Sending off ends Shipyard’s hopes
The Shipyard gave a good account of themselves against one of the top teams in the East of Scotland League and only fell out of the game when keeper Andy Martin was sent off for conceding a penalty. The penalty was duly converted and another goal five minutes later finished the match as a contest. Kevin Marshall returned to the team with Josh Williams dropping out in the only change from last week.
City started the stronger team and Martin had to look lively in the 6th minute to stop the City forward from latching onto the ball. After a bit of a scramble Martin was able to gather the ball and avert the danger. Another chance came City’s way the following minute when a shot from just inside the box whistled past the post. Hunter then had a chance when he broke down the inside right channel but he dragged his shot wide of the target. The Shipyard then had a spell of pressure which resulted in Russell volleying over from the edge of the box in the 19th minute. A minute later the shipyard had a good chance when a McCue free-kick skimmed off the head of a defender to Williams, but the ball came to him too quickly and he was unable to direct his header on target. The first major incident off the match occurred in the 29th minute when Edinburgh were awarded a penalty after Whyte was adjudged to have committed a foul in the box. Any contact was minimal but the decision was given and Whyte was yellow carded. Andy Martin brilliantly saved Hunter’s kick and excelled when he also blocked his follow up shot. Both players were hurt in the incident which led to Hunter being substituted shortly after. The Shipyard had a chance when a long throw into the box was allowed to bounce but no-one was on hand to knock the ball in. City broke the deadlock in the 44th minute when Robbie Ross broke through and although looking two yards offside was allowed to continue and he placed the ball behind Martin to open the scoring. On the stroke of half time an excellently flighted free-kick from Whyte was headed away for a corner and from the corner Russell headed wide.
The first 15 minute of the second half saw the Shipyard take the game to their opponents and play some good stuff and created several chances. Firstly, in the 50th minute a Whyte free-kick from the centre of the pitch some 20 yards from goal was only a couple of feet over and three minutes later good play between Dow and Russell set up a great chance for McAndrew, but with only keeper Stobie to beat he could not get his effort on target. In the 54th minute Bryan Cook shot over the bar from the edge of the box after the ball broke back to him. Cook was not to be denied and he hit the equaliser on the hour mark when he gave Stobie no chance with a shot into the corner of the net from eight yards. City were stung by the goal and regained the initiative having two shots from distance that flew over the bar. In the 68th minute Martin came to the edge of the box and managed to clear the danger, however, he was not so fortunate two minutes later when he was beaten to the ball by the City player was adjudged to have tripped him. The Shipyard’s appeals for offside, the incident was outside the box and that Martin got a touch to the ball were all waved away. And not surprisingly the referee showed him a red card. With both back up keepers unavailable today it was Craig Russell who took the gloves and his first task was to pick the ball out of the net after Douglas Gair tucked the penalty away. City tied things up with fifteen minutes to go when Gair volleyed home at the back post in what was a fine finish. Russell pulled off one good save near the end before Mark Hamilton was sent off for his second bookable offence in the dying seconds.
Billy Whitehead was reasonably happy with the team’s performance and said “We competed well for 70 minutes against a very good team. We rode our luck on occasions, though I felt we never got any breaks and once the ref decided to send Andy off and the penalty was converted, it was always going to be an uphill struggle. I thought a competition of this standard would have merited assistant referees, as that might have helped our cause”.
Teams: Burntisland Shipyard: Martin; Grieve (Lamont); Marshall; Williams; Whyte; McAndrew; Hamilton; Cook; Russell; Dow (Wilson); McCue. Sub not used: Doyle.
Edinburgh City: Stobie; Cennerazzo; K. Ross; Harrison; Stott; McFarland; Hunter; Vanson; R. Ross; Devlin; Howat. Subs: Gair; MacFarlane; Dick.
Referee: K. Maskell.