Season opener ends all square.
It ended honours even at Recreation Park as visitors Heriot Watt University twice came from behind to earn a draw on the opening day of the season. Ben Anthony scored early on and Reece Brown netted with a sublime free-kick, however, the students replied with a penalty and a fine curling effort to earn their point.
There were two new signings in the Shippy squad with Lee Henderson starting and Nathan Feeley taking a place on the bench. Mark James started as a trialist with Josh Urquhart, also a trialist, on the bench. On a sun-drenched day in Burntisland it did not take the hosts long to make their mark as B. Anthony volleyed home a Shaun Keating cross, with the ball going through the keeper’s legs before two minutes had elapsed. Keatings then saw his headed attempt blocked inside the six-yard box as Shipyard pressed for a second. Heriot Watt were awarded a penalty in the 15th minute when James was adjudged to have committed a foul on the left-hand side of the box. It looked soft but the visitors were happy to accept the decision and once the dust had settled Russel Cairns rolled the ball into the corner sending Scott Costello the wrong way. Iain Millar headed wide from a set piece and from another dead ball situation Shippy regained the lead. The hosts were awarded a free-kick some twenty five yards from goal and Reece Brown placed a beauty into the corner and despite a valiant effort from Heriot Watt keeper Alex McMahon, who got a touch on the ball but he could not keep it out.
Heriot Watt were on the attack more at the start of the second half and Costello saved well low down to his left and from the resultant corner the ball was knocked wide of the far post. The students drew level with 58 minutes on the clock when Gregor MacDonald was allowed to gather a throw in, turn and he was able to direct a curling strike into the top left-hand corner with Costello well beaten. Costello saved with his legs on 62 minutes as the visitors gained control of the match and Shippy had a let off when an angled shot hit the post and bounced clear. With the clock ticking down Shipyard were awarded a free-kick around thirty yards from goal and McMahon had to tip B. Anthony’s powerful strike over at the expense of a corner. The game finished with Shipyard attacking, forcing a couple of corners but nothing materialised from them and the game concluded all square.
New Shippy manager Dave Costello spoke after the game and said “I have only had two training sessions with the boys and given the fact they missed a lot of training due to Covid issues I can’t praise them highly enough. To a man they gave me everything and followed the game plan to a tee.” Costy went on to say “I don’t like to single players out but I must praise Mark James for his performance. I asked him to play in a position that he is unfamiliar with and he turned in a man of the match performance.”
Burntisland Shipyard: S. Costello; M. Miller; L. Henderson; M. James; I. Millar; S. Glancy; S. Strang (J. Urquhart); S. Keatings; B. Anthony; R. Brown (N. Feeley) (G. Ross); D. Anthony (J. Galloway).
Heriot Watt University: A. McMahon; T. Teviotdale; A. Chingwalu; J. Thomson; J. Wishart; S. Peggie; I. Mackie; C. Smith; G. MacDonald; R. Cairns; D. Potter. Subs: C. Reid; A. Shrive; H. McLeod; C. Stewart; J. Kennedy; E. Kerr; A. McCreadie.
Referee: B. Cooper.