The Shipyard’s week went from bad to worse with a woeful first half performance at Duffus Park. The 5 – 0 half-time scoreline summed up what was an atrocious defensive display, though things improved a bit in the second half with the final score being 7 – 1. The same eleven were given the chance to redeem themselves after Tuesday’s defeat to Lumphinnans, with Russell and T.Williams replacing Houston and Paul on the bench.
Cupar started strongly as expected of a team chasing the title and missed an opportunity in the 5th minute when a shot from 8yards was just wide. A minute later Chalmers held a long range shot that was straight at him. The Shipyard’s first chance fell to Leishman in the 8th minute but, a deflection took the sting out of his shot and the keeper gathered easily. Good work between McCue and Small saw the latter cross into the box, only to see two Shipyard players going for the same ball and the chance was lost. Cupar took the lead in the 19th minute when a cross was allowed to reach the back post and Scott Pryde headed back across Chalmers and into the corner of the net. It was 2 – 0 in the 27th minute when a corner from the right was not cleared and Gary Reilly nodded in. It was 3 – 0 two minutes later when Chalmers failed to hold a powerful free-kick and with 3 Cupar players waiting on the rebound it was Barry Sibanda who put the ball in the net. In a rare attack for the Shipyard a McCue cross almost found Small, but the ball was just out of his reach. Cupar scored a 4th goal in the 35th minute from a cross on the right hand side, though the player who delivered the cross looked yards offside. A minute later the Shipyard defence caved in again as Iain Boylan made it 5 – 0 with another easy finish.
Things did not improve at the start of the second half for the Shipyard as the unmarked Sibanda scored his second goal to make it 6 – 0 in the 51st minute. The Shipyard had an opportunity when a McCue free-kick was headed back across goal but, there was no one to latch onto the ball. On the hour mark Owen McCue pulled a goal back for the Shipyard when his 22yard free-kick found the corner of the net. Shortly after this Cupar were reduced to 10 men when Sharp was sent off for a poor challenge on Leishman, who himself had to be substituted such was the extent of his injury. Cupar were still a threat with 10 men and scored a 7th goal when Neale Smith finished off a good move with a fine finish. The Shipyard had one last opportunity when Small latched onto a through ball, just beating keeper McEwan to it at the edge of the box, but his effort drifted wide. A disgusted Billy Whitehead said after the game “there will be changes on Saturday. We cannot continue to give away goals like that. Though we were up against a very good side, I was embarrassed”.
Teams: Cupar Hearts: McEwan; Fraser; Nicoll; Anderson; Sharp; McInroy; Reilly; O’Leary; Sibanda; Boylan; Pryde. Subs: Makein; Smith; Gilfillan; Watson.
Burntisland Shipyard: Chalmers; McAndrew; Whyte; Grieve; Cook (T. Williams); Small; M. Hamilton; Leishman (Hutt); McCue; S. Hamilton (Russell); J. Williams. Unused Subs: Johnston; Dow.