Controversial decisions cost the Shipyard
The Shipyard were involved in a hugely controversial match at Coldstream as both teams felt several major decisions went against them. The club cannot comment on the match official’s performance. The Shipyard team showed one change from the team defeated at East Fife with Blair Grubb replacing the unavailable Craig Hatton. Mark Hamilton took a place on the bench after recovering from illness. Due to a mix up at the S.F.A. Paul Ferrier was still suspended.
Coldstream set the early pace and had a penalty claim for handball turned down in the sixth minute. The Shipyard’s first effort came in the 18th minute when Ryan Rutherford got a shot away after a good pass from Paul Wilson. Coldstream had a strong penalty claimed turned down for a foul in the box, though there seemed to be an offside in the build up. A cross cum shot in the 34th minute had Melia in trouble but the ball bounced back off the bar. When the ball came back into the box Melia was well placed to save a downward header from John Crawford. In the 37th minute a 25yard free-kick from Blair Grubb was tipped over by Coldstream keeper Walters. The Shipyard fell behind in the 38th minute when Melia’s attempted punched clearance hit off Crawford’s head and rebounded into the net. A minute later it was 2-0 when Crawford gathered the ball and shot across Melia and into the corner of the net. The Shipyard were enraged when Rutherford burst into the box and was manhandled to the ground for what looked like a stonewall penalty, however, the referee waved play on. To rub salt into the Shipyard wounds Coldstream broke up the park and from a ridiculously offside position the ball was crossed to Crawford, who also appeared to be offside, and he completed his hat-trick with a tap-in from a yard out.
Crawford was causing the Shipyard defence all sorts of problems and in the opening minutes of the second half he headed over from close range and forced Melia into a save low down to his right. Thankfully for the Shipyard that was to be his last involvement as he was promptly substituted. A Rutherford shot was saved by Walters as the Shipyard tried to get back into the match, though Coldstream were still creating more chances but the shipyard defence were standing firm. The game took a dramatic change with the introduction of Conor Hay coming on for the Shipyard. With nine minutes remaining he used his lightening pace to outstrip the Coldstream defence and produced an exquisite finish when he lobbed the ball over the advancing keeper. The Shipyard were now dominant and Stuart Gray headed wide from a Shaun Lamont free-kick. Rutherford and Dow both saw shots blocked before the Shipyard struck again with a minute remaining of normal time. Good build up saw the ball worked to Paul Wilson who drilled the ball into the net from 12yards. Deep into added time Liall Robertson burst through and as he strode into the box he was grabbed by the back of the shirt and pulled down. As everyone waited to see if it was a penalty or a free-kick on the edge of the box and a certain red card for denying a goal scoring opportunity, not one person inside Home Park could believe that Robertson was cautioned for simulation. With the Shipyard players distraught at the decision, Coldstream broke up the field and Gary Wales found himself though on Melia and probably offside but he finished well nevertheless to make the final score 4-2.
Manager Billy Whitehead said after the game” I was proud of my players today, bearing in mind we were a few boys short, they showed great fighting spirit to get back into the match and the reality is we deserved at least a draw out of the match. I will not comment on the performance of the referee as I do not want to get into trouble”.
Teams: Coldstream: Walters; McLeod; D. Cornish (Ainslie); M. Cornish; Cannon; S. Simpson; Wales; Tait; Crawford (Coyle); O’Neil; Hebdon (J. Simpson). Unused Subs: Lambert; Heugh.
Burntisland Shipyard: Melia; Brown; Brough; Gray; Whyte; Grubb (Hay); Robertson; Lamont; Rutherford; Wilson; Dow. Unused Subs: Hamilton; Thomson.
Referee: A. Hogg.