Shipyard caught on the hop.
The Shipyard suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat to Preston Athletic on Saturday morning as Groundhop UK visited Recreation Park for the first of four scheduled fixtures the hoppers were taking in. The bitterly cold and blustery East wind made playing conditions extremely difficult for the players but at the end of the day, the spectators probably enjoyed a competitive match that had plenty of incidents throughout. There is no doubt the Shippy rued a late penalty miss that could have earned a point, though justice might have been done as the award looked harsh to say the least. Lee Halpin, Sean Johnstone and Scott Powrie were all missing from the squad on duty for the last fixture at Coldstream.
The Shippy had the first chance of the match but Tam Graham saw his shot turned around the post by keeper Craig Pennycuick. From the corner Dale Pennycuick was on hand to clear a strike from the edge of the box off the line. At the other end Jack Jardine dragged a shot wide. Jardine went closer in the 18th minute when Shipyard keeper Ryan Adamson did Well to tip his header on to the bar. Greg Binnie and Alex Dimitrov had chances for the visitors with Graham also having an opportunity for the hosts. Preston took the lead in the 38th minute when Binnie scored from a tight angle after a shot was blocked. The Shippy were hanging on a bit in the closing minutes of the half with Adamson doing well on a couple of occasions. The keeper’s efforts were rewarded when his team drew level on the stroke of half-time as Graham smashed an unstoppable shot from the edge of the box into the top corner.
The Shipyard had the wind behind then now and would have been happy to go in level at half-time, however, they did not control the proceedings the way they would have liked and they found themselves behind again when Jonathan Grotlin burst clear and bore down on Adamson before coolly finishing. Shippy sub Reece Brown missed the target as did John Martin before another sub, Jordan Galloway blazed over. The Shippy were reduced to 10 men with 15 minutes remaining when Rab Kinnaird was shown a red card after kicking out at a Preston player when he lost possession close to the half way line. The Shipyard were handed a golden opportunity to get level when they were awarded a penalty with six minutes remaining and although the award seemed harsh no one from the Shipyard camp were complaining. Jonathan Galloway stepped up to take the kick but he was denied as Pennycuick dived to his right to save the spot kick. That turned out to be the last of the meaningful action as Preston completed a league double over the Shipyard.
When Shipyard manager Grant Brough spoke after the match he could not hide his frustrations when he said “On a day when conditions didn’t really suit how we like to play, we had to change and adapt our style and I think the boys responded well to this, so I’m bitterly disappointed that we came away with nothing to show from the game. Coming in at half time all square I fully expected us to push on in the second half and win the game, but as we all know football is not that straight forward. We stupidly gifted Preston a goal when we switched off, losing our team shape and possession and Preston capitalised on it”. He went on to add “Forced substitutions and a silly red card didn’t help our cause, it disrupted our flow and we really struggled to press on. The late penalty miss probably summed up our day”. Grant then went on to speak about how his team is developing as he reflected “Looking back to the reverse fixture we were well beaten at Prestonpans that day but it’s evident the progression the side is making when today, realistically a draw would have probably been a fair result for both sides”.
looking ahead Grant said “We now have to dust ourselves down and go again. Next weeks game doesn’t get any easier with Kelty visiting in the King Cup. However, with each passing week I see the squad getting stronger and better. We need to approach this game in a positive manner and you never know what can happen in a one-off cup tie”.
Burntisland Shipyard: R. Adamson, R. Kinnaird, B. Breen, R. Lennie, D. Anderson, S. Glancy, C. McAulay (P. Bell), S. Strang, J. Martin (Jor. Galloway), Jon. Galloway, T. Graham (R. Brown). Unused Subs: R. O’Donnell & R. Connor.
Preston Athletic: C. Pennycuick, M. McFarlane, S. Walker, D. Liddle, S. Campbell, M. Woodcock (M. Reid) J. Grotlin, D. Pennycuick, G. Binnie, J. Jardine (K. Jack) A. Dimitrov.
Unused Subs: R. Cowan, C. Innes, N. Bleakley.
Referee: D. McAlinden.