Shipyard suffer League Cup woe.
The Shipyard were the visitors when the curtain came down for the last time at Meadowbank Stadium on Saturday as the whole complex is to be demolished and replaced with a new state of the art facility in the next few years. There was no cameo role for the Shippy though as the hosts ran out 3-1 winners, however, the Shipyard will be disappointed with the outcome having had chances, particularly in the first half, but were only able to covert one. Also, the nature of the way that goals were conceded will have given manager Grant Brough cause for concern.
Sandy Strang returned to the starting eleven having been out since the Eyemouth match at the beginning of November with a broken toe but keeper Sean Malpas remained sidelined with the arm injury he sustained in the previous encounter with Leith, while Scott Powrie replaced Kieran Annandale at full back.
The Shipyard broke the deadlock in the 8th minute with an excellent solo goal from Jonny Galloway. The young midfielder picked the ball up some thirty yards out, fended off several attempts to dispossess him before firing the ball home from the edge of the box. It was a great start for the visitors and they almost doubled their lead ten minutes later when Rab Kinnaird broke free of the home defence only too see his strike come back off the post and just out of the reach of the advancing Tom Graham as he looked to capitalise on the rebound. A couple of minutes later a Callum McAulay free-kick found Strang but the big man could not direct his effort on target. Ryan Connor pulled off a fine reaction save to deny Ryan Currie but five minutes later the same man made no mistake when he latched onto a ball over the top of the Shippy defence and beat Connor with a clinical finish. Craig Watt saw his shot slip the wrong side of the post when he was through one on one with the keeper and at the other end Leith sub James Redpath, who had replaced the injured Sonny Swanson, fired over on the stroke of half time.
Connor saved from Dylan Tait as the high Shipyard defensive line was getting caught out with balls over the top. On the hour mark Graham wasted a good opportunity for the Shipyard when he fired a free-kick harmlessly over after Watt had been brought down on the edge of the area. The game was becoming a bit feisty at this point with two Leith players booked for poor challenges. In the 65th minute Graham found space on the right-hand side and his fierce drive was well saved by keeper Pont. The Shipyard fell behind in the 70th minute when Currie got on the end of a corner and was fortunate to see his effort beat Connor as the ball ricocheted of several legs on its way into the net. Leith were reduced to ten men in the 82nd minute when Johnny Pennel received a second yellow card following a poor challenge on Shippy defender Dean Anderson. The big centre-half tried to continue but he was forced to limp off after failing to shake the knock off. Leith then put the game to bed with five minutes remaining when Redpath found himself clear and he gave Connor no chance as he made it 3-1 to the home side.
Shipyard manager Brough bemoaned his teams luck after the match when he said “Once again we have been very unfortunate to lose the match. I think if Rab’s shot had gone in we would have won. Everything seems to be going against us at the moment, particularly in close matches, where that one stroke of good fortune can make all the difference”.
The Shipyard travel to Peebles on Saturday to take on the local Rovers in the League with kick off at 2.00pm
Leith Athletic: Pont, McLellan, Simpson, Smith, Middleton, Mein, Currie, Tait, Anderson, Pennel, Swanson, Subs: Ritchie, Barclay, Reid, Redpath.
Burntisland Shipyard: R. Connor, S. Powrie, P. Bell (B. Hamilton), D. Anderson (B. Saunders), S. Strang, C. McAulay, C. Watt, S. Glancy, T. Graham (R. Watt), Jon. Galloway, R. Kinnaird. Subs: O. Ferry, K. Ford, Jor. Galloway, C. Richardson.
Referee: A. Strang.