Grieve gives Cupar grief
A severely depleted Shipyard team braved a storming second half fight-back from Cupar so score a late late winner and secure a deserved win in this league match at Recreation Park. With Ferrier and McAndrew suspended and a few others unavailable, the shipyard were down to 13 players, but no-one let their manager down as everyone gave their all to keep the recent good run going. Having had a lot of work done to the pitch over the last week or so, it was in reasonable condition for the match.
The Shipyard were the first team to have an attempt, however, Gray’s shot from distance was well over the bar. Cupar replied a couple of minutes later with a similar effort. In the 6th minute Gray went even closer when he volleyed just over the bar from around 25 yards. The Shipyard took the lead in the 11th minute when Grieve’s ball into the box was headed in the direction of Craig Russell who produced a fine volleyed finish over the out rushing McEwan in the Cupar goals. Grieve then hit a tremendous shot from all of 40 yards that McEwan got behind to make the save. Martin in the Shipyard goals saw his first real action in the 23rd minute when he had to scramble to gather the ball at the second attempt as the Cupar forwards closed in. Martin was called into action again in the 28th minute when he did well to parry a shot out. The ball dropped to M. Reilly, but he could not direct his shot on target. Wilson showed good feet at the edge of the Cupar box to engineer a shooting opportunity, however, his well hit shot was straight at McEwan.
Cupar were almost level at the start of the second have when Sibanda headed goalwards from close range but, again Martin was on hand to make the save. The Shipyard then went straight up the park and doubled their lead with a fantastic goal. Paul Wilson showed great skill just inside the Cupar box, leaving two Cupar players in his wake, before unleashing a ferocious left-foot shot that gave McEwan absolutely no chance. This goal seemed to galvanise Cupar and they started to lay siege to the Shipyard goal. Martin gathered a high ball under pressure, before in the next minute he was penalised for bringing down the Cupar forward in the box. The referee deemed that two players had got back to cover and only issued a yellow card. Captain Anderson took the penalty kick, only to see Andy Martin dive low to his right to produce a fine save. Three minutes later in the 55th Dow got onto the end of a long ball out of defence, but as he bore down on goal he was crowded out and the chance was lost. The Shipyard were made to rue that chance as a minute later Cupar got back into the game when a partially cleared corner was played back into the box and Barry Sibanda was on hand to glance the ball into the net. In the 61st minute Whyte broke out of defence deep in the Shipyard half and ran all the way to the edge of the Cupar area, but his right foot shot lacked power and was easily held. Sibanda was a constant threat to the Shipyard and he went close when he headed just wide from a corner. In the 65th minute he was to get on the score sheet again when he converted another penalty that Cupar were awarded. This time the award was not so clear cut as the referee had deemed that Whyte had fouled Sibanda wide on the right hand side of the box. Sibanda blasted the kick straight down the middle to beat Martin. Cupar had dominated the second half and were now looking for a winner and Boylan should have done better in the 73rd minute instead of blasting over. Martin denied Sibanda hit hat-trick as he got out quick to block him after a poor pass back. Stuart Gray passed up a superb chance for the Shipyard when he found himself in acres of space, right in the middle of the Cupar box, however, he could not get great power on his shot and McEwan was able to gather the ball on his goal line. McInroy got on the end of a free kick in the Shipyard box but could not direct his shot on target. There was a sensational finish to the game when in stoppage time, Wilson’s shot from 10 yards was parried by McEwan, only for Gordon Grieve to rush in and slam the loose ball into the net to give the Shipyard the win. Manager Whitehead was naturally delighted and said “We kept going and showed a bit of belief. Previously we would have lost this type of game to Cupar, but today we showed what we can do. There was a couple of good finishes today and again Andy showed his quality with another penalty save. Bearing in mind we were short of a few players today it was a very pleasing result and performance”.
Teams: Burntisland Shipyard: Martin; Grieve; Brough; Williams; Whyte; Wilson; Hamilton; Cook; Russell; Dow; Gray. Unused Subs: Lamont; Gavin.
Cupar Hearts: McEwan; Fraser; Gilfillan; Anderson; McInroy; Halley; O’Leary; Boylan; M. Reilly; Beveridge; Sibanda. Subs: Crawford; Kane; Simpson; G. Reilly; Rintoul.
Referee: W. Anderson.