Shipyard suffer narrow defeat.
The Shipyard lost out in a five goal thriller to Spartans though with a bit of luck it could have been the home team who came out on top. With a few players missing for various reasons, manager Alex Lowe was forced to make a number of changes to the line-up though the squad was bolstered with the return of Andy MacDonald from suspension and Mark James from injury.
The Shipyard were quick to start with Kevin Masson, seeing the keeper off his line, tried a lob from the kick off which was just off target. Seconds later the same player had a shot on target that keeper Morton spilled. Pete Bell was quick to react playing the ball across the face of goal for a Ewan Henderson tap in to give the Shippy an early lead. With only four minutes on the clock a mis-throw from the Spartans keeper fell to Masson but his shot sailed over the bar.
Following the Shipyard’s lively start, Spartans began to settle and in the 16th minute the ball was cut back to Rossi who gave the keeper no chance with a well-placed shot into Jordan Mushet’s top left hand corner. The Shipyard had the best of the next ten minutes with Adam Doig being foiled by the keeper’s legs from six yards and John Paul McPhail linking well Henderson to produce another opportunity. In 25th minute the pressure paid off and it was Masson who fired home from the edge of the box to re-instate the Shipyard’s lead.
A few minutes later, however, the visitor’s Anderson tumbled in the Shipyard box and the referee pointed to the spot. Howat’s kick was well parried by Mushet who had to react immediately to make a second save from Anderson’s follow-up. There was little excitement for the rest of the half although Shipyard continued to look the more dangerous.
The second half started fairly evenly with chances at both ends but it was Spartans who notched the equaliser when a well-placed pass found Atkinson in some space and he coolly placed the ball wide of Mushet. The Shipyard were still making chances with Ethan Anderson shooting over from 25 yards and then good work by McPhail engineering an opening that had the Spartans defence in a scramble to clear of the line.
Spartans’ pressure in the 68th minute saw Mushet turn an Anderson drive for a corner. The initial kick was cleared to the edge of the box where players from both sides clashed in their attempts to gain control. The referee awarded the benefit of doubt to the attacking side and it was from this free-kick that Dickson notched what was to prove the winner for Spartans.
James replaced Darrell Anthony as the Shipyard looked for an equaliser. They made two or three chances in the dying minutes but Spartans held on for the victory.
Manager Lowe was reasonably upbeat after the match when he said “Although we did not get anything from today’s game against Spartans it was certainly a much improved performance from the boys, particularly in the first half where we should have scored two or three more goals. The effort and commitment from the boys was excellent and we were very unlucky that the winning goal from a free-kick, that should not have been given in the first place, but it was a great free kick from the Spartans boy. In the second half we did not push forward enough and test their young goalkeeper out. I am looking for the same effort and commitment from the boys for next week’s me against Craigroyston.
Burntisland Shipyard: J. Mushet; B. Saunders; E. Anderson; C. Lowe; A. MacDonald; P. Bell; JP McPhail; E Henderson; D Anthony (M. James); K. Masson; A. Doig. Unused Subs: T. Arthur & B. Couper
Spartans: Morton; Grant; Dickson; Wilson; O’Donnell; Rossi; Thomson; Raiker; Howat; Anderson; Atkinson. Subs: Salim; Gair; Henretty.
Referee: A. Grieve.