Shipyard ease to victory.
Two goals on the stroke of half time saw the Shipyard ease to a comfortable win against Eyemouth at Recreation Park. In truth the win should have been much more emphatic but a combination of good goalkeeping and poor finishing meant that the visitors were not on the end of a heavy defeat. The Shippy injury list shows no sign of easing with JP McPhail now joining Andy Macdonald and Ethan Anderson on the sidelines and with Kevin Masson unavailable James Lock’s options were limited even more. Eyemouth had ex Shipyard striker Keith Buckley in their ranks.
Dale Robertson almost produced a stunning finish in the 4th minute as a deep ball towards the back post dropped to him but he saw his volleyed effort clear the bar by a couple of feet. At the other end Eyemouth’s Alan Jess shot just wide. In the 16th minute a training ground free-kick from the Shipyard was cleared for a corner. Pete Bell headed a cross away from under his own bar as Eyemouth forced a series of corners. Jess who was involved in most of the visitor’s good work and had a shot from around 25yards but the strike drifted a couple of yards wide. Adam Mutch in the Eyemouth goals produced a fine save to deny Ewan Henderson as his shot looked goal bound all the way. The Shipyard took the lead in the 43rd minute when Blair Smart bulleted home a header from a Joe Samson free-kick and that lead was doubled two minutes later when Brendan Napier played a ball through the Eyemouth defence and Henderson latched on to it, beat the outrushing Mutch, held off a couple of challenges and stroked the ball into the unguarded net.
Just before the hour mark the diminutive Robertson leapt the highest at a Shaun Keatings corner only to see his effort go over from close range. Eyemouth again forced a series of corners without giving Jordan Mushet in the Shipyard goals much cause for concern as his central defenders, Smart and Todd Arthur, dealt with everything that came their way. When Keatings went on a good run down the left hand side and found Robertson with his pass, the latter should have done better than blaze the ball over from a good position. Eyemouth were trying to get back into the match and substitutes Gavin Burrell and Connor Lough both had attempts at goal but they were no more than half chances to be fair. Twice in the space of barely a minute Adam Doig had outstanding chances to finish the match as firstly he fired over from around the penalty spot after receiving the ball from Henderson, then after being put clean through on the keeper he was thwarted as Mutch managed to deflect his attempt away for a corner. From the resultant corner Arthur rose high but he could not direct his powerful header on target. In the 78th minute Henderson found himself in a similar position a Doig did just a couple of minutes earlier but his shot rolled agonisingly wide of the post. Eyemouth’s best chance of the match came with four minutes remaining when Burrell just failed to connect with a ball across the face of the Shipyard goal. As the match moved into added time Mutch foiled Robertson when he looked certain to score when he burst through and in the final seconds Mutch was again on hand to deny Shippy sub Daniel Watt as the youngster bore down on goal.
After the match James had mixed emotions as he was obviously happy with the result but disappointed at the amount of chances that went a begging when he said “I’m pleased with the result and it’s good to get a clean sheet. We restricted them to few chances, though they had a couple of opportunities to score in the closing stages. While I’m pleased with the chances we created, especially towards the end of the game, we’re still not killing teams off early. While we got away with missing numerous clear goal scoring opportunities, we have to ensure that we start finishing these going forwards as we’ll get punished if not. It happened against Kelso and we need to make sure we rectify it in the coming weeks. It’s worth pointing out though, as much as we’re not currently finishing the chances, we’re creating more in the final third and the players are continuing to get in the right positions and keep plugging away, so eventually the composure and goals will come”.
Burntisland Shipyard: J. Mushet; P. Bell( B. Rogerson); C. Samson; B. Smart; T. Arthur; B. Napier( A. Clark); D. Robertson; C. Lowe; A. Doig( D. Watt); E. Henderson; S. Keatings.
Eyemouth United: A. Mutch; A. Spiers; G. McInnes; J. Walker (M. Milligan); S. Ford; A. Jess; A. Lauder; J. Wilson; K. Buckley (G. Burrell); S. Campbell (C. Lough); S. Adamson. Unused Subs: M. Scott & P. Tillbrook.
Referee: G. Farmer.