Poor defending proves costly as Shipyard exit cup.
Once again the Shipyard fell at the first hurdle in the William Hill Scottish Cup but they can only have themselves to blame as, after a very good first half performance, poor defending in the second half allowed Lothian to score three unanswered goals. Ethan Anderson and Pete Bell returned to the starting eleven having missed out in the Fife Cup tie. Shaun Keatings was suspended for today and Joe Samson was unavailable.
Lothian Thistle had the strong wind behind them in the first half and had an early opportunity when a free-kick was headed back across goal but no one could get a touch on the ball. The Shipyard went very close in the 6th minute when Daniel Watt gathered the ball inside the area from a corner but his left foot strike drifted just wide of the far post. John Paul McPhail got on the end of an Adam Doig cross but he was stretching to make contact and could not direct his header on target. In the 17th minute the ball fell kindly to the Shipyard’s Brendan Napier in the area but he could not get a shot away as he was crowded out though some thought he was pushed in the back as he was about to let fly. Lothian were enjoying a lot of possession but could not find a way through a resolute Shipyard defence and this was typified in the 21st minute when Anderson headed clear from under his own crossbar. The home team were totting up the corners and on a few occasions the Shipyard defence were struggling to clear the danger, however, on each occasion they did and they almost stunned their hosts by taking the lead Doig capitalised as the home defender misjudged the high ball in the wind and he drove forward only to see his powerful shot come crashing back off the bar. Blair Smart made a timely interception in his own area as Lothian looked to turn the screw before half time. Lothian’s Sean Wringe then dribbled into the box but tried to beat one man to many and the chance was lost and on the stroke of half-time Kevin Keane tried his luck but his shot didn’t trouble Jordan Mushet in the Shipyard goals.
McPhail had the first attempt of the second half for the Shipyard but his shot did not have the power to beat Lothian keeper Gregor Amos. Lothian then had a spell of pressure that ultimately saw them take the lead. Firstly, a cross from the left hung up in the wind and deceived everyone as it hit the back post before being cleared for a corner. The resultant corner saw a scramble in the Shipyard area which led to another corner from which the hosts took the lead. The in swinging corner from Keane was missed by everyone and hit the back post before crossing the line. Did the wind play tricks with the ball, was it a great effort or was it poor defending? Maybe a bit of everything but in the Shipyard’s eyes it was a bad goal to lose. Lothian’s set pieces were continuing to cause the Shipyard defence problems and Mushet saved well as the defenders struggled to clear their lines. The Shipyard players were struggling to gauge the weight of their passes and set pieces in the second half which resulted in very few chances being created. Craig Lowe saw his shot held as the visitors looked to get back level but with 12 minutes remaining it was more or less all over for the Shipyard. Wringe was able to climb between two Shipyard defenders and head the ball beyond Mushet from around six yards out to put his side two goals up. Mushet saved well at the feet of substitute Alan McDonagh but he was beaten once again in added time when Andy MacDonald was caught in possession and this allowed Wringe the easiest of chances to score his second of the match and book his side a place in the next round.
After the match Myles did not criticise his players but he did bemoan a lack of concentration when he said “I can’t fault anyone in the squad for their effort today. There were two lapses of concentration that took the game away from us in the second half. Against good sides you get punished for those mistakes and that’s what happened today”. He thought his team competed extremely well in the first half as he added “We were excellent in the first half and I don’t think Lothian could have complained if we’d been ahead at half time. But I said to the guys at half time that we had to keep working just as hard and having the wind at our back wasn’t a reason to stop working. If I’m honest, we never really got a foothold in the second half and although we had a couple of spells of pressure, I don’t think we created many good chances. I’m not going to dissect the third goal as we were throwing bodies forward at that stage but the first two were what killed us”.
Lothian Thistle HV FC: G. Amos; C. McGregor; P. Crawford; J. Williams; G. Munro; C. Connolly (A. McDonagh); W. Hare (R. Malcolm); K. Brown (L. Swanson); S. Wringe; S. Moffat; K. Keane. Unused Subs: B. Callan; L. O’Donnell; M. Joint.
Burntisland Shipyard: J. Mushet; P. Bell; E. Anderson; B. Smart; A. MacDonald; B. Napier (K. Masson); D. Robertson; C. Lowe; D. Watt (E. Henderson); A. Doig; JP. McPhail (K. Buckley). Unused Subs: Q. Franklin; B. Rogerson; T. Arthur.
Referee: D. Lowe.