Shipyard blow chances.
Both teams deserve credit for producing an entertaining game despite the gale force wind that blew down the park for the entire match. Either side could have went on to win the match as plenty of chances were made but it was the home team that came out on top after two late goals, one of them a penalty, sealed the victory and with it promotion to the Premier league next season. With Andy MacDonald and Stuart Blake suspended there was a rare start in midfield for Jordan Crombie, meanwhile Blair Smart, Gavin Bridges and Jamie Fyfe came in for Craig McKay, Joe Samson and Keith Buckley.
Easthouses had the strong wind behind them in the first half but it was the Shipyard who created the first chance when Kevin Masson drove into the box only to see his low cross cleared before it could reach Dale Robertson. Easthouses started to gain the upper hand and Mikey Couser held a Paul McDermott free-kick. Couser then had to be alert to save at the feet of Mark Brown. The Shipyard were being pinned back as clearances were getting nowhere near the half way line and Couser was being kept busy as he again came out bravely to save at the feet of the inrushing forward. John Hunter dragged a shot just wide of the post as the hosts looked to capitalise on the conditions and there was a little respite for the Shipyard defence when Robertson got on the end of a through ball in the 26th minute but his long range effort drifted narrowly wide. The Shipyard should have taken the lead in the 33rd minute when an Adam Doig pass was missed by the home defence allowing Masson to gain possession and after rounding keeper John Falconer he went agonisingly close as his shot went inches past the far post as the defenders tried to bloke his shot. Twice in the closing minutes of the half Couser saved, albeit comfortably from Brown and then left back Gordon Wilson.
Couser stood up well and blocked from Alexander Elliot as Easthouses had the first chance in the second period. However, after this the visitors took a grip of proceedings and could have taken the lead on more than one occasion. Firstly Fyfe done well to get into a shooting position and came within a whisker of scoring when his shot hit the inside of the post and rolled along the line before being hacked clear for a corner. From the resultant set piece Falconer produced a fantastic save to Deny Smart who must have thought he had scored with his powerful close range header. Although obviously nowhere near as dominant as they were in the first half Easthouses were still creating chances and Couser saved low to his left from Elliot. The Shipyard had another great chance in the 73rd minute when substitute Grant Blyth burst down the left hand side. With both Masson and Doig unmarked in the middle his cross was to strong and although Masson was able to gather the ball it gave Easthouses time to regroup and block Masson’s shot with the visitors appeals for hand ball waved away. A double substitution by Easthouses turned the game their way as after a sklaffed effort was cleared away, within minute the hosts were awarded a penalty when Alan Clark tripped the attacker as he drove into the box. There was no doubt it was a penalty and McDermott made no mistake from the spot. With six minutes remaining Easthouses sealed the win when Couser could not hold a free-kick from the edge of the box and sub Rory McKinnon was on hand to stab the ball home. Shipyard sub Jason McCrindle fired in a fierce shot from around 30yards that Falconer could not hold but there was no Shipyard player on hand to take advantage of the loose ball. Deep into added time Couser saved well from Brown as he broke free of the Shipyard defence but in all fairness another goal would have been extremely harsh in what was an evenly fought contest.
Myles was philosophical after the match when he said “Based on the last 25 minutes of the game I can’t grudge Easthouses the win too much. It could have been different if any of our chances had gone in prior to that but today is a good example of the small margins that can turn a game one way or another. The first half was as well as we’d defended all season. They were pretty direct and we defended the area really well. The wind made things a bit farcical when it came to goal kicks with most of them either going out or landing well inside our half so we spent large parts of the first half defending. However I thought that we had the best chance of the half and I know that Kevin will get chances like that again and put them away”.
Myles went on to add “We started the second half ok and the keeper made an outstanding save from Blair’s header , that after we had the one that hit the post before trickling along the line. If we were a bit more alive in the box someone could’ve been there to poke it home. In that final 20 minutes though I just felt that Easthouses were a bit more adventurous and started to get in behind us too often. They started to build a bit of momentum that we struggled to deal with and eventually it cost us. All in all, I can take plenty of positives from today though and we now need to focus on Hawick next week”.
Teams : Easthouses Lily: J. Falconer; S. Campbell; G. Wilson; R. McQueenie; J. Baigrie (D. Arthur); P. McDermott; E. Smith (R. McKinnon); J. Hunter (C. Brown); M. Brown; S. Borthwick; E. Elliot. Unused Sub: J. Young.
Burntisland Shipyard: M. Couser; G. Bridges; P. Bell; B. Smart; A. Clark; K. Masson (K. Buckley); J. Fyfe (G. Blyth); C. Lowe; A. Doig; J. Crombie (J. McCrindle); D. Robertson. Unused Subs: C. McKay and J. Mushet.
Referee: P. Crosbie.