Heroic win for nine man Shipyard as Masson hat-trick steals the show.
Ormiston must have wished the referee had kept his cards in his pocket as the more he showed to the Shipyard players the more sense of injustice those Shipyard players felt and it galvanised them into producing a superb win in this South of Scotland Challenge Cup tie. Once again the Shipyard finished with nine men against Ormiston (what is it about that place) but this time it was the visitors that were victorious as a superb Grant Blyth free-kick deep into extra-time took the match to penalties. It was then the turn of Jordan Mushet to produce the heroics as he brilliantly saved Ormi’s fourth and fifth kicks to win the tie and was then mobbed by his jubilant teammates. Dale Robertson, Blair Smart and Renato Sartarello were all unavailable and Myles’ cause wasn’t helped when Brendan Napier pulled out during the warm up with the recurrence of a foot injury.
Ormiston took control of the match early on and in the 6th minute Mushet had to rush outside his area to head the ball clear, however, he was impeded in the process and any further danger was averted. A free-kick played into the Shipyard box in the 10th minute fell to Conor Ramage but he was closed down quickly and he could only shoot into the side netting. A couple of minutes later Scott McKenzie tried his luck from the edge of the box but his drive was of target. The first chance for the Shipyard came in the tenth minute when Andy MacDonald found Lee Henderson but his lobbed effort from around 22yards drifted wide. MacDonald then passed to Kevin Masson who cut inside the defender but his shot was straight at Ormiston keeper David Simmonds. The Shipyard were now playing better and matching their opponents as Gavin Bridges burst forward, however, the Ormiston rearguard snuffed out the danger. All the good work by the Shipyard was undone in the 24th minute when Ormiston took the lead. Stuart Blake tried to win an aerial challenge midway inside his own half but the ball skimmed off his head and fell to Scott Wright who ran on and beat Mushet with a shot into the corner of the net. Mushet produced a great save in the 29th minute when he got down low to a close range effort and his defence managed to scramble the ball away. In the 38th minute Henderson tried a speculative hooked shot that was dipping under the bar and as Simmonds parried the ball down Blyth was slow to react and the keeper was able to gather. Ormiston increased their lead with almost the last kick of the half when Craig Fisher scored with a fine free-kick from twenty odd yards giving Mushet no chance.
Manager Allan decided to shuffle his pack for the second half with Henderson and Craig McKay being replaced by Adam Doig and Ewan Fotheringham. This also resulted in a change of formation and positioning. The changes took NINE seconds to work as from the kick off Doig strode forward and laid the ball off to Masson who smashed an unstoppable shot into the net. Within seven minutes the Shipyard had fallen two goals behind again and what a poor goal it was to lose. A corner from the left was allowed to drop inside the six yard box and Sean Miller was able to knock the ball over the line from close range. The match was very open now and Simmonds pulled off a good save from a MacDonald header while at the other end Mushet saved well from Wright. In the 68th minute Simmonds pulled off another good save, this time diving to block Doig’s powerfully hit left foot strike. Two minutes later the Shipyard were back in the match again when Masson burst into the box and drove the ball into the corner of the net from 12yards. The Shipyard were very much on top now and went close to an equaliser as they built up a bit of pressure. The best chance fell to Masson but his snap shot was straight at the keeper when anything either side of him would surely have produced a goal. In the 76th minute it looked like the Shipyard had shot themselves in the foot again as Pete Bell was sent off for a kick out at his opponent as they tussled for the ball. Bell claimed it was retaliation for an elbow to the face; however, the referee never saw it. The visitors were almost gifted a leveller when Simmonds hit his clearance off Fotheringham and he was able to gather the ball but elected not to shoot and passed the ball to Doig who was closed down before he could get a shot away. The Shipyard did get an equaliser with ten minutes to go when Masson completed his hat-trick with a similar goal to his second when he drove the ball home. This setback seemed to drive the homesters on as in the space of a couple of minutes Ramage nodded wide, Graham Nisbet headed over from close range, McKenzie headed over and Ramage hit the top of the bar with a shot. With four minuted remaining the Shipyard were reduced to nine men when Masson received a straight red card for an alleged kick. It was clear for all to see that it was a legitimate attempt to kick the ball and it was a very harsh decision to send him off. The ninety minutes ended 3-3 so it was on to extra-time.
In the 2nd minute Mushet saves well from Ramage and at the other end Doig’s cross appeared to hit the arm of the defender but the referee ignored the appeals for a penalty but still Simmonds had to be sharp to get down and save the deflected cross. Ormiston seemed happy to try their luck from long range, though nothing was giving Mushet much cause for concern. Substitute Steven Handley was a bit closer with his drive from the edge of the box that went narrowly past the post. Mushet saved with his legs in the sixth minute of the second half as Ormiston desperately tried to get ahead and their pressure paid off two minutes later when from a corner that should have been left to drift out the ball broke to the Ormiston player and he smashed it into the net from 8yards. The Shipyard were not throwing in the towel and with three minutes remaining Doig burst clear of the Ormiston defence and was unceremoniously brought down just outside the box. How the challenge only merited a yellow card given what had gone before was anyone’s guess. However, it didn’t matter anyway as Blyth delightfully lifted the ball over the wall and although Simmonds seemed to get a hand to the ball it was not enough as the ball went in off the inside of the post. The Shipyard players and sideline were ecstatic at this and the team comfortably saw out the remaining time as the game went all the way to penalties. In the shoot out Nisbet, Handley and Fisher netted for Ormiston and Lowe, MacDonald and Doig did likewise for the Shipyard. Mushet then stole the show with a superb save from Wright’s kick. Gavin Bridges scored for the Shipyard which meant Ramage had to net for Ormiston but Mushet was again up to the task as he saved the kick and sent his team through to the next round of the cup.
Shipyard manager Myles Allan was obviously delighted under the circumstances to win and explained after the match “The main aim in any cup tie is to make sure that you get through to the next round so we did what was required, albeit the hard way. I just wish that we didn’t need to go a couple of goals or men down before we start to put a proper shift in. The first half was poor and Ormiston deserved their lead as they looked hungrier all over the pitch. However, the second half was a huge improvement and extra time with nine men required an exceptional effort, which we got. Pete Bell’s red card can’t really be argued with. But, to his credit, he understands it wasn’t acceptable and has apologised. Kevin Masson’s red card was a joke though and I couldn’t believe how quickly the ref got his card out his pocket. Up until that point Kev had been outstanding and was causing their defence problems every time he had the ball. When you’re two men down you’ve got to be prepared to sacrifice a lot of ground and we defended the box well in extra time and limited them mostly to long range efforts which didn’t trouble Jordan too much.
Teams: Ormiston: D. Simmonds; K. Riding (S. Handley); G. Nisbet; S. Guiney; S. McKenzie; I. Adams (R. Weir); S. Miller, C. Fisher; C. Ramage; S. Wright; B. McEwan. Unused Subs: C. Innes; C. Pontone; A. Morgan.
Burntisland Shipyard: J. Mushet; G. Bridges; P. Bell; A. Clark; C. McKay (E. Fotheringham); A. Macdonald; G. Blyth; C. Lowe; S. Blake (M. Morrison); L. Henderson (A. Doig). Unused Subs: B. Napier & J. Crombie.
Referee: P. Hanlon.