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Cupar Hearts. 4 Burntisland Shipyard. 1

Shipyard knocked out of Fence ‘N’ Deck Cup

The Shipyard lost out to Cupar Hearts in this Fence ‘N’ Deck Cup tie, though the scoreline flattered Cupar, they done enough to win the tie. The Shipyard did not take their chances, particularly when they were on top in the early part of the match, and after pulling a goal back in the second half. The refusal of the referee to give what looked like a stonewall penalty for handball midway through the second seemed to knock the stuffing out of the Shipyard and there was no way back after that. Only the suspended top scorer Owen McCue was unavailable for selection to manager Whitehead.

The Shipyard had the strong wind behind them in the first half and had most of the early pressure and a good move was halted when McAndrew was adjudged to be offside. In the 12th minute Russell broke free of the Cupar defence but he miss-hit his shot from 15yards. T. Williams was next to try his luck but, he saw his 22yard strike gathered easily by McEwan in the Cupar goal. Cupar’s first attempt came in the 19th minute when Sibanda shot across the face of goal. The Shipyard had a great chance in the 23rd minute when McEwan tried to be clever outside his box and was dispossessed by Russell. When Russell finally shot a Cupar defender was on hand to block his effort. On the half hour mark Cupar came into the game and the Shipyard defence done well to clear a cross from the right and then block a shot from the edge of the box. Chalmers was then adjudged to have tipped a cross away for a corner, though it looked like he never touched the ball. From that corner Cook had to head clear for another that came to nothing. In the 33rd minute McEwan had to reach up to tip a powerful drive from T. Williams over the bar. All the good work that the Shipyard had produced was lost in the 36th minute when from another corner Reilly, the smallest player on the park, was unmarked at the back post to head into the net. Cupar doubled their lead in the 39th minute with another headed goal, this time from Sibanda, with the referee ignoring appeals that Sibanda was holding Whyte down to reach the ball. The Shipyard almost pulled a goal back in added time when Cupar managed to scramble the ball away, but only as far as Small, whose shot was deflected into the arms of the keeper at his near post.

The Shipyard made the worst possible start to the second half when they conceded an early goal. Cupar worked the ball down their right-hand side, and then passed across the edge of the box to Reilly, who drilled his shot into the net for a fine goal. Russell had a chance to reduce the deficit but sliced his shot from the edge of the box. The Shipyard did pull a goal back in the 51st minute when McEwan pulled off a great save from a vicious free-kick by Whyte, however, Lee small was on hand to knock the rebound into the net. Chalmers had to hold a long range effort in the 59th minute before the Shipyard had a good spell of pressure. First a deep Whyte cross had McEwan flapping and he appeared to touch the ball away from the Shipyard forward though a goal kick was awarded. In the 62 minute Leishman was one on one with the keeper and it was the keeper who came out on top blocking with his legs. A minute later there was huge controversy when McInroy seemed to misjudge a cross into the box and stuck out his left arm to play the ball. To everyone’s amazement the referee waved play on, much to the frustration of all connected with the Shipyard. Cupar seemed to gain momentum from this and took control again forcing Chalmers into good save from a close range effort. From a free-kick on the Cupar left a header was flashed over the bar and in the 71st minute Pryde should have done better with a free header from around the penalty spot. Two minutes later it was the Shipyard on the attack and McEwan pulled off the save of the match by pushing a diving headed effort from Russell away for a corner. Cupar’s aerial threat had been constant all match and again a headed effort was just off target in the79th minute. Pryde saw his shot from the angle of the box hit the far post before Cupar tied it up in the 87th minute when Smith hit a fine free-kick beyond Chalmers and into the far corner. It was not to be Pryde’s day as in the final minute he saw another shot hit the woodwork and go over for a goal kick. After the match Billy Whitehead bemoaned his team’s lack of concentration and said “You cannot switch off like that at a corner and gift a team as good as Cupar a goal of a start. Then to lose a second goal so quickly which again should have been avoided was disappointing. After getting back into the game I could not believe we never got the penalty, only the referee can tell us why it was not given. However, we played a lot better here than we did the last time”.

Teams: Cupar Hearts: McEwan; Makein; Halley; O, Leary; McInroy; Nicoll; Smith; Sibanda; Boylan; Pryde; Reilly. Subs: Anderson; Campbell; Watson.

Burntisland Shipyard: Chalmers; McAndrew; Grieve (Johnston); Whyte; Cook; Small; Leishman; T. Williams; Russell (S. Hamilton); M. Hamilton; J. Williams (Dow). Unused Subs: Hutt; Houston.

Referee: N. Martin.