A LIMITED East of Scotland card on Saturday saw Lochore Welfare just pipped by Premier League Blackburn in a cup-tie, and Lochgelly Albert lose out by the odd goal in a Second Division match.

Blackburn United 2 Lochore Welfare 1 (after extra time).

PREMIER League side United found First Division Lochore a tough nut to crack and it took until the final minute of extra-time for them to win this East of Scotland Qualifying Cup third round tie.

The home side took the lead in the first minute from a corner situation, but it was not long until the Welfare started to take charge.

Joe Kirby went close and Sean Cusick both went close to finding a leveller for Lochore.

Blackburn did not pose too many problems for the visiting defence, while their opponents were desperately searching for an equaliser to get them back into the tie.

The second period saw United hold onto their narrow lead and Lochore’s Joe Dawson, who was given far too much space by the generous home ranks, was left scratching his head after guiding a free header past the post from only six yards.

Blackburn had half chances but it looked like the only goal was going to win it for them, until with seconds left a Scott Small free-kick was flicked into the net, from close range, by Cammy Bell.

This took the game into extra-time but within five minutes Lochore’s Cammy Murray was ordered off for foul and abusive language, after a clash with an opponent in midfield, and this gave United the chance to take the game to the Welfare.

Lochore still had chances, the best falling to Aaron Wood, with his raking drive going inches over.

Then in the very last minute the ball broke and a Blackburn forward fired the ball into the net to give the home side the verdict.

Despite the late heartbreak, Lochore boss James Adam was delighted with the way his team tackled the tie: “Now that we have most of our injured players back we are starting to play well, and were a bit unfortunate to lose this tie.

“Now we have to turn our attention to the collection of First Division points, to climb into a safe position.”


Lochgelly Albert 2 Dalkeith Thistle 3

A BRAVE fightback by the Berts just failed to earn a Second Division point at Purvis Park.

Third top Dalkeith found the home side in a lively mood and early in the game Joe Meldrum’s cross was met by Lee Celentano.

His shot appeared to have been stopped in the Thistle six yard box by a hand, but the referee was unsighted and didn’t give a penalty.

A poor clearance then led to Dalkeith taking the lead and then the visitors struck again.

A third goal, again from slack defending, looked to have killed off the Berts but before the interval Mikey Gibb pulled one back with a good finish.

The second half was dominated by Lochgelly and in 48 minutes Meldrum’s cross saw Celentano hit the Thistle post.

Near the hour mark Liam Woods’ cross drifted on the wind and the ball struck the bar.

Soon after a Celentano shot was well saved and a goal had to come as Dalkeith struggled to keep the Albert out.

Celentano saw his fierce drive blocked by the goalkeeper and Stephen Stark, following up, shot home the rebound.

The Berts went for an equaliser and there were several close calls around the Thistle goal, but the visitors held on to strengthen their position in the top three.

For Lochgelly, they remain in the relegation area on nine points, but committee man, Derek Stark, was encouraged by what he saw: “We started well but as has been a problem this season, we gave away a couple of bad goals.

“However, the lads came roaring back into it by hitting the woodwork twice and scoring twice, and in the closing stages, could have got the leveller.”


Saturday’s fixtures, East of Scotland Premier League, Dundonald Bluebell v Hill of Beath Hawthorn 2.30pm, Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts v Crossgates Primrose 2pm. East of Scotland First Division, Lochore Welfare v Luncarty 1.30pm. Second Division, Syngenta v Lochgelly Albert 3pm.