Resurgent Shippy stun students.
What a difference a few days can make! The Shippy progressed out of the group stages of the League Cup to earn an away tie against the winners of Group B after their 2-1 victory over Heriot Watt University at Recreation Park on Saturday. It would be wrong to ignore Wednesday night’s humiliating defeat at the hands of Lothian Thistle HV because it was totally unacceptable but as the squad today proved they have the ability, fight and desire to compete with the teams in this League. Those attributes were sadly lacking on Wednesday evening but Credit where it is due, the players rolled up their sleeves, dug in and got their due rewards. Those standards and levels of commitment have to be achieved every week if the Club is to move forward in the coming weeks and months. To progress into the next round given the depleted squad at Tweedmouth and the still under-strength group available for the visit of Heriot Watt is testament to what can be done if everyone sticks together and pulls in the same direction. Furthermore, the team qualified from the group despite being the lowest seeds and having only one home match.
For a variety of reasons the Shipyard starting eleven showed six changes from Wednesday and it took just six minutes for the Shippy to take the lead. A great defence splitting ball from Brian Breen sent Lee Halpin through on Uni keeper Callum Reid and Halpy calmly rounded the keeper before rolling the ball into the net. The Shippy passed up a fantastic chance to double their lead in the 10th minute when the ball was played to the unmarked Gordon Bowers inside the area, however, the keeper produced a fine save to block the midfielders well hit shot. The students replied with Anton Dowds dragging his shot wide and Cameron Ross forcing Cammy Lambie to pull off a good save. Heriot Watt were enjoying a good spell of possession and putting the Shipyard defence under pressure as the half drew to a close but it was the home team who struck again thanks to a penalty scored by Dale Coulter. Halpin was brought down in the box by Uni left back Scott Munro and as soon as Coulter’s strike hit the net the referee blew for half-time.
Yanni Iliopoulos replaced Bowers at the start of the second half and shortly after Ryan McCarthy-Lee came on for Ewan Fotheringham. The visitors got back into the match in the 58th minute after good work from Dowds down the left set up an easy tap in for Jackson Barker. Rhys McLaren replaced the injured Scott Powrie as the game moved into the final quarter. The Shippy had a golden chance to finish the contest as good build up between Breen and Coulter set up a chance for Ryan O’Donnell inside the six yard box but the youngster couldn’t get the ball in his control and keeper Reid was able to smother the ball. Heriot Watt pushed in the closing stages with Callum MacAleavey and Marc Black resolute at the heart of the Shippy defence and Lambie twice showed impeccable handing as he held onto two well hit shots in the dying embers of the match.
Burntisland Shipyard: C. Lambie, S. Powrie (R. McLaren), R. O’Donnell, M. Black, C. McAleavey, A. Trialist, G. Bowers (Y. Iliopoulos ), B. Breen, L. Halpin, E. Fotheringham (R. McCarthy-Lee), D. Coulter. Unused Subs: O. Ferry, S. Cusick, K. Ford, S. Malpas.
Heriot Watt University: C. Reid, S. Munro, A. Woolven, A. Quinn, L. Hutchison, C. Lane, J. Barker, R. Napier, J. Lloyd, A. Dowds, C. Ross. Subs: S. Dargo, H. Warner, M. McGovern.
Referee: S. Wilson.