A BRACE from in-form Kallum Higginbotham helped Kelty Hearts end a run of four games without victory against Queen of the South on Saturday.

The Englishman's penalty with 20 minutes to go set John Potter's side on their way to success, with Alfredo Agyeman's ninth goal of the campaign putting them in control before Higginbotham made the game safe with a neat finish from inside the box.

New Central Park boss Potter believes that his side have played better and not picked up three points in matches throughout the season, but was pleased to see his charges be more clinical in front of goal against a Doonhamers side that had won their previous two league outings.

Higginbotham, in the last three games, has trebled his goal tally for the season, which now stands at six, and he commented: "In quite a few games this season we've probably been on top for large parts of the game.

"Certainly, Dunfermline and Falkirk at home, those two spring to mind. It's good to come out on the right side of the result, and it keeps us in touch with the play-offs.

"That's ultimately our aim; come the end of the season, we want to be in and around them."

Kelty, with their third win from three league meetings with their opponents, are now within seven points of the Championship play-off places, and will aim to keep the pressure on those above them when they go to bottom side Peterhead this weekend.

They did, however, take a while to get into their groove in this game with Marvin Bartley's Queens, who had edged past the 'Maroon Machine' in their last meeting, an SPFL Trust Trophy quarter-final, on penalties last month.

Although Tam O'Ware had a headed first half goal disallowed for offside, the hosts needed goalkeeper, Darren Jamieson, to be alert to save from Jaze Kabia and Connor Murray.

The introduction of veteran Joe Cardle, just beyond the hour mark, and a tweak in Kelty's system saw them begin to gain the upper hand.

They were rewarded in the 70th minute when Higginbotham sent Kevin Dabrowski the wrong way from 12 yards, after Stephen Hendrie was penalised for handball, to break the deadlock.

Six minutes later, Agyeman raced forward on the left, leaving Jack Byrdon in his wake, to latch on to a through pass and, after making his way inside the area, sent a lovely finish across goal beyond the Queens keeper.

The game, which saw 17-year-old Findlay Shearer, a product of Kelty Hearts Community Club, make his debut as a late substitute, was wrapped up when Higginbotham slotted home first time after the ball broke to him inside the penalty area.

"I'm happy with the result," Potter said.

"It was disappointing first half. We changed things around a little bit second half, we were just much more like ourselves, without being brilliant. We've played a lot, lot better this year and not won, and not even drew, actually.

"When you've got players up the pitch, and I still think we've got quality players, we took our chances and scored the goals. I'm delighted with the win."

Meanwhile, Kelty loanee, Nicky Low, has had his arrangement ended with the club and has joined West of Scotland Football League, Premier Division, Clydebank.

The 31-year-old, who joined from Arbroath in September, initially until January, had agreed to extend his stay until the end of the season.

However, for what was cited as family reasons, his loan with Kelty, and Arbroath contract, had been ended to allow him to join the Bankies.