Shippy endure tough time at Saughton.
The Shipyard were unable to repeat their good result from the reverse of this fixture as the title contenders ran out easy 3-0 winners at a cold Saughton Enclosure last night. Indeed keeper Mark Rowbotham and his defence did well to keep the score down while at the other end the forwards struggled to make any impression on the home rearguard. The unwell pair of Pete Bell and Rory McCann, the suspended Conor Drury and the unavailable Ethan Anderson dropped out of the squad that faced Tynecastle in the last match. Ewan Henderson, Mark James, Ben Saunders and Stephen Stark all retuned.
Kev Masson tried his luck with a free-kick from all of 40yards and although his strike was on target, it never troubled home keeper John Gilbertson. Lothian took the lead in the 22nd minute when Andy MacDonald misjudged the flight of a high ball which allowed Scott Gormley to burst though and beat Rowbotham. Four minutes later MacDonald was in the right place to head an effort off the line and when the loose ball fell to Sean Wringe his left foot strike was just wide of the target. Lothian doubled their lead in controversial circumstanced in the 33rd minute when Liam O’Donnell tapped the ball into the net from almost on the goal line, but the linesman’s flag stayed down despite the player looking yards offside. In a rare Shippy attack Craig Lowe headed a Masson free-kick over the bar from around the penalty spot. Two minutes before half-time Rowbotham pulled off a fine save getting down quickly holding Dean Cummings close range header. The Shipyard had a let off a minute later when Wringe ran at the Shippy defence leaving them in his wake before seeing his shot hit the post. Gormley then scuffed the rebound over.
Stark had an effort on target in the 54th minute but by and large the home team dominated with Cummings missing a glorious chance to increase the lead in the 57th minute. Shippy keeper Rowbotham was cautioned when he raced from his goal to challenge the Lothian player some thirty yards out, with the visiting contingent fearing a red, the referee deemed it only a yellow. After missing another good opportunity Lothian got a third in the 66th minute and the scenario was very similar to a few minutes earlier when again Rowbotham rushed from his goal but decided not to make a rash challenge and Gormley was able to walk the ball into the net. Rowbotham made another good save in the 83rd minute as the game drifted towards its conclusion with the hosts still dominant.
Manager Raymond Drury was unhappy after the match when he said “Too many guys just never turned up tonight. Against a team of that quality you need everyone on their game. We showed at home that we can compete with them but it just never happened tonight”. Raymond did have some praise to give out when he added “The defence did all they could and Mark showed what a good acquisition he is with some fine saves, good handling and distribution”.
In a change of fixture the Shippy are now at home on Saturday 16th April with Heriot Watt University being the visitors to Recreation Park. Kick off 2.30pm.
Lothian Thistle HV: J. Gilbertson; D. Moore; ST. Mackenzie; R. Wilkes; P. Crawford; E. Mearns; K. Brown; D. Cummings (D. Smith); S. Gormley (J. Guy); S. Wringe (L. Swanson); L. O’Donnell.
Burntisland Shipyard: M. Rowbotham; G. McCann; B. Couper (B. Saunders); A. MacDonald; I. Millar; M. James; S. Devaney; C. Lowe; S. Stark (E. Fotheringham); K. Masson (E. Henderson); A. Doig.
Referee: M. Rennie.