Missed chances again cost the Shippy as Leith snatch the points.
For the fourth game in a row the Shipyard lost by the odd goal but perhaps what was most disappointing was scoring three goals at home and still losing the match. There were mitigating circumstances, with three of the regular back four missing, it was a somewhat makeshift defence that took the field with Brian Breen and Tam Graham being paired in the centre. Pete Bell, the Andersons Craig and Dean were the men missing. The three Under 20’s that were in the squad last week were all involved again with Kieran Annandale joining Craig Watt and Johnny Galloway in the starting eleven. Two more from the Under 20’s, Ryan McCarthy-Lee and Kyle Walls were on the bench.
The Shipyard got off to a dream start by taking the lead in the 3rd minute when Rab Kinnaird won the ball on the left-hand side and cut inside before steering the ball beyond Leith keeper Pont and into the far corner of the net. The next few minutes may have proven critical as the Shipyard dominated but Brodie Hamilton and Callum McAulay both passed up good opportunities to increase the lead. The visitors had their first chance in the 14th minute after the Shippy defence were guilty of overplaying, however, Oban Anderson fired his strike wide. A minute later McAulay’s shot was on target but easily saved by Pont before Breen twice played in excellent free-kicks but Kinnaird and McAulay both spurned their opportunities. The Shippy had a let off in the 26th minute when a Redpath header beat Sean Malpas but it came back off the bar and was cleared. Five minutes later Leith drew level when Anderson found space on the left and curled a great effort beyond Malpas. The Shippy were back in front in the 36th minute and it was young Watt who scored his first goal at adult level. Great build up between Watt, Hamilton and Powrie saw the latter overlap and get his cross in and Watt made up the ground to knock the ball home.
The Shippy were pegged back early in the second half when Brodie MacKenzie was put clear and he slotted the ball passed Malpas. The game was end to end now as both teams created chances with Redpath missing for Leith and Galloway likewise for the Shipyard. Malpas produced a smart save to deny Mackenzie at the expense of a corner and it was from a corner that the visitors took the lead for the first time when Barclay headed home. Leith’s lead lasted a mere two minutes as a great free-kick strike from McAulay made it 3-3. Malpas managed to push away a looping Redpath cross before the young keeper suffered a serious looking injury when he dived at the feet of the advancing Leith forward. Malpas was replaced by his coach Ryan Connor and he marked his introduction with a stunning save from a thunderous shot. The Shipyard then suffered a sickening blow as they conceded what turned out to be the winner as the game moved into added time. The home defence failed to clear the ball and when it broke to Neill Middleton his drive beat Connor.
Manager Grant Brough was bitterly disappointed when he spoke after the match when he said “If the game had finished as a draw I would have been disappointed so you can imagine how I feel after losing. I feel a sense of Deja Vu as it is the same issues that are costing us every week. Once again, we created plenty of chances and although we managed to covert three of them it should have been more. I can’t really critics the defending too much given the number of guys missing and the unfamiliar role players had to fill. Looking ahead to the Fife Cup match against Dunfermline on Wednesday night Brough said “Pete, Ando and Deano will be available again and I might have a trialist or two. Unfortunately, Sean won’t be available as it looks like he could be sidelined for around six weeks as he has suffered a fracture. I am really looking forward to the match on Wednesday and I am confident we will give a good account of ourselves”.
Burntisland Shipyard: S. Malpas, K. Annandale, S. Powrie, B. Breen, T. Graham, S. Glancy, C. Watt, C. McAulay, B. Hamilton, J. Galloway, R. Kinnaird. Subs: O. Ferry, K. Ford, R. McCarthy-Lee, S. Strang, K. Walls, R. Connor.
Leith Athletic: Pont, Ritchie, Smith, Currie, Mackenzie, Barclay, McLellan, Anderson, Simpson, Beaton. Redpath. Subs: Middleton, Swanson, Larner, Hogg.
Referee: B. Cooper.