Poor start to league campaign.
It was a case of one step forward and two steps back for the Shipyard after today’s game against Berwick. After all the good things that were on show last week against Duns ,there was nothing to write home about today as the Berwick keeper never had a save to make throughout the match. Stuart Blake, Ryan Connor and Adam Doig were unavailable while Stevie Connor was ill. Jordan Mushet returned to the team with loan signing Grant Blyth and a trialist taking their places on the bench.
The first chance arrived when Gavin Bridges whipped in a cross from the right hand side but Dale Robertson could not control his volley and the ball finished well wide of target. There seemed to be a slight hesitancy in the Shipyard defence as Berwick forced a few corners but Mushet was not overly stretched. After twenty minutes Brendan Napier strode forward and unleashed a drive that was also well off target. James Elliot of Berwick had a similar effort to Napier’s that never troubled the keeper. Berwick took the lead from the penalty spot on the half hour mark when Alan Clark impeded Greig Tulloch in the air as they went for a high ball inside the six yard box. There was a bit of a surprise that referee Farmer only showed Clark a yellow card. However, Gary Brady waited patiently before firing the ball low to Mushet’s left to give his side the lead. Tulloch was injured in the clash and was unable to continue and he was replaced by Keith Buckley. A scramble in the Shipyard box saw the ball eventually cleared for a corner and from the set piece Lewis Turner was not far away when the ball broke to him at the edge of the box. Berwick increased their lead in the 39th minute when Dean Carse collected a neat through ball, rounded Mushet and stroked the ball into the empty net. A Ewan Fotheringham cross cum shot hit the side netting as the homesters looked to get into the match before half time. Deep into stoppage time Mushet pulled off a fine diving save as a fierce shot from the corner of the box looked to be net bound.
A headed pass back in the 53rd minute by Bridges did not have enough power on it and Carse nipped in ahead of Mushet only to see his shot hit the outside of the post and go behind for a goal kick. Berwick were very much on top by now as they passed the ball around and Elliot headed over from a good position. Napier saw his free kick from 22 yard narrowly clear the crossbar as the Shipyard tried to get a foothold in the game but again it was Berwick who went close when a shot from the edge of the box took a deflection and looped over the bar. A clever free kick from Napier down the side of the Berwick defence found Masson in a good position but his excellent ball across the six yard line found no takers. Berwick tied the game up in the 88th minute and it was a disaster for Mushet as he hesitated when a long ball dropped at the edge of the box and this allowed Buckley to nip in and score easily in what was the last meaningful action of the match.
Manager Myles Allan was not too downbeat after the match when he reflected “It’s a disappointing start to the league campaign. While it’s not the worst performance that I’ve seen, it was just a bit too lethargic and Berwick didn’t even have to play particularly well to get the points”. He went on to point out “There are definitely two Burntisland Shipyard sides at the moment. There is one that can compete with any team in the league because they play with a good tempo and intensity. Then there is the one that we saw yesterday that sits back and gives far too much respect to their opponent”.
Teams: Burntisland Shipyard: Mushet; Bridges; Henderson (Sartarello); Clark; McKay; Bell (Blyth); Robertson; Lowe; Masson; Napier; Fotheringham (Trialist). Unused Subs: Smart & Morrison.
Berwick Rangers: Sloan; Saunderson Bennett); Gill; Tainsh; Davidson; Elliot; Anderson (Meikle); Tulloch (Buckley); Carse; Turner; Unused Subs: Tufail & Hay.
Referee: G. Farmer.