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Derek Hall’s report Dalkeith Thistle v Burntisland Shipyard 4th September 2021

todaySeptember 25, 2021


Dalkeith Thistle 3-3 Burntisland Shipyard (Thistle won 6-5 on pens)
The last Scottish Cup preliminarily tie saw Dalkeith welcoming Burntisland to Kings Park for a replay which would decide which of these clubs would be heading to Clydebank in the first round, and this one didn’t disappoint. Thistle keeper Shea Dowie was brought into action within 30 seconds, turning a shot behind, and the visitors had posted an early statement of intent. Jack Wilson then got down the flank for the visitors but Matty Johnston did well to turn the ball behind for a corner which Shaun Keatings put right onto Wilson’s head but he glanced the ball wide from around seven yards. Thistle responded as Jack Morgan and Callum Bielski combined on the right wing but Shipyard got numbers back to snuff out the danger. After seven minutes, a poor defensive clearance from the visitors saw Duncan Muir race to the edge of box and his cutback found Bielski whose first touch took him a little wide and his 20 yard drive was easily held by Scott Costello in the Shipyard goals. Darrell Anthony then found Wilson on the edge of the Thistle box but with room to shoot, he tried a poor inside pass and the opportunity was wasted. On 13 minutes, a nice cross into the Shipyard box from Ross Aitchison saw Darren Leslie completely lose his marker Iain Millar but from around eight yards he sent an unchallenged header wide. Leslie then rolled a free kick to Muir but he sat back on his long range shot which was high and wide. However with 16 minutes gone, Thistle were in front as a long ball down the right wing found Josh Davidson in acres of space and he had time to measure a lovely ball to the near post where Leslie got across his man and powered his header low in at the near post from seven yards to open the scoring. Shipyard tried to hit back immediately and Craig Watt rolled the ball to Keatings who dragged his low 30 yarder well wide. With 21 minutes gone, Thistle then extended their lead from the penalty spot as Morgan showed lovely feet to skip past a couple of defenders on the edge of the Shipyard box only to be clipped from behind by Millar and referee Ryan Lee, standing only five yards away, pointed to the spot. Leslie again took the responsibility and drove the ball low into the corner past Costello who guessed right but just couldn’t get to the ball. Muir fouled Scott Orrock in midfield and as the Shipyard player got up from the ground, he complained to the referee his hand had been stood on but the referee was unimpressed. Miller then got to the goal line and his pullback into the Thistle box saw Anthony’s shot blocked behind for a corner by Greig Callaghan but before play restarted, Shipyard lost Nathan Feeley to injury and he was replaced by Ben Anthony. Glancy’s corner was cleared to the edge of the penalty area and substitute Anthony saw his drive well blocked by Jack Burrows. On the half hour it was a repeat as Glancy’s throw in found Anthony and once again Burrows was there to make the block. Anthony looked lively since coming on and his nice head flick saw a cross come shot to the near post by Wilson punched away by Thistle keeper Dowie. With 35 minutes gone, Morgan again did well to get round Glancy and clip a lovely cross to the back post looking for Davidson but Shipyard keeper Costello tipped the ball away at full stretch. Then on 37 minutes, the whole game dynamic changed as the game was stopped after Bielski went to ground in front of the pavilion with what looked like a head injury. A melee then ensued and after lengthy treatment and a further consultation between referee Lee and his assistant Andy Brown, it was Bielski who was shown a straight red card for stamping but still no obvious answer as to how he had received his head injury. Shipyard tried to take advantage of their numerical superiority and three minutes from half time Watt fed Keatings and his curling 20 yarder came back off the junction of post and bar with keeper Dowie a spectator. A Glancy corner fell for Mark James but Thistle were putting bodies on the line to get to halftime with their two goal lead intact and a 48 minute first half full of incident and drama came to a close with the game still very much in the balance in front of a healthy crowd who were certainly getting their money’s worth with this one.
Within 30 seconds, Morgan got down the right wing for Thistle and his attempted cut back to Davidson was turned behind by James and Muir’s corner kick saw Davidson’s near post header well held by keeper Costello. A minute later, Leslie found Morgan again and this time his pull back looked to have found Davidson at the back post but with the goal at his mercy, he failed to make contact with the ball just six yards out for what would have been a tap in. This miss seemed to be pivotal because Burntisland quickly moved upfield and a cross from the left by Keatings picked out Wilson who cleverly looped his header into the far corner of the net from around nine yards and Shipyard had halved the deficit. Anthony then found Wilson on the edge of the Thistle box and he tried to place the ball in the far top corner but he was high by a yard. At the other end, Morgan fed Muir but his low 20 yard drive saw Costello get his angles spot on. On 54 minutes, a Glancy corner had Orrock penalised as keeper Dowie attempted to take the ball in the air, just before Dalkeith coach Kirk Crichton received a ticking off from referee Lee and they would renew their acquaintance later in the game. However with 57 minutes gone, Dalkeith restored their two goal advantage when a corner to the back post saw Davidson head the ball down and Stephen Woods was there to force the ball home from no more than a couple of yards to send the noisy home crowd into raptures. Two minutes later it could have been all over but Davidson’s cut back after a surging run down the right flank was poor with Morgan isolated at the back post. After 62 minutes, Dalkeith introduced some fresh legs as Darren McTernan replaced the hard running Davidson. Though short handed, Thistle were having a decent spell and nice feet by Leslie saw him create space to lash in a 28 yard drive which Costello watched carefully as it flew just wide. On 71 minutes, Darrell Anthony of Shipyard was cautioned for dragging back an opponent moving away from him just before Leslie seemed to lose his bearings from a McTernan cross and missed his contact completely when only around seven yards out. Morgan fired a 30 yarder into the safe hands of visiting keeper Costello before Burrows of Dalkeith was cautioned for a less than subtle piece of time wasting when he not only kicked the ball away off the pitch, but also out of the ground. At this stoppage, Thistle made a further change with one Leslie replacing another as Cameron came on for Darren and Shipyard also made a change as Sandy Strang came on for Glancy. Shipyard continued to press and Dowie made a good grab at the second attempt from a troublesome Millar cross but they finally found a second goal on 77 minutes when Ben Anthony, who had been excellent since coming on in the first half, gained possession on the edge of the box and quickly got the ball onto his left foot before firing a rasping 20 drive past keeper Dowie at his near post, a really excellent strike. Less than two minutes later, we were all square as a ball to the back post saw Anthony return the ball through the Dalkeith goal area and, under pressure from a couple of Shipyard forwards, Matty Johnston could do little more than turn the ball into his own net from about a yard, completing the Burntisland comeback. Shipyard were now looking for a winner and they brought on Jordan Galloway for James, with Thistle responding by bringing on Scott Walker for Morgan. Watt fired a 25 yard half volley wide as Shipyard pressed and then with six minutes left, Keatings worked his way into the Thistle box and only a deflection stopped Wilson’s near post effort from going in. Three minutes from time, Anthony got the ball onto his right foot and his 20 yard curling drive to the back post was superbly palmed behind by keeper Dowie high up at the far corner of his goals. From the resultant corner, Keatings found the head of Wilson only six yards out and the big Shipyard striker had his head in his hands as he sent the free header over the bar for what would surely have been the winning goal. With less than a minute of normal time remaining, Thistle keeper Dowie then distinguished himself as Wilson got away a low shot on the turn from 18 yards which the keeper dived full length low to his left to somehow turn round the post and once again keep Thistle level. Two minutes into stoppage time, Dalkeith substitute Steven Ferguson was cautioned whilst in the technical area for blatantly kicking the ball away and at the same stoppage, coach Kirk Crichton also joined him in the book for one comment too many with his pleas of innocence falling on deaf ears. After 93 minutes, Shipyard’s Ben Anthony was also cautioned for pulling down Walker and that was the last action of a frantic Scottish Cup tie which would now require to be settled by kicks from the penalty mark. The first 10 penalties saw each team score four and after six penalties it was 5-5. Burntisland then missed the thirteenth spot kick and it was perhaps fitting that the player who scored the unfortunate own goal to bring about penalties, Matty Johnston, should redeem himself by slamming home penalty kick number 14 and give Dalkeith a famous 6-5 victory. Wonderful entertainment and a cracking cup tie for all those present during a game which could have ultimately gone either way. Burntisland will feel they may have done enough during a frantic last 15 minutes to find a winning goal from somewhere, but Dalkeith manager Jock Landells aeroplane celebration at the end made sure that everyone knew it was his Thistle side who had dug deep to achieve the victory on the day.

Written by: Russell Aitken

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