Champions too strong as Shipyard lose heavily
Stirling University proved far too strong for the Shipyard as they ran out comfortable 5-0 winners in this East of Scotland qualifying Cup tie at Recreation Park. It was always going to be an extremely difficult task for the Shipyard as Stirling are the current East of Scotland League champions with their array of talent from all over Britain. The Shipyard team showed one change from last week’s win at Peebles with Liall Robertson replacing the unavailable Craig Hatton.
The shipyard found themselves a goal down after five minutes in somewhat controversial circumstances. When the ball broke to Craig Mason some six yards from goal he headed the ball towards the goal, however, keeper Martyn Melia clawed the ball away but the poorly positioned referee awarded a goal, deeming the whole ball had crossed the line. An Owen McCue free-kick from 25 yards in the 10th minute was the Shipyard’s first effort at goal. Stirling doubled their lead in the 19th minute when Jason Atkins was not picked up at a corner and he easily nodded in at the near post. Melia made two good saves to keep the Shipyard in contention before the home team had their best chance so far. Liall Robertson saw his header from McCue’s cross saved by Kevin Walker and then Paul Ferrier’s shot from the rebound was blocked for a corner. A Ryan Rutherford shot was deflected for a corner and then a Paul Wilson shot was not too far off target as the Shipyard had their best spell of the match. Stirling regained the initiative as half time loomed and Melia again made a couple of good saves.
Melia held a shot in the first minute of the second half before he was beaten for the third time three minutes later. He saved the first effort at goal but Blair McWhirter was on hand 10 yards out to hit home the loose ball. Within seconds McWhirter missed an absolute sitter as he somehow hit the ball over the bar from just a couple of yards out. Stirling were very much in the ascendancy now as Paul Sludden hit the post and Melia had to be sharp to block the follow up shot. In a rare foray up the park good build up play engineered a shooting opportunity for Robertson but his shot took a deflection and went out for a corner. Twice within three minutes Stirling hit the woodwork as the tiring Shipyard defence struggled to keep the students at bay. The Shipyard cause was further hampered as Ferrier was shown a red card for his second bookable offence with sixteen minutes remaining. A fourth goal arrived in the 81st minute when a cross from the left just eluded Mark Brough and the Stirling player was on hand to shoot the ball into the gaping net. The students went nap in the last minute when Chris Geddes latched on to a through ball and slotted in beyond the advancing Melia.
Manager Billy Whitehead was not too disappointed after the game and said “We were up against very good opposition today, their passing and movement was first class. I thought we played some decent stuff at times. The first goal being awarded certainly did not help our cause, especially with it being so early. I am reliably informed that it did not cross the line. We can now look forward to our big match on Tuesday against East Fife and try to reach a cup final”.
Teams: Burntisland Shipyard: Melia; Brown; Brough; Williams; Whyte; Wilson (Grubb); Robertson; Lamont (Grieve); Ferrier; Rutherford; McCue (Dow).
Stirling University: Walker; Nixon (Dick); Sheridan; Atkins; Roberson; Pearson; McWhirter; Nichol; Mason (Smith); Sludden (Geddes); corr.
Referee: G. Farmer.