Kev Masson rolled back the years as he turned in a stunning performance when he scored all four Shipyard goals in their 4-2 victory over Kelso United at Recreation Park. Incredibly the veteran striker could have scored five goals but he missed the easiest chance of them all when he somehow put the ball over the gaping goals from all of four yards. He did have a bit luck with his first goal, when the referee ordered a retake of his missed penalty due to encroachment but he kept his composure to score at the second attempt. With four players unavailable due to a variety of reasons Alex’s squad was stretched to the limit but the thirteen players on duty served him well as they earned a deserved victory.
The Shipyard started the match on the front foot as Blair Smart headed over a Shaun Keatings free-kick in the 3rd minute. Masson’s first involvement of the day saw him drive forward but his shot from the edge of the box was off target. The Shipyard forced a few corners which came to nothing and they had a let off seconds later when in Kelso’s first real attack they should have taken the lead. Todd Arthur missed a cross from the right but Owen Benzies could not take advantage as he fired the ball over. Good passing play from the Shippy created an opening for JP McPhail but keeper William Stewart was quick off his line to gather the ball before McPhail could reach it. Kelso stunned the hosts by taking the lead in the 21st minute. Arthur missed his tackle on the goal-line and the referee had no option but point to the spot as the Kelso player went to the ground. Liam O’Rourke made no mistake with the spot kick sending Jordan Mushet the wrong way. The Shipyard seemed to lose their way after this setback and Kelso really should have cashed in with the opportunities that came their way. Mushet pulled off a good save just two minutes after the penalty and Benzies once again should have done better that lob over from just inside the area. On the half hour mark Christopher Falconer hit the top of the bar with a speculative effort from around thirty yards. The homesters got to grips with the match again and a dangerous corner from Keatings was headed off the line after it had taken a touch inside the six yard box. Stewart then saved from Masson as the Shippy searched for an equaliser. The leveller did come on the stroke of half-time when the Kelso defender was adjudged to have impeded Keating in the box. If the Kelso players were upset about the award and they were positively raging when Masson missed the target but the referee gave him another chance as he penalised Kelso for encroachment. Masson stepped up again and scored this time.
The Shipyard were in control of the match again as the second half got underway as Keatings brought out a smart save from Stewart. However, the visiting keeper was picking the ball out of the net a minute later when Masson engineered himself some space at the edge of the box and curled a fine strike into the corner of the net. Masson should have completed his hat-trick two minutes later when Adam Doig burst into the visitor’s box and squared the ball to the unmarked Masson, however, with the goal at his mercy he somehow put the ball over from four yards out. The hat-trick goal was only delayed for ten minutes as Dale Robertson played a delightful ball into the box which Masson controlled before firing a fine strike into the corner from fifteen yards. Robertson himself then went close after good build up but his lobbed effort cleared the bar. Kelso had not given up and they were right back in the match when the unmarked Damien McNulty headed home a corner in the 72nd minute. Kelso’s revival was brief as the Shipyard restore their two goal advantage minutes later and it was who else but that man Masson again. This time he gathered the ball in the middle of the Kelso half, strode forward and drilled a low shot beyond Stewart from twenty odd yards. Mushet had to save with his feet as Kelso tried to cut the deficit again but it was the Shipyard who went closest to adding to their tally as Robertson headed wide from a Keatings cross and a Masson right foot shot drifted wide of the goal.
Obviously pleased to get his first win under his belt as Shipyard manager Alex did not get carried away when he said “Due to the lack of defensive options and after a good performance against Rosyth in the midweek friendly win we decided to start with a back three. This did not work and our performance in the first half was very poor and Kelso caused us lots of problems in attack and were unfortunate not to have scored two or three more goals. We did not deserve to go in at half time level with Kelso after scoring just before the break with a twice taken penalty kick. At half time we decided to reshuffle the team and go with a flat back four. When our performance level improved in the 2nd half we gave Kelso more problems and we created quite a few chances. Kevin Masson scored with three great strikes and we may have scored two or three more if our players had taken the option to shoot rather than walk the ball into the net. We were also very disappointed at losing yet another goal from a set play. So overall a game of two halves and for future games we need to start the game much quicker, with much better passing and movement but it was good for Neil and myself to get our first win.
Burntisland Shipyard: J. Mushet; C. Lowe; T. Arthur; B. Smart; A. MacDonald (B. Rogerson); B. Napier; S. Keatings; D. Robertson; JP. McPhail (E. Anderson); K. Masson; A. Doig. Unused Sub: N. McLeod.
Kelso United: W. Stewart; D. Boyne (S. Harker); J. Logan; B. Herdman; D. Bowie; C. Falconer (J. Ngoa); S. Bonnington; D. McNulty; J. Hopkinson; O. Benzies; L. O’Rourke. Unused Subs: E. Turnbull; D. Clark; S. Dowie.
Referee: W. Thomson.