Shipyard unlucky in narrow defeat.
The Shipyard again missed a series of good chances but unlike the previous two weeks, this was a much better all-round performance as they more than matched their Lowland League opponents and can count themselves unlucky not to have at least taken the game into extra time or even win the tie. After last week’s impressive showing Jonathan Galloway kept his place in the starting line-up and he was joined by fellow under/20 Craig Watt. Three more from the under 20 squad, Kieran Annandale, Jordan Galloway and young keeper Craig Richardson earned a place on the bench. Sandy Strang missed out after breaking his toe last Saturday and Craig Anderson failed to shake off a hip complaint as he also remained on the sidelines.
The visitors were the first to create an opportunity when the ball was fizzed across the Shipyard six-yard line but nobody could get on the end of it. The Shippy’s Watt was then unfortunate to see his strike deflected for a corner. Shipyard keeper Sean Malpas, restored after being left out last week, produced a great save in the 10th minute to deny Selkirk before the Shipyard passed up the best chance of the match so far. Watt done fantastically well on the left-hand side to pick out Sam Glancy with a cross field ball but with only the keeper to beat Glancy dragged his angled shot wide. In the 20th minute Brian Breen, Callum McAulay and Watt all linked up well to set up a chance for Brodie Hamilton but the striker did not get enough power on his strike to trouble Selkirk keeper Gregor Amos. Hamilton tried to turn provider but his dangerous cross was blocked by the visitor’s defence. Selkirk then had a good chance, however, they were thwarted when Galloway tracked back to block the goal bound effort. In the 27th minute the Shipyard spurned another golden opportunity when a Hamilton ball into the area found McAulay in acres of space but his powerful shot was straight at the keeper when anything a yard either side of him would surely have broken the deadlock. Rab Kinnaird was next to have a chance when he got on the end of a Breen cross but he could not get his header on target. At the other end the Selkirk forward showed great skill to bring the ball down and when he shot his effort just cleared the bar. The game was swinging from end to end and when Kinnaird burst into the box he could not find a team mate with his cutback from the by-line. The Shipyard were somewhat sucker punched as the visitors took the lead with the simplest of goals when a cross from the right-hand side was too easily headed home by the unchallenged Ciaren Chalmers, though there appeared to be a hint of offside about the goal. Selkirk started to enjoy a period of pressure and Malpas did extremely well to deny the visitors with an excellent double save. Pete Bell then cleared acrobatically at the expense of a corner and from the resultant kick Andrew Fleming’s header was not too far off target. On the stroke of half-time the Shippy missed another chance where they were unfortunate to see Kinnaird’s shot blocked by his team mate Scott Powrie.
Malpas was in action again at the start of the second have as he saved with his legs from Phil Addison and just short of the hour mark Ryan Sclater curled his free-kick just wide. Breen went equally close for the Shipyard with a dead ball attempt from 25 yards as his strike flew over the bar. Malpas saved at the feet of Daryl Healy and he also saved well two minutes later with the Shipyard defence appealing in vain for an offside flag. A McAulay free-kick skimmed off a Selkirk head and flew narrowly wide. Annandale then came on for his first team debut when he replaced Powrie. Another Shipyard sub Owen Ferry did not last long before he picked up a head injury and had to be replaced himself with the game inside the last ten minutes. Malpas held another headed effort and as the home team pushed for an equaliser their only chance came when a dangerous cross into the box was headed clear by Chalmers.
Manager Grant Brough was upbeat as he spoke after the match when he said “Despite losing today I’m absolutely delighted with the players effort and attitude. Selkirk, who are a very good side, will be going away today knowing they are fortunate to walk away from game with a win. It may sound biased but I certainly think we were the better side but lady luck just seems to be deserting us, particularly when we are in front of goals at this moment in time”. He turned his attention to the defence when he added “Defensively we were a lot more solid, with no sign of the errors which had cost us dearly in the last couple of weeks. However, we must maintain that level of performance in the long term”. When asked about the youngsters involved in the match he said “I felt Craig Watt who was making his first start for us at only 17 years of age was outstanding in the midfield, the introduction of him, Johnny Galloway and the rest of the U20s lads who have been called upon the last few weeks is testament to the hard work Chris, John and Gary are putting in with them”. Brough was lavish with his praise for everyone as he went on “I have to say everyone is always quick to criticise referees but I thought the referee was outstanding today, he let the game flow allowed the boys to talk to him but was always in control of the game”.
Next Saturday (18/11/2017) the Shipyard return to league action with Leith Athletic the visitors to Recreation Park with kick off at 2.00pm.
Burntisland Shipyard: S. Malpas; S. Powrie (K. Annandale); B. Breen (O. Ferry) (Jor. Galloway); P. Bell; D. Anderson; S. Glancy; C. Watt; C. McAulay; B. Hamilton; Jon. Galloway; R. Kinnaird. Unused Subs: T. Graham & C. Richardson.
Selkirk: G. Amos; R. Sclater; R. Donaldson; A. Fleming; R. King; D. Healy; C. Chalmers; J. Hopkinson; P. Addison; C. Helm; S. McKirdy. Subs: J. Keenan; G. Hunter; L. Turkington; E. Williams; C. Notely; G. Goodfellow.
Referee: M. Tumilty.