Shippy win as Rattled Rovers see red.
The Shipyard came away from Peebles with the three points but had to battle all the way as nine man Rovers fought, quite literally on occasion, to take something from the match and it was not until Mark James scored his second goal of the game in the 83rd minute that the points were safe. Once again the Shippy squad was stretched as injury, suspension and unavailability took its toll.
After all the flooding that had effected the area it was good to see Whitestone Park in great condition for the match and with the weather set fair everything looked good for an entertaining game. How wrong could we be? The first chance came in the 10th minute when after Ewan Henderson had challenged home keeper Liam Robertson, the ball looped to Scott Devaney but the Shipyard midfielder saw his effort cleared off the line. Within a minute we had the first ugly incident in the game when Rovers Daniel Rennie reacted to a Conor Drury challenge by kicking out at the Shippy midfielder leaving the ref with no option but to show Rennie a red card. It did not take the visitors long to capitalise on their extra man as Drury played a great ball into the box and James was on hand to volley the ball home from ten yards with 16 minutes on the clock. The only other chance of note in the first half was an Adam Doig shot that was deflected for a corner.
Peebles came out for the second half and looked a different team despite being a man short and Donovan Ndiweni was unlucky to see his volley clear the bar four minutes into the second half. The Shippy should have doubled their lead in the 56th minute when Henderson and Doig linked to send the latter through on goal, however, Doigy tried to return the ball to Hendo when he should have shot himself and the danger was cleared. Ndiweni went even closer a minute later when his angled free-kick came back off the bar and the Shippy defence cleared the danger. Back at the other end it looked like Jamesy was going to turn an Andy MacDonald cross home from close range but somehow the ball went wide of the post with the referee awarding the Shippy a corner. Just after the hour mark Peebles were reduced to nine men when the ref heard Jason Darling threaten one of the Shipyard players and was again left with no option but to flash a red card. This did not go down too well with the home contingent and the referee had to explain his decision to them. A clearly rattled Rovers dug deep and tried to frustrate the Shipyard and then hit on the break with centre forward Paul Murray putting in a tremendous shift. Nonetheless it was still the Shippy that were creating chances with James blasting an angled drive over. Shippy subs Ethan Anderson and Josh Binnington both went close as did Doig before Peebles reminded the visitors they were still in the match as Sean Conaghan saw his curling shot drift wide of the far post. Ian Millar had a header held by Robertson before the Shippy sewed the game up with 7 minutes remaining as Jamesy gathered an Anderson cross and rifled the ball home at the back post. It was comfortable for the Shipyard now and Anderson almost made it three but his dipping shot hit the top of the bar and bounced over.
Manager Raymond Drury said after the match “It was a difficult game to assess as I am sure we would have played a lot better if it was 11 against 11. We done the job required in getting the three points and as I said, it is difficult to play against a team who have had players sent off but we won the game, kept a clean sheet and are away up the road happy”.
Peebles Rovers: L. Robertson; K. Munro; L. Zavaroni; J. Young; C. McAleavy; B. Edwards; D. Rennie; J. Darling; P. Murray; S. Conaghan; D. Ndiweni.
Burntisland Shipyard: M. Rowbotham; C. Lowe; P. Bell; G. McCann; I. Millar; A. MacDonald; S. Devaney (E. Anderson); C. Drury; E. Henderson (J. Binnington); M. James; A. Doig.
Referee: S. Luke.