No birthday party for Shipyard.
The Shipyard was not able to celebrate its 95th birthday in style as they slumped to 2-1 defeat to Peebles Rovers at Recreation Park, a result that puts a serious dent in hopes of finishing fourth in the table. For much of the first half a home victory looked on the cards as they deservedly took the lead but an injury to goal scorer Adam Doig seemed to upset the rhythm of play and in the second half Peebles took control of the game and ran out worthy winners in the end. Pete Bell and Alan Clark dropped out of the team through injury, though Bell was able to take a place on the bench. Gavin Bridges and Grant Blyth were the men who took their places.
There was not a lot of action in the early stages of the game though it was the home team who were on top and the pressure paid off in the 13th minute when the Shipyard were awarded a penalty kick. There was no doubt about the award it was just what happened afterwards that led to some confusion. As Doig rounded the keeper he was clearly impeded and brought to the ground by the Peebles keeper Chris Malcolm. The referee played an advantage that allowed Keith Buckley to gather the ball, however, he saw his shot blocked on the line. He then blew, awarded the penalty and then cautioned Malcolm. The question being asked was that if Malcolm had not fouled Doig he would have been able to roll the ball into the empty net therefore it would appear that Malcolm should have been ordered off for denying a goal scoring opportunity. Once the dust had settled Doig stepped up to take the kick and although it was not a powerful kick it was enough to beat Malcolm to give the home side the lead. In the 21st minute a Kevin Masson free-kick caused panic in the visitor’s box and there was half hearted appeals for handball as the Peebles defence struggled to clear their lines. Blyth then done well on the left hand side as he cut inside the defender and squared to Buckley. As the keeper came out to meet Buckley the striker was able to put the ball past him but it did not have enough power and a defender was able to get back and clear the ball off the line. In the 31st minute Doig failed to shake off the injury he had picked up a few minutes earlier, the result of a poor challenge, and he was replaced by Jamie Fyfe. The first half came to an end with Peebles yet to record an attempt on target as the home team looked comfortable.
Whatever was said or done in the Peebles dressing room at half-time certainly had the desired effect as they took control of the game. In the 53rd minute Shipyard keeper Jordan Mushet produced a fine double save as Peebles looked for an equaliser. From a corner Lee Zavaroni shot wide when he found some space at the back post. Peebles got their leveller in the 55th minute and it was a disaster for the Shipyard defence. A free-kick was punted into the box and Mushet hesitated after calling for the ball and this allowed Chris Flockhart a free header inside the six yard box and he made no mistake to the great delight of the Peebles followers. The visitors were now dominating the match as the Shipyard struggled to put two passes together and Dale Richardson almost gave his team the lead but he headed over from a decent position. In the 61st minute Andy Macdonald was on hand to clear a headed effort off the line as Peebles continued to look the more likely. There was a brief moment for the Shipyard when Dale Robertson showed good skill as he dribbled into the box but he was thwarted by an excellently timed tackle as the visitors cleared the ball for a corner. Any opportunities that might have come the Shipyard’s way were going to be from set pieces but every one that came their way were wasted by poor quality delivery. The home team’s frustrations grew much deeper when Peebles took the lead. A through ball that should have been cut out wasn’t and this allowed substitute Sean Meikle to break into the box a he beat Mushet with a finely struck angled drive. A minute later the Shipyard defence was fortunate to scramble the ball clear as Peebles looked for a third and they had a strong shout for a penalty during this incident as the player seemed to be clipped as he tricked his way along the by line. The Shipyard huffed and puffed in the final few minutes and despite Peebles being reduced to 10 men when Greg Shortreed received a second yellow card for a cynical trip on Craig Lowe as he burst through the visitors defence, Malcolm was never threatened as his side held on quite easily.
Myles was keen to emphasise after the match that his younger players need to learn from this defeat when he said “We have suffered from being a bit unpredictable this season with good games followed up with poor ones. Sometimes it’s impossible to know which Burntisland Shipyard side is going to turn up. This is a bit of a reflection on the age of the squad and with half of today’s side 21 or under, we had one good half followed up with one very poor half.
Today was an excellent lesson for our young guys in what it takes to play at this level. I felt that we were bullied a bit in the second half and Peebles were hungrier and willing to do what it took to win the game. There’s no point complaining after the game that the other team did this to you or that to you. The time to do something about it is during the game, not afterwards. Clearly the ref won’t be able to see every incident in the game so it’s important that the young players learn how to handle themselves when things start to get a bit tousy. But I’m sure it’s a lesson that they will learn quickly as you don’t want to be going home after a match with a black eye more than once”.
Looking ahead to the final league match he said “Next week won’t be any easier as Kelso are one of the most competitive sides in the division. So, we need to lick our wounds, literally, and learn our lessons for next week”. He felt that the injury to Doig was a factor as he went on “From a footballing point of view, we played some really good stuff in the first half and although we dropped a bit too deep later in the half, we were pretty good value for the lead at half time. It was unfortunate though that we lost Doigy to injury in the first half as he was having a cracking game and we missed his ability to hold the ball up when he went off”. Myles was then critical of his defenders when he added “The second half was a non-event for us. Jordan may have lost the ball in the sun for their first goal, but whoever was meant to be marking the scorer should have blocked his run. That is absolutely basic level defending. And for the second goal, one centre-half has misjudged the ball and the other one went to ground too easily and left the lad with a 1-on-1 with Jordan although he finished it well. Their manager told me that he felt that we deserved something from the game but he might have been a bit kind. Based on the second half, we got what we deserved. We had a wee bit of pressure in the last 5-10 minutes and put in some good balls into the box but there wasn’t enough urgency to attack the ball”.
Teams: Burntisland Shipyard: J. Mushet; G. Bridges; C. Samson; B. Smart; A. MacDonald (S. Blake); K. Masson; D. Robertson; C. Lowe; K. Buckley; A. Doig (J. Fyfe); G. Blyth (B. Rogerson). Unused Subs: M. Couser & P. Bell.
Peebles Rovers: C. Malcolm; J. Flockhart; D. Richardson; J. Hall; C. Edgar (S. Sutherland); Gerard Rossi (F. Arthur); C. Flockhart; G. Shortreed; C. Conaghan; L. Zavaroni; D. Ndiweni (S. Meikle).
Referee: K. Maskell.