Missed chances prove costly
The Shipyard were made to rue a whole host of missed chances as they came from behind to draw 1-1 with Star Hearts at Treaton Park. Manager Whitehead had the unusual luxury of being able to name the same starting eleven as the previous week, with the suspension free Mark Hamilton taking his place on the bench.
On a sticky pitch the Shipyard started the match shooting up the hill and created their first chance in the 8th minute when McCue cut a corner back to Small outside the box but, his shot was easily gathered by Thorpe in the Star goal. 2 minutes later J. Williams was next to try his luck, after cutting inside the defender he too saw his effort saved by Thorpe. In the 13th minute S. Hamilton shot over from a good position. The Shipyard continued to dominate and when McCue floated a free-kick to the back post, somehow the Star defence managed to scramble the ball away. Despite being on top Star were dangerous when long balls over the top of the Shipyard defence were chased down by the speedy Star strikers, though Chalmers in the Shipyard goal was never really tested. The rest of the first half was more even with neither team creating anything of note.
The second half started in the same vain as the first with the Shipyard pressing for the opener with Small having a shot saved by Thorpe. Johnston then almost robbed the keeper of the ball as he dithered with a pass back on the edge of the box. In the 49th minute S. Hamilton was next to have a go, his shot from 18yards was gathered by Thorpe. The Shipyard were shocked in the 50th minute when Star took the lead. A free-kick from wide on the right was headed home by the unmarked Colin Mitchell. Small made poor contact on a cross from Johnston, where a better touch would surely have produced a goal. Laurie and Falconer were now starting to give the Shipyard defence problems and the former had two great chances to increase the lead. On both occasions he was thwarted by the impressive Chalmers. In the 62nd minute McAndrew shot wide from just inside the box. Then in the 70th minute great build up play between Johnston and Small created a fantastic opportunity for M. Hamilton, but somehow from 2yards out he could not put the ball in the net. M. Hamilton had another effort in the 76th minute blocked for a corner, however, the Shipyard were not to be denied as from the resultant corner from McCue, Stephen Hamilton scored the equaliser as he lashed the ball home from close range. The Shipyard were pushing hard for a winner and in the 87th minute again the ball somehow stayed out of the net, with possibly even a Shipyard player blocking an effort close to the line. It was Star who had the last chance of the match, after breaking away Chalmers was forced into a save from a shot by substitute Martin. After the match a disappointed Billy Whitehead said “It feels like a defeat, I can’t fault the players for the effort they put in and we controlled the game for long periods. It will have to be shooting practice at training on Monday”.
Teams: Star Hearts: Thorpe; Mitchell; Meikle; Brown; Gay; Limbert; Laurie; Pearson; Falconer; McConnell; Bowers. Subs: Martin; Laidlaw; Haxton; Weir; Taylor.
Burntisland Shipyard: Chalmers; McAndrew, Grieve; T. Williams; Cook; Small; McCue; Leishman (M.Hamilton); S. Hamilton (Tasker); Johnston; J. Williams (Dow). Unused Subs: Morris; Houston.
Referee: J. Ross.