KELTY Hearts came back from going a goal down to get the three East Super League points they needed from Hill of Beath on Saturday.
Meanwhile Lochgelly Albert stretched their unbeaten run in the South Division while Lochore Welfare went nap in the North League.
Kelty Hearts 4,
Hill of Beath Hawthorn 1.
WITH Bonnyrigg Rose still snapping at their heels in the race for the Super League title, Kelty knew they simply had to beat their old local rivals at New Central Park.
But within five minutes they received a shock when Aaron Hay sent Calum Adamson away and he finished in style to put Haws one up.
Hearts soon steadied themselves and came roaring back into the game, and forced a corner in eight minutes.
The visiting defence got in a fankle and Sean O’Neil was given a free header which he made no mistake with and the Hill of Beath advantage evaporated.
This gave Kelty all the momentum they needed and they grabbed a second when the visiting defence was caught out and Nelly McCabe slotted the ball home from around six yards out.
Hearts were in charge and scored a third when Brian Ritchie slotted home to put the hosts in the driving seat.
There was more drama soon after when Hearts were awarded a penalty after Haws ‘keeper Stuart Hall was penalised but the ‘keeper saved Craig Thomson’s spot-kick.
But the drama did not end there for Haws’ Hay received a red card for dissent and the visitors were in real trouble.
They got to the break without any more damage but a minute after the re-start Stephen Husband fired in the home team’s fourth and the game was virtually over.
The ten men kept working hard defending as well as they could, but the pace went out of the game and although Hearts had other chances Hall pulled off a couple of good saves.
The result leaves Hearts 12 points clear of second top Bonnyrigg with four more games played so Hearts have to look to beat Linlithgow Rose away from home this Saturday and then wait and see if their rivals for the title can keep winning. Kelty’s last game will be at home to Bonnyrigg.
Hearts are running free buses for fans to Linlithgow on Saturday and supporters wanting to book a seat just need to call 07727496124.
Hearts boss Thomas Courts was delighted with the three points and Tweeted: “Great to have won five local derbies in one season. Congratulations to the players on a dominant, professional performance.”
Haws boss Bobby Wilson felt that his side really had to hold on to their lead after Calum Adamson’s strike for a good 20 minutes plus to chip away at Hearts’ confidence: “It was a fine goal from Calum but we immediately let them back into the game by not properly picking up guys at a corner and they just built on that.
“Aaron Hay’s red card really killed the game but the players really need to curb their frustrations, for against a team like Kelty you need everyone on the park.
“We now have to look to win our last game with Lochee at Keir’s Park to take the tally to 37 points and cement ninth spot.”
Crossgates Primrose 1,
Lochgelly Albert 3.
THE Berts made it 10 games unbeaten in the South Division with a comfortable win over strugglers Primrose at Humbug Park.
Lochgelly have been one of the best teams in the division this term and they started impressively and had a couple of good chances before Lewis Elder put them ahead in 15 minutes when he held off a defender and fired home a fierce shot.
Within minutes the Crossgates defence had to clear two Berts’ efforts off the line and somehow the home side managed to survive and in 37 minutes levelled the game.
The Primrose forced a corner and as the Albert defence hesitated Scott McDonald headed home.
Crossgates needed to hold out to the break but in the last minute of the first-half Albert’s Craig Paterson fired an angled free-kick high into the net to give his team the half-time advantage.
The second-half saw Lochgelly maintain their dominance of the ball and some resolute defending kept the visitors out.
Albert brought on veteran Stevie Brown and with 12 minutes to go he cleverly swivelled away from a defender and shot home from just inside the box to make it 3-1.
That goal remarkably was Stevie’s first of the season and ensured that he has scored in each of the 13 seasons he has played for the Albert!
Crossgates kept working away and had a couple of chances but just could not finish.
So the result gives Albert 54 points, thought to be a record haul for the club, and they hope to end a good season this weekend by beating champions Dunbar United at Gardiner’s Park.
Meanwhile Crossgates’ wretched end to the season is over and they finish on 17 points from 26 games in 12th spot and the club intend announcing their new management team this week.
Lochore Welfare 5,
Brechin Vics 1.
A FINE win for the young Welfare side and it gives them a chance of finishing in third bottom spot in the North Division.
Lochore dominated possession throughout the game and created a hatful of chances and really should have won by a bigger margin.
If they can win their last game with Arbroath Vics, at Crosshill this Saturday, it would take them off second bottom.
It would represent a decent return for one of the youngest teams in the North league.
They were in charge from the start of the game and chances started to come from as early as the fifth minute.
The opener came in 30 minutes when James Adam fired home from the spot after Logan Donaldson was brought down in the box.
However, Brechin came straight back into things and levelled three minutes later, but on the interval whistle Donaldson took a Joe Kirby flick and gave Lochore a 2-1 interval lead.
Welfare kept up the momentum in the second-half and in 55 minutes a magnificent 30 volley from Adam gave them a two goal advantage.
Vics were struggling now and ten minutes later the points were made safe by a good finish from Donaldson.
There was no stopping Lochore now and they had more goals in them and Keiran Hicks powered in a header to make it 5-1 and tie up another good win and put them on 14 points.
Saturday’s fixtures: McBookie.com East Super League: Linlithgow Rose v Kelty Hearts, Hill of Beath Hawthorn v Lochee United.
McBookie.com South Division, Lochgelly Albert v Dunbar United. McBookie.com North Division, Lochore Welfare v Arbroath Vics (all games 2.30pm).