Prolific Pete on the bell.
The Shipyard had to fight hard to gain a creditable 1-1 draw with Heriot Watt University at Riccarton Campus last night. Despite losing an early goal and being under the cosh for a period the Shippy weathered the storm and fought back to gain a point, with Pete Bell scoring for the second game in a row, and with a bit of luck could have won it in the end. With the injuries, suspensions and unavailability disappearing Alex had a full 16 man squad with no trialists being used.
The Shipyard fell behind to the first chance of the match after conceding a needless corner. Jordan Mushet got down well to block a strong shot but the University man was on hand to knock the loose ball home. Buoyed with their early goal the students took the game by the scruff of the neck as Brian Anderson drove over and Mushet made three good saves, all inside the first twenty minutes. The only reply from the visitors in this period was a Blair Smart header from a Todd Arthur free-kick that went just wide. The students suffered a blow when Michael Connor limped off injured midway through the first half, he was replaced by Martin Green. In a rare Shipyard attack Adam Doig done well at the edge of the box as he passed to Kevin Masson but after a good turn Masson could not get his powerful shot on target. There was a flurry of action at both ends as the half drew to a close as Mushet held a Chris Donnelly effort at the second attempt, then looked on as his team mates went close twice within a matter of seconds. Firstly Masson drove over from just inside the area and as the Shippy quickly regained possession from the restart Craig Lowe diverted a Ryan Kelly drive onto the crossbar.
Lowe was in the thick of the action again at the start of the second half as he took a pass from Smart and engineered himself some space at the edge of the box, however, Uni keeper Craig Saunders held the shot. It was the home team’s turn to hit the woodwork and Finn Watt held his head in anguish as his thunderbolt strike bounced back off the crossbar. Anderson might have done better for the hosts but he could not direct his free header on target while at the other end Smart could not quite reach a Masson free-kick. The Shipyard received a boost in the 66th minute when Heriot Watt were reduced to ten men. Having already been cautioned in the first half for pulling back Masson, Ryan Higgins received a second yellow for needlessly booting the ball away after the referee deemed him offside. This had an almost immediate effect as the Shippy were level minutes later. Bell found himself with plenty of time and space at the left hand corner of the box and he floated the ball towards the back post and was delighted to see the ball drop in at the top corner. The Shipyard had a strong appeal for a penalty in the 76th minute when sub Ewan Henderson got to the ball before Saunders as he raced from his goal. Big Hendo nodded the ball over Saunders and was subsequently flattened as the big keeper’s momentum took him into the Shipyard player. All the visiting party were stunned when the referee waved away the claims. Henderson was giving his former team plenty of problems and as he burst into the area his low cross was deflected away for a corner as the Shippy searched for a winner. Heriot Watt were still causing the Shipyard problems with Donnelly in particular giving the visiting defence a torrid time. The Uni could have won it as the game moved into added time but a ball across the face of the Shipyard goal was close enough for Mushet to come out and challenge for the ball and any danger was averted when the referee awarded a free-kick for the challenge on the keeper. The Shipyard then had a glorious chance to win it when Masson sent Lowe clear inside the area but Lowe’s shot was blocked by the legs of Saunders and both teams had to settle for a point apiece.
Heriot Watt University: C. Saunders; A. Snoddy; J. Daniel; D. Kerr; F. Watt; R. Higgins; M. Connor (M. Green); E. Sutherland; C. Donnelly; S. Muhsin; B. Anderson (S. Davies). Unused Subs: A. Woolven; C. Sellar; C. Smith.
Burntisland Shipyard: J. Mushet; T. Arthur; J. Bouhaddou; B. Smart; G. Haywood; R. Kelly (D. Robertson); C. Lowe; A. MacDonald; P. Bell (E. Anderson); A. Doig (E. Henderson); K. Mason. Unused Subs: S. Keatings & JP McPhail.
Referee: C. Newman.