First defeat for under par Shipyard.
The Shipyard’s unbeaten start to the season came to an end on Saturday as they went down 2-0 to Preston Athletic at Recreation Park. The visitors deserved their win; however, the outcome might have been different had Ben Anthony converted a first half penalty with the score at 0-0. Both the goals conceded came from defensive mistakes which was disappointing given how well the team has been playing and, on the day, not many of the boys reached the levels they have been producing. Mark James and Raymond Crichton both failed to recover from the injuries they picked up against Luncarty on Wednesday night, joining long term absentees Lee Henderson and Josh Urquhart on the sidelines. Ryan O’Donnell and Sandy Strang came into the starting eleven.
The torrential rain that fell before kick off had eased and the game got underway with only light rain falling and the pitch had absorbed the downpour well. The visitors were still smarting following Shippy’s win in the King Cup at Prestonpans a couple of weeks ago and started strongly with Kyle Somers shooting over in the first minute. The Panners were very much on top in the first fifteen minutes before Shipyard started to impose themselves on the match with Brandyn Bain parrying a B. Anthony shot round the post for a corner. Shipyard were handed a golden opportunity to take the lead in the nineteenth minute when Preston conceded a penalty thanks to a needless handball by Somers. B. Anthony’s spot kick was poor and Bain saved easily diving low to his right. Kieran Jack dragged a shot wide for the visitors and a ball across the face of the Shipyard box had to be cleared at the expense of a corner. Preston took the lead in the 32nd minute with Paul Currie claiming the goal though it looked like Iain Millar got the last touch following Scott Costello saving with his foot from a driven effort.
Shipyard made a change at half-time with Strang being replaced by Scott Orrock who was making his first appearance of the season after being out injured for months. The hosts made a decent start to the second half without troubling Bain too much and the visitors remained dangerous with Costello coming to the edge of his area to block. Shaun Keatings saw his powerful drive saved and from the corner Millar headed just wide. Marc Malloy missed a great chance to extend his teams lead in the 62nd minute but looked on in agony as he slid his shot narrowly wide from around twelve yards. Costello saved low down from the same man a minute later before Preston got their second, one that Costello will want to forget as he fumbled Malloy’s shot over the line despite his best effort to keep it out. Bain saved well from B. Anthony and then had a comfortable save from Darrell Anthony’s free-kick. In the dying embers of the match Millar received a second yellow for a rash challenge close to the touchline.
Manager Dave Costello said after the game “We were not at it at all today. Obviously if Benji scores with the penalty things might have been different, however, we were not fluent today and not much went right for us. We still defended reasonably well but I am disappointed with the goals we conceded. We now look forward to the Scottish Cup next week against Dalkeith and I am glad we have a week to prepare for it.”
Burntisland Shipyard: S. Costello; S. Keatings; M. Miller (C. Shaw); R. O’Donnell; I. Millar; S. Glancy; S. Strang (S. Orrock); D. Anthony; B. Anthony; C. Watt; J. Wilson (N. Feeley). Unused Subs: J. Ferguson & R. Connor.
Preston Athletic: B. Bain; K. Austin; C. Innes; M. O’Connor; T. Prior; E. Williams; K. Jack; P. Currie; M. Malloy; J. Grotlin; K. Somers. Subs: C. Pennycuick; R. Young; M. Woodcock; B. Archibald; M. Hamilton; S. McCole; N. Stokes.
Referee: K. Maskell.