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Kelso United 2 Burntisland Shipyard 1

Shipyard suffer from lack of options.

The Shipyard headed to Kelso on Saturday again with a vastly depleted squad, as more of the current squad were missing than actually travelling. Two trialists from the EDU soccer academy helped out and the bench consisted of goalkeeper Jordan Mushet and manager Alex Lowe as a trialist. In what were far from ideal preparation for the game the Shipyard started with a back three due to lack of defensive options with the two French trialists taking up forward roles.Conditions were tricky with a very bumpy pitch and a strong cross wind blowing across the park, which led to a very poor 90 minutes from both sides.

The game started very much like the last game against Kelso with the home team setting up very defensively, hitting on the break and hardly crossing the half way line. Any link up play was played by the visitors with United resorting mainly to long balls. There was very little goalmouth action until the 20th minute when from a free kick 25 yards out, Ethan Anderson ran round the side of the wall but hit a poor shot cum cross out for a goal kick. After 30 minutes Adam Doig should have scored when he was clear six yards from goal but the Kelso goalkeeper was off his line quickly to smother the ball and parry out for a corner. A minute later Doig found himself in the clear around 20 yards from goal and his well hit shot beat the Kelso keeper but went narrowly passed the post. Just two minutes later the same player found himself in a similar situation after good link up play with trialist Felix McMerrin, forcing the keeper into a good save. There was not much in the way of clear cut chances for the rest of the half with a couple of corners for both teams though there was decent wing play from the other French trialist Yoan Ndri but with no real end result and Kelso did not have one clear cut chance in the whole of the first half with the Shippy back three looking comfortable. Dale Robertson was controlling the midfield area but was starting to feel the effects of a number of fouls against him during the first half.

Kelso started the second half a bit more adventurous leading to a more open game. The Shipyard put Ethan Anderson into the back three to give better balance on the left hand side and pushed Craig Lowe into midfield to provide support to the front two. Kelso had the first chance of the second half when a good shot from the number 9 was saved by Barry Thomson who only parried the ball out to the middle of the box and the Kelso number 10 clipped the rebound over bar. The Shippy then should have scored when Adam Doig cut in from the left and set up Ryan Kelly 12 yards out, however, his shot went narrowly passed the post. Kelso then scored after 58 minutes when after good hold up play by their number 9, he laid the ball off to a midfield runner some 22 yards out and his very well hit shot flew into the far corner of the net giving Thomson no chance. The Shipyard then took the game to Kelso and Adam Doig had two claims for penalties both denied by the referee, one at the edge of the box, the other for a push which we have seen been given before. Jordan Mushet came on as sub for  McMerrin with 25 minutes to go and livened the game up with good skill and pace up front. Eventually Craig Lowe equalised after 78 minutes when he poked home from close range after a good free kick from Dale Robertson. The Shipyard continued going forward in an attempt to get the winner but in the last minute after a poor forward pass, Kelso broke forward and their central midfielder struck a shot from 20 yards which bounced twice then over keeper Thomson on its way to the back of the net. The keeper should have done better but the Kelso man should not have been able to get the shot away either. This was the last kick of the match in what was a sore result to take.

Alex found it hard to hide his disappointment regarding the final outcome of the match and the lack of players being available for him to select when he said “Once again we did not deserve to lose this game but fair play to Kelso, they had three shots the whole game and scored with two of them. Their management team has certainly tightened them up defensively and they are working hard for each other. From our point of view all our guys worked hard and we played the better football all game, even with our vastly depleted squad. We had four trialists involved and Adam Doig and Ryan Kelly had their first full games since November last year. Our goalkeeper was a substitute and when he come on up front he played very well. The conditions probably helped Kelso and it was overall a poor spectacle for anyone watching”.  Moving on to the lack of a squad he was brief and to the point when said “Our signed players need to understand how difficult it is for the management team to prepare for games in these circumstances”.

Burntisland Shipyard: B. Thomson; C. Lowe; P. Bell; A. Trialist; T. Arthur; R. Kelly; D. Robertson; E. Anderson; A. Doig; B. Trialist (J. Mushet); C. Trialist.

Referee: K. Lindsay.