Honours even in top of the table clash.
The biggest crowd of the season so far turned up at Recreation Park to see this top of the table clash between Shippy and Luncarty, though some may have turned up to see the floodlights on for the first time. None of the 126 spectators would have left disappointed as the two teams served up a hard fought and thoroughly entertaining match under the bright lights shining down on the pitch. When the dust had settled both teams would probably have been satisfied with the point, that being said, so would the other teams at the top end of the table as one point now separates the top seven. The Shipyard squad was boosted by the signing of Craig Watt from Glenrothes with “Rooney” back at Shippy having spent many successful years in Costy’s youth team. Raymond Crichton returned from a period of working away from home but sadly his comeback was all too short, as he left the field injured with barely fifteen minutes on the clock. Sandy Strang recovered from the knock he picked up against Easthouses to take a place on the bench, Shaun Keatings missed out through suspension.
Jack Wilson had the first attempt at goal in the 8th minute after receiving a pass from Ben Anthony, however, he was unable to keep his effort down as it cleared the crossbar. Shippy had a scare when Scott Costello got caught in possession as he tried to dribble round the Luncarty forward and the big keeper was relieved when the ref blew for offside as the play developed. Luncarty were also appealing for a penalty on the back of Costy’s challenge. Sandy Strang replaced the injured Crichton after sixteen minutes slotting into the middle of the park. The visitors took a grip of the game for a period and an angled shot from No9 hit the outside of the post and No14 shot wide shortly after. At the other end Luncarty keeper Sorley dived low to save from B. Anthony, with the Luncarty defence happy to scramble the ball away at the expense of a corner. From the corner Iain Millar powered a header towards goal and was denied by a goal line clearance. Shippy broke the deadlock in the 43rd minute when following a corner, the ball fell to Darrell Anthony some 25 yards out. The midfielder took a touch then drove the ball towards goal with it taking a deflection before finding the back of the net. It might be one for the dubious goals panel with Mark James claiming the final touch. That was the last meaningful action for James as he had to be replaced at half-time due to injury. He was replaced by Ryan O’Donnell before the resumption.
Luncarty had plenty of the ball and got into some promising positions, however, they did not create any clear-cut chances and had a weak penalty claim dismissed by the referee. Watt headed over for the Shippy from a corner but it was from another set piece at the other end that drew the visitors’ level when Kirkaldy headed Anton’s flag kick in with the aid of a deflection at the back post. Watt went even closer from another Shippy corner, this time his header was on target but it was cleared off the line. D. Anthony curled a shot wide as both teams looked for a late winner and Costello had to be on his toes as he held the ball from yet another headed attempt from a corner.
After the game manager Dave Costello said “That was a very hard-fought game and we had to defend well against a good team. Once again, I have to praise the back four who were immense and Rod came on at half-time and slotted in seamlessly. We created some good chances and, on another day, either Milzy’s or Rooney’s headers might have found the net rather than being cleared.”
Burntisland Shipyard: S. Costello; M. Miller; C. McManus; M. James (R. O’Donnell); I. Millar; S. Glancy; R. Crichton (S. Strang); D. Anthony; B. Anthony; C. Watt; J. Wilson. Unused Subs: S. Orrock; C. Shaw; J. Galloway; R. Connor.
Luncarty: Sorley; Walker; Sinclair; Mitchell; Burton; Mackie; Dewar; Kirkaldy; Anton; Sutherland; Carlon. Subs: Patton; Dobie; Yates; Green; Fergus; Montgomery; Nicol.
Referee. A. Gamble.