Shippy spooked on Halloween.
The Shipyard produced a horror show on Halloween as they suffered a 4-0 defeat to Heriot Watt University but perhaps more disappointing was the three red cards received as the team lost its discipline in the second half. A combination of injury, suspension and no shows had the squad stretched but the welcome return of Dale Robertson bolstered the team for this league fixture at Riccarton.
It took only 22 seconds for the students to open the scoring but there must have been a ghostly figure lurking in the Shipyard box that played the right winger onside as he appeared to be yards offside before he squared the ball to his team mate for an easy tap-in. The Shippy’s first opportunity came in the 6th minute when Robertson curled a free-kick narrowly over. Back at the other end Jordan Mushet did well to block with his legs with his defence at sixes and sevens in front of him. Robertson flashed a great ball across the face of goal but none of his team mates were in position to turn the ball in. Darrell Anthony saw a fine strike pushed away after he had latched onto a Ewan Henderson flick on. Heriot Watt then spurned a couple of chances as firstly Anton Dowds lobbed over and then David Kerr headed over from a corner. A Ewan Fotheringham left foot shot was held by keeper Craig Saunders before the students doubled their lead. A simple through ball caught the Shipyard defence square and Chris Donnelly finished easily. Good work between Robertson and Fotheringham set up an opportunity for the Shippy but again there was no-one on hand to capitalise. Four minutes before the break Ben Saunders produced a great tackle to deny the students another chance and the Shippy finished the half on the front foot as big Hendo drove just over and a Gavin Sullivan free-kick was held by Saunders.
The second half started with a red card for the Shipyard’s Anthony when the referee adjudged he had stamped on an opponent after being on the receiving end of a vicious tackle from behind with play stopped at the time. Surely the same punishment should have been applied to both players rather than a yellow for the student. The Shipyard were keeping possession reasonably comfortably despite being a man down but they could not create any chances. Cameron Dunn hit the post for the hosts just after the hour mark before Donnelly shot over two minutes later. It was 3-0 in the 66th minute when Kerr easily headed home from a corner. Mushet produced a great double save in the 76th minute and a few minutes later he saved well again, this time from sub Liam Walker. Graeme Haywood received a second yellow card in strange circumstances when his misplaced volley back to the corner flag after play had been stopped by the referee went astray. Andy Macdonald could have no complaints about his second yellow a minute later after a poor challenge on his opponent. Heriot Watt made it 4-0 in the final minute when Walker turned the ball home from inside the six yard box.
Manager Alex Lowe was understandably downcast after the game when he said “Another very disappointing result for us today with a very poor start losing a goal after 22 seconds though the boy was at least five yards offside. The second goal came from a straight ball through the middle of our defence which was far too easy. We passed the ball fairly well for the remainder of the first half without the HWU keeper having to work too hard”. Alex went on to add “We were still in the game in the second half but lost our discipline with the three sending offs. The boys that remained on the park worked tirelessly and I am very proud of them. A big thanks to Dale Robertson, who returned today and played up front and he was our best player. The other obvious feature of the game is that HWU were fitter and sharper than us and as a team we must make the effort to rectify this at training. We have a massive game next week against the best team in the league (Leith Athletic) with a number of boys missing through suspension but we must fight on and do our best to get out of this very lean spell”.
Heriot Watt University: C. Saunders; C. Godsell; J. Daniel; A. Woolvern; D. Kerr; R. Higgins (M. Green); S. Wright; N. Laurenson; A. Dowds (L. Walker); C. Donnelly; C. Dunn (M. Hamill).
Burntisland Shipyard: J. Mushet; B. Saunders; P. Bell; A. MacDonald; C. Drury; E. Fotheringham (G. Haywood); D. Anthony; C. Lowe; G. Sullivan (E. Anderson); D. Robertson; E. Henderson.
Referee: N. Smith.