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Preston Athletic 2-3 Burntisland Shipyard

Big Jack hat-trick earns vital win.

A perfect hat-trick from Jack Wilson sealed the points for the Shipyard.

The Shipyard put a dent in Preston’s title hopes win a superb comeback win at Pennypit Park on Saturday. A perfect hat-trick from Jack Wilson, a left foot, right foot and headed effort ensured the burly striker was the Shippy man of the match, though every man played a role in ensuring the three points. The pitch was in decent condition despite the requirement of a morning inspection and the teams served up a no holds barred thriller for the crowd. Scott Orrock, Shaun Keatings and Mark James all dropped out of the squad from the last competitive match three weeks ago at Newburgh due to suspension, Injury and unavailability. Lee Henderson, Jordan Galloway and Darrell Anthony all started in their stead.

Ben Anthony saw an early attempt saved by home keeper Dale Pennycuick as the Shippy started brightly, however, it was Preston who struck first when a low cross from the right-hand side was turned home by Jonathan Grotlin from inside the six-yard box with eleven minutes on the clock. The Panners held the upper hand as the match progressed, that being said, Shippy keeper Scott Costello was never seriously troubled. The Shipyard drew level in the 26th minute when Sam Glancy’s delightfully flighted free-kick was headed home by Wilson from around six yards out. The visitors could only maintain parity for four minutes as Preston regained the lead in fortuitous fashion. A long ball lumped up the park skimmed the top of Iain Millar’s head and fell kindly for Grotlin who gave Costy no chance with a neat, lobbed finish. Costello produced a good reaction save to deny Preston when the ball was stabbed towards goal from close range as half-time loomed.

Brandon Archibald hit a shot narrowly wide before the Shippy seized the initiative. In the 51st minute a well worked move saw Benji gather the ball and his pinpoint cross was easily knocked home by big Jack and once again the Shipyard were level. Five minutes later the tables were turned completely as the Shippy took the lead with Wilson’s hat-trick goal. And what a goal it was as he received the ball from Dan Thomson before looking up and smashing an unstoppable drive into Pennycuick’s top left-hand corner, much to the delight of the Shipyard contingent in the crowd. Preston pushed hard for an equaliser and both Millar and Craig Watt made good clearances as they mopped up everything that was coming their way. Despite the late pressure Costello was not unduly troubled and the Shippy were able to wind the clock down and see out the four minutes of added time.

Manager Dave Costello was obviously delighted with the result when he said after the match “To come from behind twice and then go on to win was really pleasing. The boys gave me everything and ultimately deserved their win against a good side who are challenging for the title.” He went on to add “Naturally big Jack will get all the plaudits and deservedly so, but there were very good performances throughout the team with boys coming in having not had much football in recent weeks and they never let me down.”

The League Cup group stages now takes centre stage for the next month or so and we kick-off our campaign with a home tie, our first in six weeks, against Newburgh Juniors at Recreation Park. Kick-off is at 2.30pm.

Preston Athletic: D. Pennycuick; K. Austin; C. Innes; R. Young; M. Forsyth; K. Somers; Brydon Archibald (N. Stokes); Brandon Archibald; J. Grotlin; M. Molloy (S. McCole); M. Hamilton (K. Jack). Unused Subs: J. Newman; A. McNeil; J. Keenan; M. Gilfillan.

Burntisland Shipyard: S. Costello; L. Ross; L. Henderson (M. Miller); J. Galloway (S. Strang); I. Millar; C. Watt; D. Thomson (L. Mahady); D. Anthony; B. Anthony; J. Wilson; S. Glancy.

Referee: C. Buchan.