Fine performance earns deserved point.
A goal in the 71st minute denied the Shipyard all three points against Hibernian, though once the visitors had equalised they laid siege to the Shipyard goal, but a man of the match performance from goalkeeper Jordan Mushet earned the Shipyard their deserved point. Alan Clark, Renato Sartarello and Brendan Napier were only fit enough for the bench and Myles’ plans were further disrupted when Andy MacDonald had to pull out during the warm up as a groin injury flared up. Stuart Blake failed to shake off a chest infection, John Paul McPhail had not recovered from the knee injury he picked up against Leith and Lee Henderson was unavailable.
The Hibs youngsters had scored seven goals in each of their previous two outings but they were shocked in the 4th minute when the Shipyard took the lead. Grant Blyth engineered himself some space at the edge of the box and saw his left-foot strike hit the inside of the post. However, the ball spun out to Keith Buckley and he gleefully slammed the ball into the net for his first goal for the club. Hibs response was a free-kick played into the near post that was poked just wide of Mushet’s right-hand post. In the 11th minute Mushet then had to claw away a shot from Jamie Beaton with Blair Smart clearing up the danger. Buckley then broke down the Shipyard right and his ball into the six yard box had to be cleared at the expense of a corner with Adam Doig waiting to pounce. In the 28th minute Smart played a superb ball to Craig Lowe and as the latter burst into the box it needed a last ditch tackle from the Hibs defender, with some Shipyard players claiming for a penalty, to deny Lowe a shooting chance. A couple of minutes later the visitors responded with Jordan Sinclair shooting over from 25 yards. Kevin Masson put a free-kick on target in the 35th minute but it did not have enough power to beat Kleton Perntreou in the Hibs goal.
Hibs were not causing the homesters too many problems in the early stages of the second half and this prompted a double change for them with Sinclair and Gareth McCaffrey being replaced by Euan Smith and Lewis Allan. Mushet immediately held a header from Jay Doyle and then held a deflected shot from the same player. Hibs then made their final change with Doyle making way for Scott Martin. In the 68th minute a rare right-foot shot from Masson went narrowly wide of the post and one minute later Blyth beat his man after the defender slipped only to see his dangerous cross blootered clear by Neil Martynuik as Buckley waited to pounce. In the 70th minute Mushet produced an acrobatic save as he turned away a loose header from Gavin Bridges. From the resultant corner Hibs drew level. The corner from the right was met by the head of substitute Smith and his powerful effort found the corner of the net. A Tom Gardiner shot went just over the bar as Hibs started to apply a bit of pressure and Mushet had to turn away a cross from Martynuik. In the 79th minute Mushet gathered a loose ball in the six yard box and four minutes later he produced an outstanding double save to once again deny the visitors. A cross from Beaton hit the top of the Shipyard crossbar though Mushet was watching it all of the way. As darkness descended the Shipyard’s task to hold on was made even harder when substitute Napier was shown a straight red card for his tackle in the middle of the park. The general feeling was that a yellow would have sufficed but the referee thought the challenge was reckless. Bearing in mind that Napier was just on the field, not up to the speed of the game and the underfoot conditions, the decision looked a bit harsh. Deep into added time it seemed that the Shipyard could not get the ball out of their box as every clearance found a Hibs player but the defence protected Mushet and blocked every attempt that Hibs could muster.
Myles was naturally pleased after the match and said “I think I surprised our guys in the dressing room after the game when I didn’t immediately congratulate them on a good performance. The thing that I wanted to get across to them was that they need to remember the effort that they needed to put in today and repeat it week after week and not just every so often”.
He went on to say “Concentrating on today though, I thought every one of our guys gave everything they could. When you consider that we had umpteen guys in the squad today who had been suffering from a virus for most of the week which had affected our training, the performance was exceptional. We knew we’d probably see less of the ball than Hibs so it was important that we kept a good shape when we were defending and it is something we worked on last week. As it happens, it’s probably one of our best defensive performances, especially in the first half when we limited Hibs to very few chances. There were a couple of hairy moments in the second half when the ball was bouncing about the box and we took our time to get the ball away from danger. It took a set-piece goal to prevent us winning and although it was a decent delivery and a good run across goal from their lad, no manager likes losing a goal from a set-piece”.
Asked if he was happy with a point he replied “A draw was probably the right result but when you consider that we were ahead for over an hour then it’s easy to be greedy and be disappointed not to hold on for a win. Hibs are a very good young side though and it was pretty much the same side that I watched score seven against Eyemouth last week so, all things considered, I’d probably have taken a point if I’d been offered it before the game.
Teams: Burntisland Shipyard: J. Mushet; G. Bridges; P. Bell; B. Smart; C. McKay; K. Masson; K. Buckley; C. Lowe; A. Doig (R. Sartarello); D. Robertson; G. Blyth (B. Napier). Unused Subs: A. Clark & J. Crombie.
Hibernian: K. Perntreou; A. Dunsmore; N. Martynuik; D. Horribine; T. Gardiner; R. Wilson; F. Mullen; J. Sinclair (E. Smith); J. Doyle (S. Martin); G. McCaffrey (L. Allan); J. Beaton. Unused Subs: T. Hendry & S. Brenan.
Referee: K. Hall.