Misfiring Shipyard suffer heavy defeat
The Shipyard can justifiably point to some poor finishing, poor refereeing decisions, good goalkeeping from Aaron Jones and they can also throw some bad luck into the mix, however, it was unquestionably bad defending that resulted in this heavy defeat. Four of Haddington’s five goals were in the highly avoidable category, though all credit to Shaun Hill who produced a sublime finish for the third goal. The Shipyard squad was bolstered by the return of Sam Glancy and Sandy Strang after both served a suspension last week, with Ross Lennie also back having missed the trip to Eyemouth. Jonny Galloway was obviously absent as he starts his recovery from a dislocated elbow.
The opening exchanges were fairly even with neither side taking control of proceedings, however, that all changed with a goal out of nothing for the hosts. A long ball thumped up the park was missed by the Shipyard defence and that allowed Declan Quinn to gather the ball and fire it past Ryan Adamson. The Shippy went oh so close to levelling in the 23rd minute but Glancy’s piledriver from 22yards crashed off the inside of the post with Haddington scrambling the loose ball away. Lennie was afforded a free header from a corner but could not direct his attempt on target and Rab Kinnaird missed a great chance when put through on the keeper with Jones blocking his shot with his legs. The clinical finishing that the Shipyard produced against Dalkeith and Eyemouth was missing here at Millfield and it was something they would rue as the match progressed. Haddington finished the half stronger and a superb Lennie tackle denied them and Gordon Harris should have done better when he found himself in a good position inside the area. The Shipyard had played some good football in the opening 45 minutes and could count themselves unlucky to be behind at the break.
The Shipyard made things a whole lot harder by conceding another sloppy goal in the 49th minute. A deep cross was allowed to find its way to the back post and Hill headed down past a static Shippy defence and the ball bounced into the corner of the net. The Shipyard might have found a way back into the match when a Robbie Crawford shot was handled in the box, however, referee Hogg saw nothing amiss and waved play on. Adamson kept it at 2-0 as he saved well from Hill following the ball being lost at the edge of the box and at the other end Jones did likewise as he thwarted Reece Brown after good build up between Grant Skinner and Crawford. The game erupted in controversy in the 72nd minute when Jones came out of his box and clattered into Brown with the loose ball breaking to Kinnaird who missed the gaping target from 18yards. The referee brought play back for the free-kick, ignored the stricken forward who was in need of treatment and remarkably did not punish the Haddington keeper. To rub salt into the Shipyard wounds Jones then pulled off a superb save to deny Callum McAulay from the resultant set piece. These events seemed to deflate the Shipyard players and when Hill produced his great strike in the 75th minute to make it 3-0 it was game over. A low ball across the face of the Shipyard box two minutes later found Darren Leslie and he had the simple task of putting the ball in the net. Another low cross in the final minute found the unmarked Andrew Jones and he tapped home to complete the rout. Following some very good showings of late the Shippy came down to earth with a bump and will need to improve defensively if they are to climb out of the bottom two as the season draws to a conclusion.
Haddington Athletic: Aaron Jones, R. King, G. Harris, J. Hamill, A. Simpson, J. Keenan, D. Leslie, S. Hill, D. Quinn, A. McNeill, Andrew Jones. Subs: G. Brown, J. Chapman, G. Nicholson, R. Aitchison, D. Simmons.
Burntisland Shipyard: R. Adamson, Jor. Galloway, G. Skinner, R. O’Donnell, R. Lennie, S. Glancy, C. Simpson (R. Brown), B. Hutchison, R. Kinnaird, C. McAulay (S. Strang), R. Crawford. Unused Subs: P. Bell & R. Connor.
Referee: A. Hogg.