No new year cheer for the Shipyard at Kelty.
Who would have thought five years ago that the stand out match in the East of Scotland League opening fixtures of 2018 would have been a Fife derby between Kelty Hearts and Burntisland Shipyard. Both clubs have invested heavily in order to obtain their SFA Club licences and embrace the “Pyramid system”, so it was fitting that a crowd of 200+ was in attendance at New Central Park to watch the match.
The Shipyard gave competitive debuts to Ross Lennie, Hamish Thomson and Sean Johnstone as manager Grant Brough continues to re-shape his squad. Sean Malpas returned between the sticks having been out injured with a fractured arm since the home fixture against Leith Athletic.
The Shipyard were under no illusions off the task they faced against the unbeaten league leaders and unfortunately the game plan was out of the window within a couple of minutes after the concession of a very poor goal from a defensive perspective, as both Malpas and Thomson should have cleared the ball before Jordyn Sheerin headed the ball home at the back post from less than a yard out. Kelty dominated for long spells and the Shippy goal led a charmed life on a few occasions therefore the visitors were happy to only be a goal down at half- time.
Sandy Strang did not re-appear for the second half having suffered a nasty facial injury and he was replaced by Callum McAulay. The Shippy again conceded at the start of the half and once more the goal was highly avoidable as Errol Douglas was left in acres of space to knock home the loose ball after Malpas had blocked with his legs. The Shipyard then lost a second player to injury as Brodie Hamilton hobbled off to be replaced by Scott Powrie. Kelty went three ahead in the 51st minute when a corner was played to the edge of the box and Scott Taylor-Mackenzie was able to take a touch before rifling the ball into the net. Once again a sloppy goal as far as the Shipyard were concerned. The Shipyard were forced into their third and final change as Johnny Galloway picked up an injury and he was replaced by Dean Anderson. The hosts scored the fourth goal in the 82nd minutes when no one picked up the run of Brian Ritchie as he strode forward and produced a composed finish as he placed the ball into the corner of the net.
The Shipyard rarely threatened the Kelty goal as Brough acknowledged after the match when he said “We conceded some sloppy goals today and never really looked like scoring ourselves to be honest. However, I can’t be too critical of my players as they put in a lot off effort and never gave up against a top quality team”.
Kelty Hearts: S. Christie, E. Ford, C. Courts, M. Carstairs, S. O’Neil, S. Husband, R. Philp, S. Greig, J. Sheerin, E. Douglas, S. Taylor-Mackenzie. Subs: I. Nimmo, N. McCabe, B. Ritchie, S. Cargill, G. Henderson.
Burntisland Shipyard: S. Malpas, R. Lennie, B. Breen, H. Thomson, S. Strang (C. McAulay), S. Glancy, Jon Galloway (D. Anderson), C. Watt, S. Johnstone, R. Kinnaird, B. Hamilton (S. Powrie). Unused Subs: Jor Galloway, P. Bell, T. Graham, C. Richardson.
Referee: K. Hall.