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Oakley United 4-4 Burntisland Shipyard

Tremendous Shippy fight back in eight goal thriller.

This was a Jekyll and Hyde performance of the highest order from Shippy at Oakley on Tuesday night. Four goals down with half an hour on the clock things looked ominous to say the least, therefore, who would have thought that with fifteen minutes remaining the visitors were level and pushing for a winner. That fifth goal never arrived; however, it was not for the lack of trying and it took a fine save from Oakley keeper Brett Young to deny Ben Anthony, saving low at his near post. Doubles from Craig Martin and Stuart Love gave United their four goal lead with Darrell Anthony, Reece Brown, Lee Henderson and Iain Millar netting for Shipyard.

The game kicked off in glorious sunshine in front of the shirt sleeved crowd, with a healthy amount making the journey from Burntisland to watch the action. As seems to be the case when Shipyard visit Oakley the hosts get an early goal and with seven minutes on the clock Martin headed home from a corner. Brown saw a 28yard free-kick drift wide of the target before Martin doubled Oakley’s lead in the 23rd minute with another header. Two goals in as many minutes from Love, the first a solo effort and the second another header, had Oakley on easy street. Crucially, Shippy were able to reply quickly when D. Anthony was able to finish off a move involving Brown and brother Ben in the 34th minute. A second goal for Shipyard arrived three minutes later when B. Anthony’s cross was headed home by Brown at the back post. Martin had an opportunity to complete his hat-trick but he saw his header go wide of the target.

Young saved a shot from D. Anthony and B. Anthony watched his drive hit the side netting with Shippy now on top and looking for another. The third goal came in the 72nd minute from an unlikely source but what a goal it was as Henderson collected the ball some 35yards from goal and smashed an unstoppable strike beyond Young. Two minutes later and unbelievably it was all square. Young did well to turn a Mark James header round the post and from the resultant corner big Millzy bulleted his header home. Oakley were still in it and Scott Costello did well saving with his legs. Shipyard were reduced to ten men in the 90th minute when Sandy Strang received a second yellow card, possibly for persistent fouling, which was harsh given how the game had been played. B. Anthony had an ambitious shot stopped and Sam Glancy miscued his free-kick from a decent position. Oakley were enjoying a spell of pressure, keeping the Shipyard’s defence on their toes and Love headed wide from a good position. B. Anthony then saw his powerful strike saved at the near post with 95 minutes on the clock. The referee finally brought this enthralling encounter to a halt after playing seven minutes of added time.

Shipyard manager Dave Costello praised his players when he said, “The sprit, determination and never say die attitude the players showed was fantastic, however, they all know that they have to cut out the errors as we won’t always come back from such a position.”

Oakley United: B. Young; R. Gruar; B. McAdam; C. Docherty; R. McGill; M. Allan; C. Martin; R. Bernard; M. Mooney; S. Love; S. Day. Subs: A. Jones; C. Runciman; J. Cowan; J. Harrison; K. Young; J. McCullagh.

Burntisland Shipyard: S. Costello; M. Miller; L. Henderson; M. James; I. Millar; S. Glancy; S. Strang; J. Urquhart (R. O’Donnell); B. Anthony; R. Brown; D. Anthony. Unused Subs: J. Galloway & G. Ross.

Referee: A. Strang.