Errors still proving costly.
It’s starting to sound like a broken record but yet again goals were gifted to the opposition as indecision and hesitancy was punished by the students in a match that the Shipyard matched their opponents and indeed dominated for the most of the second half. However, racking up a dozen or so corners in the second half counts for nothing if you can’t turn that territorial advantage into goals. Myles chose to give some of his fringe players a chance in this League Cup group match that in all honesty was a dead rubber for the Shipyard given their position in the group. This meant that the returning Brendan Napier, Alan Clark and Kevin Masson had to settle for places on the bench.
Heriot Watt started the better team and both Ashley Blake and Michael Connor spurned chances in the early minutes. The visitors did score in the 8th minute with the goal down to a massive piece of good fortune. Hogni Helgason stuck out a leg to block a clearance and the ball hit his leg, looped over the stranded Jordan Mushet and fell into the net. Despite this set back the Shipyard came into the match and Craig Lowe was causing problems for the visitors defence as he drove through the midfield but could not link with a team mate. Dale Robertson saw a free-kick in the 15th minute saved comfortably by Heriot Watt keeper Jordan Millar. Curt Banks of the visitors tried his luck from distance only to see his powerful strike hit the top of the bar and go over, although it looked like Mushet would have saved had the ball been lower. Another set piece on the half hour mark gave the homesters another chance but again the strike, this time from Andy MacDonald, was straight at the keeper. The Shipyard’s best chance to date came in the 33rd minute when Robertson set up Lee Henderson but his powerful drive was well saved by Millar before the ball was cleared. Helgason broke clear of the Shipyard defence, though he appeared to foul the Shipyard defender to create the opportunity, but Mushet stood up well and produced a fine save to avert the danger. Helgason had an almost similar chance a few minutes later after Blair Smart and MacDonald left the ball to each other but this time he dragged his shot wide of the post.
Mushet pulled of a tremendous save at the start of the second half when he dived low to save Connor’s near post header from a corner on the right. Lowe then produced another trademark run as he drove forward only to see his shot blocked for a fruitless corner. Heriot Watt doubled their lead in the 55th minute with a highly avoidable goal. Blake was allowed to gather the ball out wide when it should have been knocked out for a throw in. When the ball was played into the box it should have been cleared but the students got a shot in that Mushet did well to parry away, however, the ball dropped to Hugo De Carvalho who slotted the ball into the net. After this the homesters started to dominate the match and a controversial offside decision denied substitute Masson a goal. Smart saw a header at the back post from a Napier free-kick scrambled away as the corner count mounted. Napier burst into the box and saw his shot turned round the post. From that corner the ball was headed narrowly wide with the aid of a deflection. The corner was taken quickly and when the ball was driven across the face of the goal it was deflected behind for yet another corner. There was no question that the pressure was mounting but Millar was not being tested as much as he possibly should have been. Robertson drove over from the edge of the box as the match entered the final ten minutes but with the Shipyard committed to attacking Heriot Watt scored their third goal with a couple of minutes remaining. A long ball up the park caused hesitancy in the Shipyard rearguard and when Mushet came out substitute Fergal Doherty beat him to the ball and rolled it into the net. The Shipyard pulled a goal back in added time when Lowe set up Pete Bell and his finely judged lob beat Millar and dropped under the bar for what was a superb finish.
After the match manager Myles Allan lamented about the amount of poor goals the team is losing when he said “Yet again I thought we played reasonably well and matched them but they did not have to work hard for their goals. We have to cut out the errors if we are to give ourselves a chance. We played some good football, particularly in the second half, but we have to turn that possession and territorial advantage into goals”.
Teams: Burntisland Shipyard: J. Mushet; G. Bridges; P. Bell; B. Smart; A. MacDonald; J. Crombie (C. McKay); G. Blyth; C. Lowe; R. Sartarello (K. Masson); D. Robertson; L. Henderson (B. Napier). Unused Subs: M. Morison & A. Clark.
Heriot Watt University: J. Millar; C. Banks; G. Wilson; J. Hume; A. Forbes; D. Myatt (F. Doherty); J. Forsyth; M. Connor; A. Blake (C. Cennerazzo); H. Helgason; H. De Carvalho. Unused Subs: J. O’Hagen & C. Saunders.
Referee: C. Carrick.