Points shared in thriller
What a difference a couple of days make as the Shipyard put in a vastly improved performance against title chasing Leven United. The 2 – 2 draw was probably a fair result as both team’s bemoaned missed chances and controversial decisions. Andy Martin recovered from the injury that forced him off on Saturday and it was no surprise that he pulled off yet another penalty save. It was almost two as he got a strong hand on another one.
The game got off to a sensational start as the Shipyard opened the scoring inside the first minute. Paul Ferrier charged down keeper Mitchell’s clearance and was able to gather the loose ball and roll it into the net. That lead was to be short lived as Nathan Austin equalised almost straight away when he showed good skill in the box and beat Martin with a low shot. Austin was causing the Shipyard defence problems with his pace and lobbed over from a good position. A Russell header was blocked by a Leven hand in the 11th minute but the referee waved away claims for a Shipyard penalty. The Shipyard regained the lead in the 16th minute when a Hamilton free-kick from the left was headed into the net by Paul Ferrier from around 10yards. The match was end to end and Austin blasted over after he got away from the Shipyard defence. Russell, playing in the midfield, played a great ball through to Ferrier but he saw his shot blocked by the keeper’s legs. Leven could have been back on level terms as Austin got on the end of a cross from the left however, his deft touch was still too heavy as it went over the bar. Leven put on a bit of pressure towards the end of the half and a couple of efforts were cleared away in the 39th minute. Both Williams and Whyte then got in great blocks as Leven continued to press.
The second half was slower to start and it was not until the 52nd minute that a chance was created. Russell let fly from 25yards but his powerful shot was straight at Mitchell. Four minutes later Mitchell was in action again as he cut out a cross that was heading for Ferrier at the back post. Leven were awarded a penalty in the 63rd minute when Williams blocked a shot close to the line. The referee pointed to the spot though it looked inconclusive from the sidelines and Leven were then upset that the referee only showed Williams a yellow card. Steven Brown took the kick and although Martin got a hand to the ball he could not keep the powerfully struck shot out. Gray had a goal bound shot for the Shipyard blocked and Mitchell saved a shot from Wilson. In the 72nd minute Ferrier burst through and dinked the ball over the keeper, although his effort was off target it fell kindly to Dow, who could not keep his composure and blasted wide. A minute later Ferrier then hit the outside of the post with a fierce drive from a tight angle. Austin looked like he was going to dribble through the Shipyard defence, however, Grieve got back and expertly ushered the ball out for a goal kick. Leven substitute Maxwell then headed over when free at a corner. Leven were awarded a second penalty in the 81st minute when the ball was blasted off Grieve from close range. After long protests from the Shipyard players Brown stepped up again, only this time Andy Martin was able to dive on the ball as he comfortably saved the not so well hit shot. He must be close to double figures now in penalty saves this season. In the closing stages twice Ferrier had opportunities. Firstly, he was inches away from latching on to Wilson’s pass as the keeper just beat him to the ball and secondly he broke away but as he turned inside the defence was able to hold him up. He did get a shot away but it was weak and Mitchell gathered easily. Billy was a lot happier after the match and said “That was much more like it tonight. We could have won it and it would have been harsh if Andy had not saved the second penalty”.
Teams: Burntisland Shipyard: Martin; Grieve; Brough; Williams; Whyte; Russell; Hamilton; Gray; Ferrier; Connor (Wilson); Dow. Unused Subs: Tasker; Lamont; Whitehead.
Leven United: Mitchell; Russell; Thomson; Dickson; Lamont; K. Murray; S. Murray; Rowbotham; Austin; Wilkie; Brown. Subs: Maxwell; Urquhart; Lornie.
Referee: G. MacDonald.