SATURDAY’S local East of Scotland League programme saw a dramatic Premier League win for Crossgates Primrose, and an action packed Challenge Cup third round derby tie.

However, there was Premier disappointment for Hill of Beath Hawthorn and another Conference B reverse for Lochgelly Albert.

Crossgates Primrose 4
Whitehill Welfare 3

AFTER being in a very comfortable 4-0 lead nine man Primrose ended up having to battle to get all three Premier League points from Whitehill.

Two red cards was the main reason for Primrose’s problems but they defended superbly in the closing 15 minutes.

The home side made a cracking start to the game. In the first minute veteran Brian Ritchie held the ball up and his shot on the turn beat the Welfare ‘keeper.

In 12 minutes Ritchie struck again when his close-in volley doubled the Crossgates advantage as they dominated the opening phase of the game.

The Welfare defence was struggling to contain the fast moving Primrose attack and in 36 minutes a foul in the visitors’ box saw a penalty for the home side and Scott Lawrie fired home the spot-kick.

Five minutes later the hosts’ Craig McGuire was sent-off after an incident but at the break the Primrose were in the box seat.

Ten minutes into the second period Lawrie made it 4-0 but the Welfare came back and in 67 minutes they opened their account with a good finish and three minutes later it was 4-2.

Then the home side’s Colin Paterson was red carded and with 16 minutes left Whitehill made it 4-3.

The nine men were facing a tough last quarter of an hour but they defended superbly and although there were a few close calls they held on.

The result puts Crossgates on 31 points and in seventh place.

Lothian Thistle HV 2
Hill of Beath Hawthorn 1

A DREADFUL start to this Premier League game proved costly for Haws against Thistle in what was a six pointer for the clubs.

The two teams are very much battling for survival in the Premier Division and it was the home side who started brightly and grabbed the lead in 16 minutes.

A slack pass in midfield from Hill of Beath was picked up by Thistle who broke into their box and the ball was clipped into the net.

Five minutes later the visitors doubled their lead when a cross into the box was not picked up by any Haws defenders and again the ball was despatched into the net.

But Haws kept at it and six minutes from the break they pulled one back through Ryan Connelly. Lewis Elder made the opening for the young striker who finished well.

It brought the Keirs Parkers back into the game and five minutes into the second-half Connelly went clean through but his finish saw a good save from the Lothian ‘keeper.

Hill of Beath kept probing the Thistle defence and had several half chances but could simply not get the equaliser.

The result leaves Haws seven points short of safety at present but with more than half the programme to go there are no distress flares being fired at Keirs Park.

Said boss Jason Dair: “It really was a very poor first period from us with both goals very avoidable, from our point of view, but we played much better towards the break and in the second-half we had most of the game.

“Our finishing on the day was also disappointing for we had chances to get a point from the match.”

Lochore Welfare 0
Dundonald Bluebell 3

THE scoreline suggests a comfortable Challenge Cup third round derby win for the Premier League side but it was anything but.

Conference B side Lochore posed problems for the ‘Bell in the early stages of the tie, before a crowd of almost 200 people, and Jamie Leslie hit a post and then he had the ball in the net but was judged off-side by the referee.

The Bluebell were quick to get forward and on the half hour an Aiden Hendry throw saw Lewis McKenzie power a header into the net from six yards to give the Premier team the lead.

Lochore kept probing for a goal but at the break Dundonald were ahead and five minutes into the second period they made it 2-0.

A cross from Billy Rogerson was perfect for Stuart Cargill to head home but Lochore were still battling and Joe Kirby went clean through but failed to convert and then Ewan Sutherland’s header hit the Bluebell bar.

A Kirby effort struck the ‘Bell ‘keeper but Dundonald were always dangerous going forward and with 20 minutes to go Kieran Dall turned in a McKenzie square pass to tie the win up for the Mooresiders.

The result pleased ‘Bell boss Kevin Fotheringham: “We knew this would be a very hard tie and there were plenty of warnings for our lads in the opening quarter, but we were disciplined and the first goal was very important and came from a throw-in which posed problems for Lochore.

“Getting the second goal early after the break was very important but credit to the Welfare they kept coming at us all the way through.”

Lochore manager James Adam felt that 3-0 was a bit unkind on his young side: “We perhaps paid for our inexperience at a couple of their goals but we posed them a lot of problems and made it a great game for the good crowd.

“But ensuring we are in next season’s Championship is our priority this season, so we simply have to win this coming Saturday’s home game with Easthouses Lily.”

Edinburgh South 4
Lochgelly Albert 2

THE Berts made a perfect start to this Conference B game but some poor defending cost them dear.

In just 90 seconds Martin Woods got into the South box and cleverly chipped the ‘keeper, but the lead lasted only four minutes.

A long ball posed the Albert defence problems and Edinburgh got through to level things.

South then hit the Berts’ bar and then in 18 minutes visiting ‘keeper Sam McGuff was accidentally hit on the head making a save and the dazed last line was chipped for the second South goal.

Gregor Brown took over in the Lochgelly goal for the second period and the Berts squared things when Calum Bennell was hauled down in the South box and Woods converted the spot-kick.

Then there was drama when the Edinburgh ‘keeper came out of his box to deal with a long ball and to match an awkward bounce he seemed to use a hand to control the ball but play was waved on, then in 72 minutes a 25 yarder flew into the net to put Edinburgh back ahead.

A fourth goal late on ensured the points stayed with South who moved five points ahead of third bottom Lochgelly.

Albert secretary Ian Patrick observed: “It was a chance to move ahead of Edinburgh but alas we conceded several very avoidable goals, but there were a couple of situations if they had gone for us could have made a big difference to the final result.”

Saturday’s fixtures: Conference B - Lochore Welfare v Easthouses Lily 2pm.

East of Scotland Qualifying Cup Third Round - Dundonald Bluebell v Fauldhouse United 1.30pm, Hill of Beath Hawthorn v Berwick Rangers 2.30pm.

King Cup First Round - Lochgelly Albert v Syngenta 1.30pm.

Sunday, Alex Jack Cup Final - Leith Athletic v Crossgates Primrose at Humbug Park 2pm