Rovers survive derby penalty miss

PIttween Rovers (stripes) v St Andrews, December 2011. Rovers won 3-2

PIttween Rovers (stripes) v St Andrews, December 2011. Rovers won 3-2

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IN one of the few games to go ahead at the weekend, Pittenweem Rovers secured an important local derby victory over St Andrews.

With 15 minutes on the clock, a through ball from Liam McGhee was controlled by Derek Ireland on the edge of the box and the striker’s drive was tipped over the bar by the St Andrews ‘keeper.

From the resultant corner, Rovers were awarded a penalty for handball. David Young stepped forward to take the spot kick - but his effort was saved.

Pittenweem were made to pay for the miss when their opponents scored just a minute later with a front-post header from a corner.

Rovers (pictured in the black and white kit) went in search of the equaliser and came close on 24 minutes when Alex Bowman crossed for Liam McGhee, but his volley was held by the ‘keeper.

The home side were now beginning to take control of the game, with long periods of possession, and it was no surprise when they got back on level terms after 30 minutes.

Liam McGhee picked up the ball in his own half and outpaced the St Andrews midfield before passing to Derek Ireland. The Rovers striker laid the ball off for David Young to drive into the box and beat the ‘keeper at his near post with a low shot.

Rovers almost went in front with five minutes of the first half left, when Mike Gardner put in a great cross from the left, but Derek Ireland’s header from six yards was just too high.

Pittenweem started the second period in determined fashion and in the first minute, Liam Tarvit found Neale Smith on the edge of the box and his shot was deflected wide by a defender.

After 55 minutes, Derek Ireland raced away from the St Andrews defence only to see his angled drive from 15 yards held by the keeper, and Neale Smith had another chance minutes later when he shot over from 20 yards following good play between Darren Wilson, Kris Low and David Young.

Rovers finally got the goal their second-half play deserved after 68 minutes, when David Young won the ball in the St Andrews box. His low shot was parried by the ‘keeper and Mike Gardner was on hand to slot home the rebound at the back post.

St Andrews tried to get back into the game but they couldn’t break through the Rovers back four, with their only real effort of note being a low drive from 25 yards which was well held by Rovers keeper Garry Bowman.

As the game entered its final 15 minutes, Pittenweem scored a third goal when Derek Ireland collected the ball on the left and beat two St Andrews defenders before cutting the ball back for David Young to wrong-foot the keeper with a low strike into the corner.

St Andrews’ cause wasn’t h elped by a red card for one of their players but they did manage to pull a last -minute goal back via the penalty spot. (Picture by Rob Stewart)