Season opener ends all square.
With so many players injured or unavailable for the trip to Berwick, having the U/20 squad proved invaluable for the Shipyard as several youngsters were in the pool for the journey to England and they did not let anyone down as they all made a contribution to the Shippy securing a well-deserved draw against hosts Tweedmouth Rangers. The new look Shipyard team had eight starters making their competitive debuts and a further three coming off the bench to make theirs too.
On a bright and breezy day, the Shippy had the elements with them as they kicked down the slope in the first half and had the bulk of possession in the opening minutes. It was the home team that had the first attempt but Cammy Lambie easily gathered Shane MacGregor’s free-kick from around 25yards. At the other end Ryan McCarthy-lee saw his fierce drive well saved by Graeme Cain at the expense of a corner. In the 18th minute the Shipyard trialist might have done better than put his 16yard effort over the bar. Tweedmouth stunned the Shipyard by taking the lead in the 21st minute and the Shippy would be disappointed to conceded in such poor fashion, when a corner into the six-yard box found the unmarked Craig Howard who nodded home. Jordan Galloway shot over for the Shippy before Scott Powrie and Brodie Hamilton were cautioned for two innocuous offenses by referee Jonathan Gall.
The Shipyard were level on the half hour mark when a Grant McNab free-kick was bundled home at the back post with young Galloway claiming it, though this one may have to go to the dubious goals panel. There was no doubt about the scorer of the goal that gave the Shipyard the lead just before half-time when Trialist found space in the box and volleyed the ball into the back of the net from 10yards.
Tweedmouth drew level five minutes into the second half with a highly controversial goal. A cross from the left into the six-yard box was put into the net by Craig Walker with the Shippy defence vehemently appealing for handball. However, the referee was happy to award the goal despite apparently acknowledging that a handball had taken place. Lambie then kept his team level with a good stop with his left foot as Tweedmouth upped the pressure on the visitor’s goal. The introduction of Owen Ferry seemed to give the Shipyard a lift as they started putting some good moves together, though clear cut opportunities were hard to come by for both teams as the match wore on. With around a minute left on the clock the referee saw fit to issue a second yellow to Hamilton for allegedly applauding his decision of awarding Tweedmouth a free-kick.
Tweedmouth Rangers: G. Cain, K. Murray, K. Cromarty, C. Walker, C. Cowens, C. Howard, P. McKaskill (C. Ellison), S. MacGregor (L. McKenna) C. Colquhoun, S. Cowens (K. Wemyss), S. McHoul.
Burntisland Shipyard: C. Lambie, S. Powrie (R. McLaren), G. McNab, B. Breen, R. O’Donnell, D. Boyne (K. Akbar) A. Trialist, J. Galloway, S. Cusick (O. Ferry) B. Hamilton, R. McCarthy-Lee. Unused Sub: S. Malpas.
Referee: J. Gall.