KELTY Hearts collected their third consecutive Lowland League win but apart from that, and Lochore Welfare collecting their first point, it was a bleak day for the local Non League sides on Saturday.

There were defeats for all three East of Scotland Premier League teams and also a cup reverse for Lochgelly Albert.

Kelty Hearts 2,

Dalbeattie Star 0.

HEARTS know that they have to set out to win every game in this highly competitive division and they made a superb start against Dalbeattie.

Grant Anderson, the former Raith Rovers’ attacker, made his debut and took only five minutes to make his mark.

In only five minutes he was in the perfect spot to slot the ball past the Star ‘keeper after a good home move.

The visitors were struggling to contain Kelty and Dylan Easton twice went close before the second came in 21 minutes.

Jamie Stevenson was set up by Easton and Kallum Higginbotham, and his clever chip beat the ‘keeper.

Higginbotham had the ball in the net again but was just off-side and really Star had rarely been in touch with home last line, Darren Jamieson, in the opening 45 minutes.

Kelty continued to dominate after the break but Dalbeattie were defending much more effectively now and Higginbotham’s fierce shot was brilliantly saved, while Stevenson saw his close in shot blocked.

Star got forward and a shot went just over but Hearts finished strongly and Anderson and Michael Tidser went close, but the hosts had to settle for the two goal win.

Boness United and East Kilbride are both sitting on 12 points at the top of the table, three ahead of Kelty with a game more played.

Lothian Thistle 2,

Hill of Beath Hawthorn 0.

HAWS went to Edinburgh looking to make it three Premier League wins in a row, but division leaders Thistle had other ideas.

Despite being nine players short through injuries and work commitments, Hill of Beath started the game well but clear chances were limited.

Indeed, Lothian seldom threatened but they took the lead in the 34th minute catching the Haws’ defence out.

Then six minutes into the second period, some slack defending by the visitors let Thistle stretch their lead and things got worse for the Kiers Parkers when Shaun Leishman was red carded for an over zealous challenge.

However, this inspired Haws who started to create clear chances and Ryan Connelly went c lose, then a shot from Calum Adamson appeared to hit a defender’s arm on the line, but the referee waved play on.

Then late on a Kieryan Hicks header looked to have crossed the line but the match officials were not convinced, and the game ended 2-0 to make it four straight wins for Thistle.

Haws boss John Mitchell was making no excuses for the result: “Yes we were short of regulars but we had a good team out there and we did not really start playing until we were down to ten.

“There were some good chances, and a couple of decisions didn’t go our way, so it was one of those days I am afraid. We are looking forward to getting back in action against Sauchie on Wednesday”.

Tynecastle 2, Dundonald Bluebell 0.

THE ‘Bell were breaking new ground by visiting Tynecastle but they missed several easy chances and ended up losing this Premier League fixture.

In the opening stages Bluebell dominated possession and created a few good chances. The best fell to their star marksman, Stuart Cargill, who saw his first shot blocked by the ‘keeper and then he fired the rebound wide.

No goals at the break but three minutes into the second-half Callum Strang had a good chance for the Bluebell but from a great position he fired wide and 12 minutes later Tynecastle grabbed the lead from the penalty spot when ‘keeper James Lennox fouled a home forward in a scramble in his six yard box.

Derek Wallace was defied by a fine save as Dundonald fought back but then Tynecastle broke up the park and grabbed the killer second.

‘Bell boss, Kevin Fotheringham feels his side is lacking confidence in attack: “That is the second game in a row we have had the chances to win but failed to hit the net.

“We really need to get the first goal to lift confidence levels.”

Penicuik Athletic 4, Crossgates Primrose 0.

PRIMROSE’S injury problems left manager Alan Campbell with only four substitutes and in the early stages of this Premier League game they found themselves under pressure.

However, goalkeeper Rhory Mooney was in good form and made a couple of good saves, but in 14 minutes Athletic grabbed the lead.

Penni were looking confident now and when they got number two in 26 minutes things were looking bleak for the Humbug Park side.

However, Primrose did create a couple of half chances before the break but they turned around two down and 12 minutes into the second period they shipped a third.

Crossgates kept battling but they found it hard against the third top side and a fourth goal summed up their day.

Hawick Royal Albert 1, Lochore Welfare 1.

THE Welfare had to head south without manager James Adam, who is self isolating after his wife was tested positive for coronavirus, and assistant boss Jim Davies took charge for the club’s first visit to Hawick.

It was Lochore who made the better start to the game and they took an early lead when Aaron Wood was hauled down in the box and got up to convert the penalty.

The midfielder was in lively mood and he forced a fine save from the Albert ‘keeper before Matthew Christie’s chip brought out a brilliant stop from the Hawick last line.

The home side had few chances, but a minute into the second-half they were level when a long ball caused problems for Lochore and a Hawick front man ran through to score.

However, Lochore did defend well after this and kept the Albert at bay and in the closing minutes Welfare’s Kellar Harris went close with a fine finish.

James Adam described it as one of his strangest days in football: “I have to self isolate until next Friday night so James took the team and did excellently and I was getting regular texts as we collected our first point

“We have a game on Wednesday, but I can’t be there because of the self isolation, but I will be back in action when we host Preston Athletic.”

Jeanfield Swifts 5, Lochgelly Albert 0.

THE Berts were in this Soccer Shop Challenge Cup tie, in Perthshire, until the hour mark.

The first 30 minutes saw the East Premier League side dominate possession, but there were few alarms for Lochgelly until the 33 minute when a long ball caught out the visiting defenders, although the forward who ran through to score may have been in an off-side position.

Just on the break Berts’ player boss Ross Gallagher brought out a fine save from the Jeanfield goalkeeper with a 30 yarder.

On the hour mark a slack pass-back from the Lochgelly defence was collected and the Swifts’ forward ran through to score the second and after that the Berts’ challenge collapsed with goals in 64, 72 and 75 minutes, bringing the tally to five.

Wednesday’s fixtures: East of Scotland Premier League, Hill of Beath Hawthorn v Sauchie, Jeanfield Swifts v Dundonald Bluebell. EoL First Division Conference B, Stirling University v Lochore Welfare, all at 7.30pm.

Saturday, Lowland League, Caledonian Braves v Kelty Hearts, 3pm. EoS Premier League, Crossgates Primrose v Lothian Thistle, Hill of Beath Hawthorn v Tynecastle, Dundonald Bluebell v Newtongrange Star. EoS First Division Conference B, Lochgelly Albert v Newburgh, Lochore Welfare v Preston Athletic, all games 2.30pm.