Shippy beaten but far from disgraced.
The Shipyard left Newtown Park extremely frustrated following their 4-1 defeat to Bo’ness United in the Soccershop Challenge Cup. Not at their performance, not the margin of the defeat or not because Bo’ness were flattered by the scoreline. It was the self inflicted manner of the defeat that hurt. A missed penalty at 0-0, a header off the crossbar at 2-1 down, a whole host of chances spurned, conceding the opening goal seconds before the interval and being on the wrong end of some controversial decisions did the damage. There may be two divisions between the teams, however, for the most part the Shippy more than matched their Lowland League opponents, before losing two very late goals that gave a false impression of how the match had unfolded. For the first time in weeks the Shippy had an eighteen man squad, thanks in part to the addition of Jordan Mackenzie and Nathan Laird, signed on loan from East Fife on Friday evening. Tyler McKenzie returned from suspension and Jordan Galloway came back after isolating for a couple of weeks.
The Shipyard created the first chance in the second minute when Shaun Keatings found space at the edge of the box but his driven shot was too high to trouble ex-Shipyard keeper Ryan Adamson. Keatings next attempt certainly troubled Adamson as the keeper tipped over the midfielders strike from around twenty yards. Everyone was surprised to see a goal kick awarded with the keeper probably disappointed that his fine save was not recognised. The first chance for the hosts arrived after eleven minutes and the Shippy were relieved to see Kyle Bell’s effort hit the top of the bar and go over. The Shipyard engineered a great opening in the 20th minute when a good move put Reece Brown in on goal, however, the youngster stumbled as he looked to get on to the ball. Kieran Anderson and Bell would both have been disappointed that they never tested Scott Costello in the Shipyard goals having been afforded good opportunities. Brown then saw Adamson hold his shot after the striker showed good feet at the front post. The game was very much end to end as the Shippy went toe to toe with the team sitting third and unbeaten in the Lowland League and United were next to have a chance when Stuart McFarlane headed over from a corner. The Shipyard went very close in the 34th minute as firstly Ben Anthony’s strike was unconvincingly pushed away by Adamson with a follow up shot from brother Darrell fortunately deflected narrowly wide at the expense of a corner. The visitors were handed a golden opportunity to take the lead in the 37th minute when they were awarded a penalty. Brown turned his man on the by-line and was tripped as he headed towards the goals. It was of the stonewall variety leaving the ref with no other option but to point to the spot. Disappointingly for the Shippy Brown’s effort was weak and Adamson saved all to easily. A good driving run from D. Anthony saw him burst through the Bo’ness defence but his shot was too straight and Adamson was able to save. Just as the half-time whistle loomed all the Shipyard’s good work was undone when the hosts created a chance for Brian Ritchie and the big striker slotted the ball beyond Costello to open the scoring.
A heavy shower at the interval cleared before the teams re-emerged for the second half though it looked like the wind was strengthening with Bo’ness being the beneficiaries of the elements. The hosts were claiming for a penalty in the 51st minute but their appeals were rightly waived away by the referee. The Shippy deservedly drew level in the 57th minute with a well worked goal. Brown and B. Anthony combined to set up Jay Bridgeford and the wide man drilled the ball home despite a valiant effort from a United defender to keep the ball out. The game was still even and hard fought with some thoughts starting to drift towards extra-time when Bo’ness got their noses in front again. Ritchie again found the net and the goal stood despite appeals for offside. A Ben Anthony drive flashed across the face of goal with the ball taking a slight deflection with a corner being awarded. From the corner Gavin Ross saw his header smash back off the bar. With three minutes remaining Ritchie completed his hat-trick with a huge slice of good fortune when a miscued clearance fell to him and he confidently beat Costello from ten yards. The Shippy really had their noses rubbed in it when Bell scored a fourth with a well placed shot from outside the box. The Shipyard can be very proud of their showing against a team of this calibre and they will be looking to maintain the performance level when they travel to face Heriot Watt University at Oriam on Tuesday Night. Kick-off time for the match is 7.30pm.
Bo’ness United: R. Adamson; D. Jacobs; D. McFarlane (W. Snowdon); C. Comrie; R. Stevenson; B. Ritchie; T. Grant (M. Gemmell); S. McFarlane; L. Bell; B. Wharton; K. Anderson. Unused Subs: A. Murphy; Z. Miller.
Burntisland Shipyard: S. Costello; M. Miller; R. Crichton; D. Hunter (N. Laird); G. Ross; S. Strang (T. McKenzie); S. Keatings; D. Anthony; B. Anthony; R. Brown (J. Mackenzie) J. Bridgeford. Unused Subs: M. Gibb; R. Lennie; R. O’Donnell, J. Galloway.
Referee: S. Luke.