KELTY Hearts were bundled out of the Conservatory Converters Fife and Lothians Cup in a shock result at Tranent on Saturday.
But Hill of Beath Hawthorn got the win they wanted to ensure Super League safety.
Kelty Hearts 1.
THIS was always going to be a tricky tie for Hearts but they had to fancy their chances of taking care of the East Premier side in the quarters of the Fife and Lothians.
But Tranent, in their first season upstairs, have been winning a lot of games and lie in the top four so clearly it was going to have to take a good Kelty performance to make the semis.
Hearts started the game working hard to keep Tranent at bay as the eager hosts tried hard to get an early goal.
There were a few half chances for both sides and the opening 20 minutes saw no goals but in 26 minutes the home team went ahead, just what Hearts did not want.
A pass-back from Hearts player/boss Thomas Courts was short and Tranent took advantage to get the opener and so it was very much game on.
Hearts came back strongly and Brian Ritchie and Stephen Husband both worked the Tranent last line.
A goal down at the break Hearts started the second period in a much more direct fashion and they came close twice with Conrad Courts sending over a couple of lovely cross which Ritchie just could not reach.
But then the big striker did hit the target when he got his head to a Courts cross and it set up an exciting finale.
Hearts had a couple of good openings but Tranent survived and in 84 minutes they got the key second goal.
It was a dramatic end to the game with the ball coming down off the Kelty bar, and after two efforts were blocked the ball was forced over the line.
Hearts went out for the equaliser but with a lead to defend Tranent held on for a dramatic win although Husband shot inches wide in the closing seconds.
So Kelty still have the East of Scotland Cup available to win and the Super League title, but that Tranent result was a blow.
They are currently 15 points at the top of the table with five more games played than Bonnyrigg Rose and they cannot afford to slip up against old rivals Hill of Beath Hawthorn this weekend.
Thomas Courts felt his team just did not deserve anything from the tie: “We had prepared thoroughly for the match and had watched Tranent last week so we knew what we would face but the team just did not create enough at all.
“The first-half was particularly disappointing but once we levelled things I thought we could go on and at worse take things to a shoot-out, but a bit of indecision cost the winner.
“Now we have to look to finish as well as we can in the league and make a strong bid to win the East of Scotland Cup, but we will have to play a lot better than on Saturday starting with this weekend’s match against Hill of Beath at Kelty.”
Broxburn Athletic 0,
Hill of Beath Hawthorn 3.
JUST what the doctor ordered for Haws, after their fine win over Linlithgow Rose last midweek they got the result which took them away from any Super League relegation dangers.
Yet Broxburn were in buoyant mood after beating Bonnyrigg on Wednesday but they were blown away by the Haws’ first 45 minutes performance.
The visitors needed a good start and got it. In four minutes a long ball by Lee Reid sent Calum Adamson through and cut inside a home defender before blasting a left foot shot into the net.
Athletic were completely deflated and they found the Hill of Beath team buzzing around their box and in 15 minutes Adam Moffat’s corner was cleared only as far as Greg Smith and he shot past the ‘keeper.
There was a blow for Haws soon after when the midfielder pulled a hamstring and had to be subbed but the visitors continued to look the more positive side and in 35 minutes they got number three when Adamson worked space and fired the ball under the ‘keeper from an acute angle.
Broxburn came out for the second period looking to repair some of the damage but the Hill of Beath defence worked hard to keep them at bay and Stuart Hall did not have any really difficult saves to make as his back line played tidily and Adamson came close to his hat-trick when the Broxburn ‘keeper pulled off a fine save from him and then Aaron Hay went close.
Hall dealt with a couple of good Athletic shots but it was a good three points for Haws which takes them on to 34 and ninth spot in the table with neither Fauldhouse, Camelon or Newtongrange Star now able to catch them.
Haws boss Bobby Wilson was really proud of his team for the way they tackled both the Linlithgow and Broxburn games: “We really needed to win both these fixtures and the lads responded superbly.
“The defensive work in both games was excellent and the work rate phenomenal.
“We may have been a few regulars short but the performance in both these matches was excellent.
“We now have two fixtures left and the aim has to be to take points from both of them.
Lochgelly Albert 1.
THE Berts are unbeaten in 2017 and they went to third top Pumpherston determined to protect their record.
Both teams found the bone hard pitch and strong wind difficult to contend with and they tried to set up chances but in the first-half it was Pumphy who came closest with an effort which came back off the bar.
Albert had moments in their opponents’ box but a clear cut chance was not easy to find although Lewis Elder worked the home ‘keeper.
Goalless at the break the game followed the same pattern in the second period with the defences finding things pretty manageable.
However, in 71 minutes Pumphy took the lead when the home defence got in a right fankle and the ball was swept in to the net at the near post.
There was a blow for Berts soon after when ‘keeper Lee Wilson was injured and goalkeeping coach Colin Rushford replaced him.
And with six minutes left Lochgelly levelled when the ball flew up off the hard surface in the middle of the Pumpherston box and struck a defender on the forearm with the referee pointing to the spot.
Elder made an expert job of the spot-kick and in the closing minutes both sides had half chances to win the game.
The result puts Albert on 51 points in clear fourth spot and secretary Ian Patrick said that the team was determined to win the closing two fixtures to complete what would be a fine unbeaten run.
Lochore Welfare 2,
East Craigie 6.
LOCHORE found the third top North Division side too sharp for them and the home defence found it a very hard day.
Yet the Welfare created chances in the game and scored good goals and might have had more.
East Craigie made a good start to the game and scored and early goal and then made it 2-0.
Lochore were battling hard to contain them but two more goals by the half hour gave the young Welfare side a mountain to climb, but before the break James Davies powered in a header to make the break score 4-1.
The second period saw Lochore have a lot more of the play and they missed a couple of decent openings before East Craigie got their fifth.
A sixth followed but Lochore had the last say when Trialist Joe Kirby made it 6-2 in 85 minutes.
The Welfare have a very winnable game this Saturday when Brechin Vics come to Crosshill.
Saturday’s games, McBookie.com East Super League, Kelty Hearts v Hill of Beath Hawthorn.
McBookie.com South Division, Crossgates Primrose v Lochgelly Albert. McBookie.com North Division, Lochore Welfare v Brechin Vics (all games 2.30pm).