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Leith Athletic 2 Burntisland Shipyard 1

Shippy run league leaders close.

The width of the crossbar denied the Shipyard a deserved share of the spoils in this re-arranged league match at Meadowbank 3G on Saturday. Sure, Leith had a lot of the ball but Joran Mushet in the Shippy goals did not have many saves to make as most of the opportunities that fell Leith’s way ended up off target. Once again due to injury but mainly suspension manager Alex Lowe’s squad was stretched to the limited, however, the guys that played can be proud of their efforts.

In the 6th minute Scott Wilson slashed his shot wide for the hosts while at the other end Brendan Napier saw his attempt drift wide. Leith took the lead in the 9th minute when John Ferguson was all alone at the back post to head in a fine cross from the right hand side. A poor pass back from Ben Couper almost gifted Leith a second but Mushet did well to block the effort with his body before the danger was cleared. The home team returned the compliment when poor control at the edge of the box offered an opportunity to Napier but he was closed down before he could get a shot away. Napier was in the thick of the action as he shot just wide after receiving a fine pass from Dale Robertson. In the 27th minute Pete Bell got forward down the left and his effort across the keeper drifted beyond the far post. James Hainey had a headed attempt at the back post for the home team before the Shipyard equalised in the 37th minute. John Paul McPhail headed a deep ball back across goal and Ewan Henderson was on hand to stab the ball home from close range.

Leith had all the pressure at the start of the second half but Hainey, Wilson and Ker Allan were all off target. Leith’s closest attempt in this period came in the 56th minute when Steven Glynn just failed to connect with a free-kick driven across the face of the Shipyard goal. Leith regained the lead and scored what proved to be the winner in the 77th minute when Wilson burst clear of the Shipyard defence and stroked the ball beyond Mushet. After this the Shipyard dominated proceeding but could not find that elusive goal as firstly, sub Ewan Fotheringham gathered a ball from Big Hendo and saw his deflected strike hit the bar with Leith keeper Neil Fairnie beaten. Next Henderson headed wide from the resultant corner as the Shippy kept up the pressure. The visitors were dealt a blow when Conor Drury received two yellow cards in quick succession for fouls and he could consider himself unfortunate given some of the challenges that had went unpunished earlier in the match. In fairness the loss of a player did not stop the Shippy attacking and Fotheringham would have been disappointed not to have headed home Robertson’s great cross. Deep in added time Robertson had the Shipyard’s final chance but he shot narrowly wide from the edge of the box.

Dale Robertson saw last gasp effort drift wide.

Dale Robertson saw last gasp effort drift wide.

It was a case of mixed emotions for Alex as the losing streak continued but the player’s gave him as good a performance as they have in weeks when he said after the match “ That was a much improved performance today and it was against one of the best teams in the division. We competed very well against a slick, sharp passing Leith team and were very unlucky in the end not to have taken a point from the game as we created three good chances in the last ten minutes. Alex had praise for his players when he added “The boy’s effort, work rate and commitment was outstanding and I was very pleased with our performance”. Though he countered his praise when he went on to add “However, we still got nothing from the game and again lost two very avoidable goals and if we cut out basic errors will start to win a few games”.

Leith Athletic: N. Fairnie; D. Simpson; K. Fee; S. Glynn; S. Melvin; K. Allan (G. Burns); L. Martin; S. Murphy; J. Hainey (R. Mason); J. Ferguson (D. Heron); S. Wilson. Unused Subs: G. Kneeshaw & A. Murray.

Burntisland Shipyard: J. Mushet; B. Saunders; E. Anderson; C. Lowe; B. Couper; JP McPhail; P. Bell; C. Drury; E. Henderson; B. Napier (E. Fotheringham); D. Robertson. Unused Subs. M. James & A. Doig.

Referee: M. Addy.