Brown scores hat-trick for dominant Shipyard.
The Shipyard hit lowly Craigroyston for six at St Mark’s Park on Saturday with top scorer Reece Brown helping himself to hat-trick in the process. It was a depleted Shippy squad that made the short trip over the bridge with the Anthony brothers at a “stag party”, Ross Lennie Injured and Benn Hutchison still unavailable. Credit must go to the Craigroyston groundsman who had the pitch in great condition, if a little soft, given the recent poor weather.
The Shippy started tentatively as the hosts looked to impose themselves on the game with some sharp tackling from the outset. One such challenge led to free-kick twenty-two yards out with Robbie Crawford firing the set piece over the bar. Shipyard keeper Michael Gibb saved a low shot from Dylan Tait before the Shippy took the lead in the 11th minute. A corner was not cleared and Brown sent a looping header over keeper Aaron Heap and into the back of the net. This signalled an increase in tempo from the visitors and a second goal arrived soon after. Craigroyston conceded another free-kick at the edge of the box and this time they were punished as Brown drove the ball into the corner of the net. The Shippy had their tails up now and a superb third goal arrived in the 16th minute. Sandy Strang linked with Brown who moved the ball onto Crawford and the winger smashed an unstoppable shot beyond Heap. The goals kept coming and the fourth had a touch of good fortune about it as Sam Glancy’s free-kick from wide on the left sailed over Heap’s head and dropped into the net. The Shipyard were four ahead with 21 minutes on the clock. What was already a daunting task for the hosts got a whole lot harder a few minutes later when Chris Inglis was dismissed for a crude challenge on Strang, however, the Shippy captain was able to continue after a few minutes treatment. Jordan Galloway and Crawford both saw shots held by Heap before slackness in the Shippy defence allowed a chance for Craigroyston, however, Ryan O’Donnell recovered brilliantly as he produced an excellently timed challenge to avert the danger. Brown was sent through on goal shortly before the break but he couldn’t capitalise on the opportunity as Heap forced him wide and the chance was gone.
Dale Allan had a powerful strike pushed away by Heap before Brown completed his hat-trick in the 56th minute when he drove the ball home from the edge of the box. Craigroyston pulled a goal back in the 67th minute when Craig Spalding’s well placed free-kick found the net. The Shipyard thought they had a sixth in the 73rd minute when Dean Hunter’s header was cleared off the line with the big Shipyard defender adamant the ball had crossed the line. That sixth goal was only delayed for a minute as Crawford and Brown engineered a chance for Allan who couldn’t miss from around a yard out. Gibb produced a tremendous save as he sprung high to his right to tip a goal bound strike over the bar. Craigroyston got another goal at the death and Spalding produced an even better free-kick finish than his first as he curled an absolute beauty into the top corner.
The Shipyard return to Recreation Park this week as they host Dalkeith Thistle in the first round of the League Cup. Kick-off is at 2.30pm.
Craigroyston: A. Heap, C. Mackintosh, L. Andrew, C. Spalding, B. Anderson (K. Doig), C. Jack, G. Summers, D. Tait, C. Inglis, M. Johnston (T. Irvine), S. Mullen (M. Scott). Unused Subs: R. Smail, B. Gilchrist.
Burntisland Shipyard: M. Gibb, R. O’Donnell (M. Miller), I. Millar, D. Hunter, G. Ross, S. Strang, J. Galloway, S. Glancy, R. Brown (A. Watt), D. Allan, R. Crawford (P. Bell). Unused Subs: R. Connor.
Referee: A. Hogg.