Better performance but another defeat.
The Shipyard’s wretched start to the season continued on Saturday as they went down 3-2 to Oakley United at Blairwood Park. There were some positive signs in the performance, particularly in the second half as the Shippy dominated for the most part and almost got the equaliser their play deserved. However, the damage was done in the first half and it was the same old story as poor defending cost the first two goals. The fact that the third goal was yards offside is another matter. Reece Brown, Robbie Crawford, Sam Glancy, Ross Lennie, Iain Millar and Sandy Strang were all absent for a variety of reasons though the squad was boosted by the arrival of loan signings Jay Bridgeford and Tyler McKenzie from Kelty Hearts. The youngsters acquitted themselves very well in what was a tough physical encounter, and they will add a lot to the Shipyard squad over the coming weeks. There were returns to the starting eleven for Michael Gibb and Ryan O’Donnell and debuts for the aforementioned loanees from Kelty.
The pitch was heavy but thankfully the early morning rain had abated, and the sun was doing it’s best to brighten the west Fife skies. The Shipyard created the first opportunity in the 5th minute as Shaun Keatings volleyed over a Bridgeford cross. The Shipyard fell behind to Oakley’s first attempt at goal when Stuart Love’s strike from distance found the top corner after sloppy defending allowed the ball to be worked to the striker’s feet. The visitors almost got level quickly as Ben Anthony’s cross cum shot hit the top of the bar. A headed attempt from Oakley was not too far away and in the 17th minute Gibb saved comfortably from Craig Martin. The Shipyard had to make a change midway through the half as Dale Allan limped off to be replaced by Matty Miller. Oakley doubled their lead two minutes later as James McAteer tapped in from close range following a right-wing cross. Once again questions had to be asked of the Shipyard defending. B. Anthony shot across the face off goal from an acute angle and the agony of that missed chance was felt even more when the hosts raced up the park and scored. Love tapped in from inside the six-yard box, however, there was a blatant offside in the build up that was unfortunately missed. To their credit the Shippy quickly replied with Shaun Keatings placing a left foot shot into the top corner from around sixteen yards.
The Shipyard should have pulled another back six minutes into the second half but B. Anthony missed the target from a great position after good build up between Keatings and Bridgeford. The Shippy were very much the dominant team now but Oakley were holding firm at the back. That was until the 78th minute when Bridgeford was tripped in the box and B. Anthony made no mistake from the spot. The Shippy pushed for the equaliser in the closing minutes, however, they could not fashion another clear chance as Oakley maintained their 100% start to the season.
The Shipyard are at home on Saturday (31/10/2020) as we welcome Peebles Rovers to Recreation Park. Kick-off is at 2.00pm.
Oakley United: S. Robertson; D. Kelly; R. McGill; M. Mooney; C. Martin; C. Runciman; B. McAdam; R. Gunn; J. McAteer; M. Allan; S. Love. Subs: J. Harrison; R. Gruar; J. Urquhart; C. Shaw; K. Young; C. Sanchez; C. Nielson.
Burntisland Shipyard: M. Gibb; R. O’Donnell; D. Allan (M. Miller); D. Hunter; G. Ross; R. Crichton; S. Keatings; T. McKenzie; B. Anthony; D. Anthony; J. Bridgeford. Unused Subs: S. Costello & J. Galloway.
Referee: J. Curran.