Rip roaring stuff at Recreation Park.
This was the proverbial game of two halves as the Shipyard fought back from three nil down at half-time to draw three each and with a little bit of luck might have actually gone on to win the match. Having looked down and out, two goals within a minute early in the second half set the match up for a rousing finale and although the Shipyard were level with still twenty minutes to go, they could not find the winner they probably merited. Stephen Connor, Kevin Masson, Alan Clark and Brendan Napier were all unavailable but Dale Robertson and Stuart Blake returned to the starting eleven.
After an uneventful opening ten minutes or so the game sprung to life when Mikey Morrison swung over a great cross that Kelso were happy to eventually clear for a corner. The home team were stunned a minute later when Kelso took the lead in their first attack. The visitors broke down the left hand side and the Shipyard defence seemed to have coped with the danger but the ball broke off Craig McKay’s back and fell to Calum McClure who produced a fine finish as he steered the ball into the corner of the net. Within a minute the Shipyard were almost level after Renato Sartarello and Pete Bell set up Craig Lowe but the latter’s shot was tipped over by Elliot Turnbull for a corner. From the resultant corner Sartarello powered a header just wide at the back post. In the 18th minute Sartarello went close again when he got on the end of a Morrison long throw and his back header had to be cleared off the line by the Kelso defence. Incredibly Kelso doubled their lead in the 25th minute when confusion and hesitancy in the Shipyard rearguard allowed Liam Wallace to net from the narrowest of angles. Jordan Mushet then made his first save of the match when he stopped a shot from McClure. The visitors went three up in the 33rd minute from the penalty spot when after McKay missed his tackle, Lee Henderson was exposed and brought down the forward as he burst into the Shipyard box. McClure coolly rolled the ball into the net with Mushet going the wrong way. Just on half time a long range effort from Bell had Elliot on his toes as he gathered the rising shot.
Andy McDonald replaced the out of sorts McKay in the heart of the Shipyard defence as the home team looked to get back into the match. In the 56th minute good work by Lowe set up Henderson and his angled drive from 16yards found the bottom corner to give the Shipyard hope. Within a minute that hope grew stronger as from almost the same spot on the pitch Sartarello scored into the same corner of the net. This time the assist came from Dale Robertson. Kelso were on the back foot now and the ball was getting booted anywhere to clear the danger, however, Darren Bowie showed a bit of composure as he strode forward and fired in a shot from distance that Mushet held just under the bar. The Shipyard sideline erupted as the comeback was complete in the 70th minute when Henderson’s cross was parried out by Elliot with Morrison and Bridges both desperate to get to the ball first and it was Gav Bridges who lashed the ball into the net. In the 86th minute Wallace had a chance inside the Shipyard box but he rushed his shot and hit it high over the bar. The tension was mounting now and none more so on the seams of Shipyard manager Myles Allan’s trousers as he somehow ripped the a*** out of his strides, much to the amusement of the Shipyard technical area. The last chance fell to the Shipyard when they were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the Kelso Box. Henderson tried to flight the ball into the net but his effort was too high when possibly a more powerful direct strike would have been better.
When asked about his team’s performance after the match Myles said “Let’s be honest, the first half was one to forget. We didn’t defend well at all. There were no raised voices at half time though. It was pretty calm and relaxed and Jason and I just tried to put a few things right. As well as the substitution we obviously moved Lee, Pete and Dale around and thankfully it made a difference.
Getting the early goal in the second half gave the guys a bit of belief that they could get something from the game. That the second goal came so quickly after was a bonus and really put the momentum with us. When the equaliser went in I thought there was a decent chance we could go on and get the win. However, the pace went out the game and it became a bit stop start from then on with very few chances in the last 15-20 minutes.
Teams: Burntisland Shipyard: J. Mushet; G. Bridges; L. Henderson; B. Smart; C. McKay (A. MacDonald); S. Blake (J. Crombie); M. Morrison (A. Doig); C. Lowe; R. Sartarello; P. Bell; D. Robertson. Unused Subs: E. Fotheringham & G. Blyth.
Kelso United: E. Turnbull; C. Black; J. Lauder; D. Bowie; S. Tait; D. McNulty; S. Bonnington (L. Hill); G. Gass; C. McClure (B. Chisholm); L. Wallace; B. Herdman (J. Wright). Unused Sub: S. Angus
Referee: S. Lambie.