Shippy performance under par.
The Shipyard slumped to a 4-0 defeat against St Andrews United at Barnetts Park and to say all four goals were highly avoidable would be an understatement. Needless concession of the ball in their own half was the Shippy’s Achilles heel and the fact that they weren’t punished more came as a surprise, though credit must go to keeper Michael Gibb for some fine saves. The Shipyard’s passing game was always going to be difficult on a very heavy pitch and they struggled for long periods to make any headway in getting the ball forward and retain possession. Dean Hunter, Robbie Crawford and Dale Allan dropped out of last week’s starting eleven for various reasons and their places were taken by Grant Skinner, Jason Finlay and Ross Lennie, who returned after several weeks on the sidelines through injury.
Dylan Honeyman shot over with four minutes on the clock and after that the visitors enjoyed a spell of pressure before shooting themselves in the foot in the 11th minute. Possession was conceded all to easily, though credit to Ross Cunningham who fired an unstoppable shot into the net. Shortly after the Saints were screaming for a penalty when their man went down under a challenge from Gavin Ross, however, the referee dismissed their appeals probably judging it was a shoulder to shoulder challenge. The Saints then hit the top of the bar as they maintained the pressure. A Reece Brown drive was headed clear and a couple of minutes later Sam Glancy was not too far away with a left foot strike. Gibb saved well from Honeyman with the angle proving too tight for the Saints man. With the Shipyard looking to get to the interval only a goal down and have the advantage of the slope in the second half the roof caved in. A needless free-kick was conceded just outside the box on the right-hand side and when the ball was delivered it fell to Honeyman who netted from close range. Gibb then saved at point blank range from Honeyman, though, there looked a blatant offside in the build up to this opportunity. The third goal on the stroke of half-time was an absolute howler for the Shippy as the ball was given away again, this time deep inside the box, and it was all too easy for the Saints forward to find the net.
There was less action at the start of the second half with neither team creating anything in the gathering gloom and persistent rain. A Johnny Galloway free-kick in the 64th minute was eventually scrambled away by the home defence before the hosts had a couple of efforts off target. Gibb continued to frustrate Honeyman as he saved from the Saints man again, while at the other end Glancy flashed the ball across the face of goal. St Andrews got a fourth goal in the 88th minute when a long punt by Saints keeper Connor Shaw was missed by the Shippy defence allowing Kyle Wilson a one on one with Gibb and the big striker came out on top. A great piece of skill by Lennie almost produced a consolation goal, however, after showing excellent control as he killed the ball in the air, his left foot volley flashed narrowly wide.
Manager Stuart Innes was left with more questions than answers following this display and on the back of the previous game’s result the feel-good factor from their long unbeaten run is starting to diminish.
Preston Athletic are the visitors to Recreation Park on Saturday (23/11/2019) for an inter conference league match. Kick-off is at 2.00pm.
St Andrews United: C. Shaw, K. MacAulay, N. Rendall (J. Blaney), O. Fleming, N. Doig, R. McInnes, D. Honeyman, M. Fleming, K. Wilson, O. Andrew (J. Penman), R. Cunningham. Unused Subs: D. Falconer, C. Fleming, J. Grady, S. Cunningham, M. Curtis.
Burntisland Shipyard: M. Gibb, R. O’Donnell, G. Skinner, I. Millar (D. Hunter), G. Ross, S. Strang, R. Lennie, Jon. Galloway, R. Brown, S. Glancy, J. Finlay (B. Hutchison). Unused Subs: A. Watt, P. Bell, A. Cooper, K. Kwapinski.
Referee: T. Ormiston.