Heartache after night of drama
The Shipyard truly did snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in this pulsating cup final at Moorside Park. From the first minute to the last the action never stopped as both teams gave their all in the quest for silverware. For the Shipyard it was a gut wrenching defeat having seemingly had the match sewn up after taking a 5 – 2 lead mid way through the second half. Sadly the defensive frailties that have plagued the Shipyard all season reared their ugly head again and it was Rosyth came out on top by the odd goal in eleven. Manager Whitehead only had Bryan Cook suspended from his squad and he opted for Craig Russell up front rather than the more experienced Neil Johnston who was on the bench.
It only took the Shipyard 11 seconds to open the scoring when after a run down the left hand side from McCue, he crossed and Craig Russell justified his starting place by turning the ball in at the near post. Rosyth then applied pressure, forcing Chalmers to turn a header round the post for a corner. In the 15th minute a low corner from Rosyth found its way through the Shipyard defence but no Rosyth player was on hand to take advantage. Rosyth equalised from another corner when the ball found its way to Lambie beyond the back post and he hit a great strike into the net. Within two minute the Shipyard were back in front when McNab in the Rosyth goal could only parry a McCue free-kick and James Whyte was on hand to put the loose ball away. A minute later and it was 3 – 1. This time Owen McCue done all the work himself, cutting in from the right he beat a couple of defenders before rolling the ball past McNab. M.Hamilton for the Shipyard and Penman for Rosyth both had attempts at goal before Rosyth were back in the game through a controversial goal. Curry had a shot from close range blocked by Small on the line but, the referee deemed that the ball had crossed the line, though it looked more like it hit Small on the arm before the ball was cleared. Rosyth could have equalised in the 41st minute but the headed effort was straight at Chalmers. In the next minute McNab pulled off a tremendous save, tipping a ferocious Whyte drive onto the bar and over for a corner. The half closed with M.Hamilton having a shot from distance comfortably saved by McNab.
Four minutes into the second half it was Scott Chalmers’ turn to pull off a great save, similar to what McNab had done a few minutes earlier, he tipped the ball over. McCue then put the Shipyard 4 – 2 ahead when he latched onto a ball that skimmed off a Rosyth head and coolly slotted it beyond McNab. In the 57th minute McCue broke down the right and put a great ball into J. Williams who agonisingly put the ball wide, though his blushes were spared by the offside flag. In the 59th minute the Shipyard went 5 – 2 ahead, this time the controversial goal was in their favour. A ball over the top found McCue who looked yards offside, whether the assistant thought that the onside Small was going to take the ball is debatable. Anyhow, McCue advanced and dragged the ball round McNab before hitting the ball into the empty net. Rosyth unsurprisingly threw caution to the wind and started to make changes. Lambie volleyed over from a good position and then Chalmers saved from sub Tillier. Rosyth pulled a goal back in the 65th minute when Cooper rose at the back post to head in off the underside of the bar from a corner. Rosyth were now dominating and pulled another back in the 71st minute when Tillier bundled home after Chalmers could only parry a shot out to him. Incredibly the match was all square in the 74th minute with a goal similar to the previous one. Again Chalmers parried, albeit a very good save, onto the post and Tillier was on hand again with the Shipyard defence posted missing to poke the ball home. McCue had a shot that went over the bar before the perhaps inevitable happened, with Rosyth now having all the impetus they took the lead when another sub, this time Britton, looped a shot over Chalmers and just under the bar. The Shipyard players looked shell shocked though they kept on going and Small burst into the box, but he was blocked and the ball rolled out for a goal kick. In the 84th minute some good football from the Shipyard put McAndrew into a good position but his low cross found no takers. Rosyth could have sewn it up in the 86th minute when they broke away and in a two on one situation the ball was worked to Lambie but Chalmers was equal to his shot and pushed the ball to safety. No more chances were created and it was Rosyth who lifted the cup in front of a large a fully entertained crowd.
A crestfallen Billy Whitehead said after the game “I cannot believe we have lost, I must admit I thought we had it in the bag. Our defending of set pieces again let us down, but all credit to Rosyth, they kept on going when some teams might have accepted it was not to be their day. I am now looking forward to next season and keeping on improving this team”.
Teams: Burntisland Shipyard: Chalmers; McAndrew; Whyte; T. Williams; Grieve; Small; M. Hamilton; Leishman; Russell (Johnston); McCue; J. Williams (Dow). Unused Subs:
S. Hamilton; Hutt; Houston.
Rosyth Civil Service: McNab; Cooper; Ramsay; Perry; Harrison; Curry; Smart; Wilson; Lambie; Penman; Guild. Subs: Frew; Ferguson; Britton; Nairn; Tillier.
Referee: D. Campbell.