No luck for Shippy in heavy defeat.
The Shipyard left Pennypit Park hugely frustrated yesterday following the 6-1 defeat to hosts Preston Athletic. Frustrated at their lack of good fortune and a series of decisions that went against them. Preston deserved their win without a shadow of doubt but the scoreline should have been much tighter given that two of the Preston goals were clearly offside. Rab Kinnaird and Scott Powrie were unavailable following last week’s win over Stirling, however, the squad was boosted by the return of long term injured pair Stevie Wilson and Marc Black. Also available to Grant were new signings Sam Clancy and Craig Anderson, albeit the former played as a trialist last week.
The Shippy almost got off to a dream start in the third minute when Brodie Hamilton collected a Brian Breen pass, created space for a shot but agonisingly saw his strike crash back off the post. Luck continued to elude the Shipyard as Alexander Dimitrov, looking yards offside, was able to gather the ball and bear down on keeper Sean Malpas before producing a cool finish. The Shipyard defence was struggling to cope with the pace and movement of the Preston forwards and Malpas pulled of a couple of fine saves to keep the hosts at bay. The Shippy replied with a Breen header that flew over the bar before Preston doubled their lead in the 18th minute with Jonathan Grotlin on hand to knock home a low cross. Grotlin scored again in the 36th minute when he burst into the box and scored from around 10 yards. The fourth goal just short of half-time led to huge controversy as the referee was not paying attention to play as the Preston player received the ball yards offside but the official allowed play to continue and Grotlin completed his hat-trick as he converted at the back post.
The Shippy got a foothold in the game five minutes into the second period when Breen scored with a stunning strike as Preston keeper Craig Pennycuick could only look on as the big forwards left foot strike from outside the box flew over his head and into the net. Breen almost scored again two minutes later but his shot from inside the six-yard box came back off the post. The Shipyard were dominating at this stage of the game and Breen was proving to be a handful for the Preston defence and he again went close when he headed over from a corner. Again, Breen had an attempt at goal in the 61st minute but Pennycuick was able to get behind the ball and gather. In a rare home attack Dimitrov almost got on the end of a low cross inside the six-yard box but he was inches away from making contact. Back at the other end the Shipyard had a huge penalty claimed turned down when Breen appeared to be held down as a corner came into the box but the referee chose to wave play on. The referee then ended any chance of the Shipyard getting anything out of the match when he red carded Callum McAulay for foul and abusive language. Despite being a man down the Shippy kept at it and Breen dragged a shot wide in the 79th minute. Malpas produced a smart save in the 82nd minute when blocked a shot from Steven Campbell. Much to the surprise of everyone in the ground the referee awarded the hosts a penalty when Campbell went down under minimal pressure from sub Marc Black as they challenged for the loose ball. Justice was probably done when Jack Jardine hit the post with his effort from 12 yards. Preston made the most of their extra man in the closing minutes and added another two goals as the Shipyard ran out of steam.
When manager Grant Brough spoke after the match he said “On paper it certainly looks a heavy defeat but for me we’re exactly in the same place where we were last week when we won. Nothing has changed as we know exactly where we need to strengthen as a team and exactly what we need to be working on collectively as a team to take the side to the next level”. Grant then went into detail of how he saw the game panning out as he added “As much as Preston deserved there win, the game in reality was a lot tighter, in my opinion, than the scoreline suggests. We made poor decisions at times, never had a rub of the green and were ruthlessly punished by Preston’s impressive forwards. After pulling a goal back and looking likely that we could go on and close the deficit even further, the sending off killed the game for us. I’m not going to condone nor blame Callum for the sending off as at this moment in time I don’t know what was said but the decision ultimately killed any hope we had of getting back into the game and Preston used their extra man to great effect to push on and kill the game. As I said before we know exactly what needs to be done to take us forward, we will regroup and get ready for next weeks visit of Ormiston”.
Preston Athletic: C. Pennycuick, M. McFarlane, C. Inglis, D. Liddle, S. Campbell, D. Pennycuick (J. Jardine), J. Cochrane (K. Jack),, M. Woodcock, G. Binnie, J. Grotlin, A. Dimitrov (J. Whiteman).
Burntisland Shipyard: S. Malpas, K. Ford ( T. Graham), P. Bell, S. Wilson (M. Black), C. McAleavey, S. Strang, O. Ferry, S. Glancy, B. Hamilton, C. McAulay, B. Breen. Unused Subs: C. Richardson, C. Anderson, B. Saunders.
Referee: G. Haynes.