Late late goal denies Shipyard.
The Shipyard passed up a great chance to take a Lowland League scalp in the South Challenge Cup as they conceded an equaliser with the last kick of the game, well actually it was a header but you get the idea. There were ninety four minutes on the clock when Matthew Burrows headed home from a corner to take the match into extra-time. It could have been oh so different had Ben Anthony converted an eightieth minute penalty awarded after Shaun Keating had been brought down in the box.
It was a makeshift defence that lined up for the Shippy with regulars Iain Millar, Mark James and Ryan O’Donnell all missing on the day. Add in the long term injured Lee Henderson, Josh Urquhart and Raymond Crichton and you can appreciate the difficulty Dave Costello had in putting together a back four. That being said, those that filled the positions did so with aplomb and can be very satisfied with their performances.
The visitors created the first chance of the match in the fourth minute forcing Shippy keeper Scott Costello to save with his feet. The Shipyard replied with a long range effort from Sam Glancy before B. Anthony broke down the left and burst into the box, however, his shot from a tight angle was blocked by keeper Yan Gromov Godik. Dan Thomson shot over before the Shippy took the lead in the nineteenth minute. From a set piece Jack Wilson did well in the box and laid the ball into the path of B. Anthony who fired low into the corner for his 13th goal of the season. Sandy Strang was in the right place to make a good clearance as the Uni looked for a quick response to falling behind. Calum Rae was unlucky to see his strike hit the bar after connecting with a right wing cross from Jamie Penker. Costello then saved low down from a Conor Doan header as the visitors enjoyed a good spell of pressure.
A great move down the left flank involving Craig Watt, B. Anthony and Keatings resulted in the latter curling a shot narrowly wide. Stirling missed a great chance in the 55th minute as firstly Costello saved well and then Scott McArthur fired the loose ball against the bar from a good position. He really should have scored. Rae saw his acrobatic attempt fly over the bar in what was his last action of the match as he was immediately replaced by Louis Kennedy. Costello comfortably saved a Robbie McGale Free-kick as the Shippy defence remained resolute while at the other end Keatings drove forward and was unfortunate to see his fierce drive come back off the post with Godik beaten. B. Anthony then shot straight at the keeper though his shot lacked the power to trouble him. The Shipyard were handed a golden opportunity to wrap up the match when they were awarded a penalty with ten minutes remaining. The referee adjudged that Keatings had been fouled close to the by-line and pointed to the spot. Once the dust had settled B. Anthony’s weak strike was easily saved by Godik and the danger was cleared. A scramble in the Shippy area ended with Euan McGill prodding the ball towards goal but the ball drifted wide of the post. With the game deep into added time the Uni grabbed an equaliser when Burrows rose unchallenged to power his header into the top corner sparking wild scenes among the visiting players, more of relief than anything else probably as they knew they had gotten off the hook.
Buoyed by their late equaliser Stirling started extra-time strongly and took the lead in the 93rd minute when James Berry fired a powerful shot into the corner of the net giving Costello no chance. A tired Shipyard were not offering much going forward and it was no surprise when the visitors added a third in the 109th minute when McGill headed home a Jason Jarvis cross. D. Anthony was red carded for a second yellow as the game entered the closing stages with Stirling in control against the ten men hosts.
Manager Costello was full of praise for his players after the game when he said “We played well today, better than we have been of late and defensively very good, particularly given how we had to line up with Sandy, Scoots, Jack and Matty all outstanding with big Scott pulling off some great saves. I know Stirling spoke about missing good chances, however, you won’t get a better chance than a penalty and had we taken that chance there would have been no way back for them.” He went on to add “Their fitness told in the end but to keep them out for ninety four minutes was a credit to how my players performed and we can take a lot of positives and encouragement from that.”
We are back to league business next Saturday (23/10/2021) as we host Edinburgh South at Recreation Park. Kick off is 2.30pm and once again your support will be most welcome.
Burntisland Shipyard: S. Costello; S. Strang; M. Miller; S. Orrock; J. Wilson; C. Watt (G. Clarke); S. Keatings; D. Anthony; B. Anthony; S. Glancy; D. Thomson (H. Eddouss). Unused Sub: M. Gibb.
University of Stirling: Y. Godik; M. Burrows; A. Hutchinson (R. McGale) (J. Stokes); E. McGill; J. Berry; C. Doan; S. McArthur (J. Jarvis); C. Downie; J. Penker; C. Rae (L. Kennedy); J. Thompson. Unused Subs: M. Lavery; J. Taylor.
Referee: C. Newman.