St Andrews United suffered a blow before a ball was kicked in this match with news that Kyle Sneddon was ill and new defender Steven Livingstone was unable to play due to work commitments. Nik Rendall and Jack Rollo, who are both normally full backs, therefore made up the central defensive pairing and Rosyth took full advantage of the situation during the opening stages of the game.
Liam Queen, Tam Hampson and Regan Lumsden all tested Kyle Moran with good efforts as the United defenders struggled to clear their lines at the foot of the Recreation Park slope. Unfortunately, it was only a matter of time until the Rosyth forwards grabbed the opening goal of the afternoon and it came as no surprise when Hampson converted a cross from his right in the 16th minute, though he might have been offside in the process. Lumsden should then have doubled his team’s lead when he blasted the ball over the crossbar but Rosyth’s second goal of the encounter arrived on the half-hour mark because a shot by Hampson took a deflection en route to beating Moran at the far post.
Queen subsequently went close to scoring with a clever over-head kick yet Moran made another good save before the referee blew for offside. The St Andrews United goalie was keeping his team in the contest at that point and he produced three further notable stops to deny Ryan McDonald, Queen and Kyle Walls. Alas, Moran dropped an easy catch at the feet of Hampson for the impressive striker to tap the ball into an unguarded net in the 37th minute and the United fans feared the worst at that point. However, the hard-working Jake Grady promptly pulled a goal back with a terrific curling shot from twenty yards and the same player was heavily involved in Saints’ second goal of the match just after half time.
Grady did well to challenge Rosyth goalie Jarrett Macaulay on the edge of the 18-yard area and the ball spun into the path of Evan Stanfield. United’s top-scorer still had work to do but he found the net with a composed lob to make the score 3-2 in the 50th minute. Having been so poor during first half, the St Andrews United players looked determined to make amends following break so Callum Mcaulay and Ross Cunningham both tested Macaulay with well-struck free kicks.
Grady then wheeled away to celebrate what he thought was an equalising goal yet Jarrett Macaulay managed to touch the ball onto the inside of his right-hand post. The United forwards could only watch as it bounced to safety and the pattern of play changed drastically shortly afterwards when Callum Mcaulay received a red card for making a hard challenge on Queen in the 63rd minute.
Most onlookers felt that a yellow card would have been more than sufficient but Lumsden didn’t care as he took advantage of poor defending to score a fourth goal a few moments later. Thankfully, the home players kept plugging away thereafter and Cunningham went close with another good free kick, whilst the referee waved away claims for a penalty after Macaulay looked to have impeded Lewis Sawers at the edge of his area. The referee then caused confusion at the other end of the pitch when he penalised Rendall for making what looked like a perfectly good sliding challenge a few feet inside the United box.
Rendall received a yellow card much to his bemusement and the home supporters made their displeasure known to the ref as he pointed to the spot. Bizarrely, the man in charge eventually changed his mind by awarding a free kick to Rosyth outside the area and the United defence managed to clear the resulting cross. The aggrieved Rosyth players therefore stepped up their efforts to score again as the Saints’ defenders tired but Moran made further saves from Hampson and substitute Jason Finlay.
Unfortunately, Finlay went on to grab his first ever goal for Rosyth in the 90th minute from an offside position to make the score 5-2, though St Andrews United manager Barry Cockburn could take some positives from the spell where his boys looked genuinely competitive.