Shippy survive late scare to progress in cup.
The Shipyard held off a late fightback by Preston Athletic to progress to the second round of the King Cup at Pennypit Park on Saturday. Two fantastic strikes from Ben Anthony and a header from Iain Millar had Shippy 3-0 up early in the second half. However, two goals from the home side in the final twelve minutes had the visitors hanging on a bit. That being said, if B. Anthony’s thunderous effort had found the net rather than rattling the bar with fifteen to go which would have made it 4-0, it would surely have been game over. Both teams ensured that the neutrals in the crowd were entertained with plenty of attacking football and numerous chances were created. Shippy dominated the first half and could have been more than two ahead and despite going three down early in the second period, it was the Panners who were on top and they carved out a number of decent chances.
The first chance of the match fell the way of Shippy in the 7th minute and Brandyn Bain did well to push away B. Anthony’s well struck free-kick. The Shippy striker only had to wait three minutes to get on the score sheet and what a goal it was as he smashed the ball over Bain from all of 30 yards. Shipyard were forced into an early change as Connor McManus replaced the injured Josh Urquhart. Shippy almost added a second with 18 minutes on the clock as Millar headed Shaun Keatings’ free-kick back across the face of goal and Bain pulled off a great stop to deny Darrell Anthony from close range. The second goal arrived from the resultant corner when Millar headed home a Keatings’ delivery at the back post, despite the best efforts of Bain to keep it out. Preston’s first attempt came in the 23rd minute when Marc Malloy showed good skill in the box only to be denied by a great block from Scott Costello. B. Anthony had a glorious chance to add a third in the 39th minute when he latched onto a Keatings pass, however, his finish was poor and Bain saved easily. Shortly before the half-time whistle Costello had to come to the edge of his area to punch clear.
Shippy made a sensational start to the second half with a third goal within 30 seconds of the resumption when B. Anthony smashed the ball in off the underside of the bar from the edge of the box. Preston gained the initiative and started to create more chances with Johnathon Grotlin heading into Costello’s arms. In the 53rd minute Malloy threw himself at a cross inside the six yard box but couldn’t connect with the ball. Good build up between new signing Jack Wilson and Sam Glancy engineered an opportunity for B. Anthony but his shot was always on the rise as it cleared the bar. Indecision at the back from Shipyard gifted a chance to Grotlin and he would have been disappointed to see his lob clear the crossbar. Malloy then dragged a shot across the face of goal as Preston desperately tried to get back into the match as they maintained pressure on the Shipyard defence. Shippy could have sealed matters with 15 minutes remaining but were unfortunate to see B. Anthony’s thunderous strike smash off the face of the bar and bounce to safety. Preston pulled a goal back in the 78th minute when Kieran Jack found space at the corner of the box and drilled a low shot beyond Costello. The Panners had their tails up now and were unlucky to see Jack’s free-kick hit the bar and go over. It was 2-3 with two minutes remaining when Matty O’Connor’s side foot volley from a free-kick beat Costello at the back post. The final chance fell to Grotlin but Costello was equal to the task and saved comfortably.
After the match manager Dave Costello said, “Although we were hanging on a bit at the end, I felt we still deserved the win and could have been further ahead before Preston got back into the match.” He went on to say “This team had only conceded one goal prior to today, so to score three and create plenty of chances was very pleasing. Again, I thought we defended well today, coming under a fair bit of pressure at times and I felt that Matty Miller played particularly well today.”
Incredibly, we return to the same venue on Tuesday night for another Cup tie, this time in the East of Scotland Cup. Kick-off at Pennypit Park is at 7.30pm.
Preston Athletic: B. Bain; K. Austin; M. Forsyth; M. O’Connor; R. Young; T. Prior; M. Woodcock; A. McNeil; J. Grotlin; P. Currie; M. Malloy. Subs: C. Pennycuick; E. Williams; S. McCole; K. Jack.
Burntisland Shipyard: S. Costello; M. Miller; J. Urquhart (C. McManus); M. James; I. Millar; S. Glancy; S. Keatings (C. Shaw); D. Anthony; B. Anthony; S. Strang; J. Wilson. Unused Sub: M. Gibb.
Referee: A. Strang.