Shippy go top after late winner.
The Shipyard emerged from this entertaining match at a very wet Edinburgh College Sports Ground top of their section in the East of Scotland Qualifying League Cup after beating their hosts Civil Service Strollers 3-2 last night. First half goals from JP McPhail and Kevin Masson had the Shippy two up and after the Strollers drew level it was Adam Doig who fired home the winner late on. Manager Alex Lowe was forced to make three changes from Saturday with Ben Saunders, Graeme Haywood and JP McPhail replacing Blair Smart, Andy MacDonald and Gary Osborne.
Good work in the second minute from McPhail set up a chance for Doig but he was unable to find the target and at the other end Shippy keeper Jordan Mushet reacted well to push away a powerful free-kick. McPhail was involved again in the 15th minute when he combined with Masson only for the latter to see his shot charged down. Doig fired a left foot strike narrowly wide in the 19th minute, however, the visitors were not to be denied and unsurprisingly it was that man McPhail who broke the deadlock, when his strike from 20yards took a slight deflection before nestling in the corner on the net.
Masson then drove into the box an unselfishly set up Doig but his headed effort lacked any power and direction to trouble Stuart Burnside in the Strollers goal. Although the homesters had a lot of possession they were not able to turn it into clear cut chances and it was the Shipyard who created another chance in the 31st minute but Burnside blocked Masson’s shot with his legs. Ian Ballantyne headed over from a strollers corner before Mushet saved low down to his left from an Alex Munro header. The Shipyard doubled their lead in the 38th minute when Masson intercepted the ball after hesitation in the home defence, with them appealing for offside, and smashed the ball home from the edge of the box. The Shipyard’s two goal lead was short lived as David Stewart headed home unmarked from around the penalty spot three minutes later.
Ten minutes into the second half saw the Strollers draw level, however, the Shipyard were enraged that goalscorer Craig Newall’s lob was allowed to stand as he appeared to be yards offside. Darrell Anthony prodded a shot into the keeper’s hands as the Shippy looked to quickly regain the lead while Ballantyne drove wide at the other end. Jordan Finnie then knocked the ball over the bar for the home team. The Shipyard put on a bit of pressure as the game entered the final ten minutes and after Ryan Kelly and Ewan Henderson both spurned decent chances that pressure paid off when Doig scored what turned out to be the winner when he turned his marked inside the box and placed his left foot strike into the corner of the net.
Naturally Alex was a lot happier than he was on Saturday when he said” That was a much improved performance from Saturday’s game versus Eyemouth and this was against an excellent football playing side. Although at times our boys struggled to keep up with the movement and passing ability of the Strollers we created more clear cut chances in the game. Overall it was a good game to watch and we had some fine individual performances from back to front. Ben Saunders also had a good game on his debut. The boys worked hard and competed very well but on occasions gave the ball away too cheaply and did not offer enough support to the front two but overall I am very pleased with the performance, work rate and result. Civil Service were very positive in their approach and their Management team were very sporting after the game”.
Civil Service Strollers: S. Burnside; B. McWhirter; M. Milligan (J. Watson); P. Greenhill; B. Milven; I. Ballantyne; D. Stewart; D. Middlemass; A. Munro (M. Cunningham); J. Finnie; C. Newall. Unused Subs: C. Sutherland; K. Buckley & J. Young.
Burntisland Shipyard: J. Mushet; B. Saunders; P. Bell (E. Anderson); T. Arthur; G. Haywood; C. Lowe; D. Anthony (M. James); JP McPhail (R. Kelly); E. Henderson; K. Mason; A. Doig. Unused Subs: C. Williamson & R. Couser.
Referee: M. Addy.