Super Strike Denies Shipyard A Point.
A sensational strike six minutes from time by substitute Mark Hendrie denied the Shipyard a share of the spoils as title chasing Craigroyston came from behind to take the points and close in on Coldstream at the top of the table. Craig McKay had given the Shipyard the lead just before the hour, however, the afore mentioned Hendrie equalised for Craigy, then stole the show with his late winner. Blair Grubb and Martin Nedialkov were missing through suspension, Gordon Grieve was injured and Brendan Napier was unavailable as Myles looked to try and halt Craigroyston’s surge up the table. Stevie Connor and Dale Robertson returned to the starting eleven having been unavailable at the weekend.
Craigroyston had the early pressure and forced a few corners that came to nothing before Kevin Masson had a half chance for the visitors when he latched on to a quick free-kick but he could not get a shot on target. A poor clearance from keeper Mikey Couser in the 13th minute led to a chance for Craigy but again the effort was off target. The Shipyard’s Robertson took a pass from Masson, however, he was closed down quickly and his shot was blocked. In the 29th minute a clever Masson free-kick found Stuart Innes in space but again the Craigy defence was alert to the danger and keeper Stuart Burnside was able to smother the ball. This sparked the game into life and Couser superbly tipped over a Bryan Wilson header that seemed destined for the net. Couser denied Wilson again, from the resultant corner, when he pushed away Wilson’s fierce strike from twenty yards. The Shipyard replied with a good run from Connor, whose pass found Innes at the edge of the box but the shot was well over the bar. Errol Douglas headed over from a reasonable position as Craigroyston tried in vain to break the deadlock before half-time.
Craigroyston pushed the Shipyard back in the early stages of the second half and engineered a couple of shooting opportunities, however, neither troubled Couser. A deflected Craig Anderson shot did give Couser work to do and again he was up to the task as he held the ball comfortably. Masson played in Anesu Tabengwa and his curled effort towards the back post was not too far away. A rash of yellow cards followed before the Shipyard shocked the hosts and took the lead. Craig McKay volleyed in at the back post from close range after a free-kick from the right hand side skimmed off a head in the middle and fell perfectly for him. In response Craig Dickson shows good close control on the edge of the Shipyard area and when he shot his effort was very close indeed. The home sides’ task seemed to get even more difficult in the 70th minute when Ewan MacIntosh was ordered off after receiving his second yellow card. The home side could have been reduced to nine men but the referee was unsighted when Dickson lunged in on Connor, who managed to continue after lengthy treatment. The Shipyard could have been two up with ten minutes to play when Tabengwa found Masson in the box but Craigroyston managed to block him as he pulled the trigger. That missed opportunity was to prove costly as the hosts went up the park and drew level. The ball broke to substitute Hendrie and he fired a powerful shot into the net from fifteen yards. Three minutes later Craigroyston completed their comeback with a tremendous strike. The Shipyard were hesitant in clearing their lines and when the ball broke to Hendrie some 20 yards out he fired in a venomous shot that was in the top corner before Couser even moved. That sparked scenes of wild celebrations as the home players realised that they had gotten off the hook. The Shipyard had one last chance when substitute Alex Peoples drove in a shot that was heading for the bottom corner until Burnside dived low to his right to gather.
After the match Myles was keen to emphasise his and Jason’s thoughts on how the game should be played by saying “Disregarding the score line, after the last three performances this was a huge improvement and somewhere close to what we are capable of. I’ve heard various people tell me that you can’t be successful in this league by playing nice football but when you look at Craigroyston and the other teams challenging for promotion, they are the teams that get the ball down and play”. He went on to add “It’s maybe also no coincidence that we play better against these teams. However, they can also win against the teams that play route one and that’s not something we’ve achieved yet. I’m confident that what we’re trying to implement is the best way forward and that if we keep playing with the same attitude as tonight then we’ll get the rewards soon”.
Teams: Craigroyston: Burnside; Young (Low); Hogarth; Campbell; Jeffrey; Anderson; MacIntosh; Ritchie (Greenhill); Douglas; Dickson; Wilson (Hendrie). Unused Subs: Barbirou & Addison.
Burntisland Shipyard: Couser; Crombie; Connor; Bridges; McKay; Bell; Tabengwa (Cunningham); Innes (Peoples); Trialist (Henderson); Masson; Robertson. Unused Subs: McCrindle & Trialist.
Referee: R. Gordon.