kearyn Hicks seemed to get in each other’s way with the latter failing to hit the target. Dan Thomson replaced the injured James after 52 minutes and six minutes later Couser made a good save from an angled driven shot. Richardson used up his quota of subs as he replaced Bauld with Michael Gibb and a few minutes later Ryan Watt came on for Harris Kay. The Shippy switched off at a short corner allowing Walls to find space at the edge of the box and his left foot curling strike beat Couser to break the deadlock leaving the big keeper frustrated at conceding a goal. As the game went into added time Keatings gathered the ball on the left hand side, he cut in and his looping attempt deceived Beveridge but agonisingly for the Shipyard contingent the ball struck the bar and was cleared. East Fife went up the park and sealed the tie with a scrappy goal as the Shippy failed to clear their lines and Ryan Schiavone netted from close range.

It was bittersweet for Richardson as he said after the match. “We defended very well for the most part but two loses of concentration cost us dearly. At the other end we needed to have more conviction when given opportunities to score.”

On Saturday (28/10/2023) we return to league action with a visit from Edinburgh South. Kick-off is at 2.30pm.

East Fife: R. Beveridge; S. Murdoch; C. Murray; L. Briggs; A. Wilkie; B. Walls; G. Nicol; P. Slattery; B. Ramsay; C. Hambrook; R. Schiavone. Subs: M. Rollo; L. Newton; J. Healy; J. Black; B. Taylor; T. Dickson; J. Comerford.

Burntisland Shipyard: M. Couser; M. Robertson (L. Ross); I. Millar; E. Bauld (M. Gibb); K. Hicks; C. Watt; M. James (D. Thomson); CJ. Thomson; H. Kay (R. Watt); S. Keatings; B. Murray (B. Anthony). Unused Sub: R. MacAulay.

Referee: A. Budd.