More defensive woe for the Shipyard.
Slack defending again cost the Shipyard dear as Hawick gained a narrow win in a tousy match at Recreation Park. Both teams finished with ten men as JP McPhail was sent packing, somewhat harshly, for two yellow cards and Hawick’s Blake Wales got a straight red for a studs on the knee challenge on Shippy debutant Conor Drury. Alex Lowe was back in the Shipyard dug out having missed the last two matches due to being on holiday.
Hawick had a chance in the first minute but giant striker Alieu Faye headed over from a decent position. In the 4th minute the home team went close twice as Hawick keeper Kyle Rankin did well to push Darrell Anthony’s powerful strike away and Ewan Henderson just failed to nod the loose ball on target. The visitors took the lead in the 8th minute when Cameron MacFarlane broke clear of the Shipyard defence and drilled the ball low across Jordan Mushet and into the far corner. Three minutes later the Shippy defence struggled to clear a loose ball in the box and Mushet had to be alert to push the ball round the post at the expense of a corner. A Kevin Masson effort from a tight angle was cleared off the line with the keeper beaten and it was Masson who then drew the Shipyard level from the penalty spot to keep his fine scoring run going as he sent Rankin the wrong way from twelve yards. The Penalty came about when Mark James was fouled as he burst into the box and the referee had no option but point to the spot. Hawick then had a sustained period of pressure as Mushet saved from MacFarlane and Michael Lynch before coming to the edge of his box to tackle Faye as the Hawick forward looked to pick up a loose ball. The Hawick pressure paid off but it was a shocker for the Shipyard as a short pass back from Craig Lowe only found MacFarlane and he placed the ball beyond Mushet to put his team back in the lead. A James strike from distance was deflected away for a corner as the half drew to a close.
The Shippy were almost level in bizarre circumstances at the start of the second half when a Masson free-kick played into the box was allowed to bounce and Rankin was at full stretch to tip the ball over for a corner. From the corner James saw his effort go narrowly wide. The Shipyard had a let off in the 52nd minute when Ryan Stevenson’s angled drive bounced back off the post with Mushet beaten. The Shipyard had appeals for a second penalty when Anthony burst through two players and although there was contact the referee deemed not enough to award a spot kick. Rankin then had to be sharp off his line as Masson looked to capitalise on a fine through ball from James. Lowe then saw his header cleared off the line as the Shippy continued to push for the equaliser. The hopes of that Shipyard leveller diminished in the 73 minute when McPhail was shown a second yellow card for what the referee deemed to be a dive as the youngster drove forward, though the fact that the Hawick defender had a hold of McPhail’s shirt went unnoticed. With four minutes remaining Hawick were reduced to 10 men when Wales’ challenge on Drury drew an immediate red card from the official. The Shipyard spurned a great chance for a deserved draw deep in injury time when Andy MacDonald just missed the target with a free header from around ten yards.
Alex was naturally disappointed about the manner of defeat when he said “We continue to lose soft goals and in the tight games we have been involved in recently these goals are killing us. We have got to tighten up at the back if we are to get out of this losing streak. I was also disappointed in the lack of discipline some of the boys showed today as unnecessary cards are giving me more problems to deal with”.
Burntisland Shipyard: J. Mushet; P. Bell; E. Anderson (B. Saunders); A. MacDonald; C .Lowe; D. Anthony (E. Fotheringham); JP McPhail; M. James; C. Drury; K. Mason; E. Henderson (G. Sullivan).
Hawick Royal Albert: K. Rankin; C. Robertson (F. Lockhart); S. Crozier; R. Boyd; M. McEwen; M. Lynch; R. Stevenson; B. Wales; A. Faye; C. MacFarlane (S. Spence); S. Campbell (G. Pettigrew).
Referee: M. Gill.