Shippy rue missed chances as mistakes are punished.
The Shipyard fell at the first hurdle of the William Hill Scottish Cup after losing 3-1 to St Cuthbert Wanderers at St Mary’s Park, Kirkcudbright. Having taken an early lead through Ewan Henderson the Shippy failed to capitalise on decent chances shortly after and were made to pay as defensive mistakes cost the team dear. The Shipyard travelled south without the injured trio of Jamie Bouhaddou, Gary Osborne and the experienced Kevin Masson. Dale Robertson was ill and keeper Jordan Mushet was on holiday.
The Saints had the first chance in the 8th minute when Andrew Donley headed over from a corner but it was the visitors who broke the deadlock when Henderson raced on to an Adam Doig pass and drilled the ball beyond keeper Ross Wilson. The home team’s set pieces were causing the Shippy problems and Craig Rudd headed over from another corner. The next few minutes could have seen the Shippy go further ahead when a great run from Brendan Napier, playing his first game of the season after injury, ended with Wilson saving his shot. Wilson then produced a fine stop with his legs to deny Craig Lowe. A 20 yard screamer from Andy MacDonald then had Wilson at full stretch to push the ball to safety. After being on top for the opening spell the Shipyard received a sucker punch when the hosts equalised when Ryan Couser failed to hold Donley’s powerful header from close range. Couser held a fierce shot that was straight at him before Wilson held a Napier free-kick at the other end. As the half drew to a close Rudd rattled the Shippy bar with a fine strike from distance.
The Saints had most of the possession in the first half and this continued into the second and Blair Smart had to be alert to clear the ball off the line after Rudd had once again caused problems in the Shippy box. Lowe drove forward for the visitors but never pulled the trigger when he found space at the edge of the Saints box. Shortly after Ethan Anderson drove forward played a one two at the edge of the box but was incredibly unlucky to see the well hit shot come back off the inside of the post, then Lowe could not direct the loose ball on target. Once again after a decent spell of pressure the Shippy pushed the self-destruct button as defensive confusion led to the ball falling to Donley who put his team ahead from 10 yards with 62 minutes played. The tie was over for the Shipyard in the 78th minute when Struan Parker burst clear in the box and drilled the ball across Couser into the far corner of the net. In the closing stages Saints looked more likely to add to their lead than the Shipyard pulling one back and it will be St Cuthbert Wanderers who will have to make a long trek north to face Cove Rangers in the next round.
Manager Alex Lowe was unhappy with his side’s display when he said “I was very disappointed with the manner in which we lost all three goals against St Cuthbert. Although they had a lot of possession and the advantage of a 3G AstroTurf home pitch, we can have no excuses for our poor defending for all three goals and I mean as a team and not solely our back four. The St Cuthbert game plan was very simple, long diagonal balls and early crosses whipped into the box for their two big guys up front. They have a lot of players with lowland league experience and as well as having two strikers that were a handful their left back was the best player on the park with bags of energy, skill and enthusiasm. There were too many of our players that did not match this”. Alex did have some praise for his men when he added “Ethan Anderson, Pete Bell, JP McPhail and Ewan Henderson were probably the pick of our team and big Hendo certainly caused them a lot of problems in the first half. At 1-0 and 1-1 we had great chances which we failed to convert, which I think had they been taken would have given us a positive result. We have our first league game against Ormiston next week and have quite a few things to work on at training this week”.
St Cuthbert Wanderers: R. Wilson; P. Gray; J. Warren; J. Wilson; H. Cameron; S. Parker; S. Degnan (Z. Caldwell); J. McMurdo; C. Rudd; A. Donley; P. Middlemiss. Unused Subs: R. Davis; R. Gordon; B. Wilson; S. Alexander; C. Farnhill.
Burntisland Shipyard: R. Couser; P. Bell; E. Anderson; B. Smart; G. Haywood; C. Lowe; JP McPhail (C. Williamson); A. MacDonald (D. Anthony); B. Napier; E. Henderson; A. Doig ( M. James).
Referee: G. Grainger.