HILL of Beath Hawthorn got the only win of the day on Saturday among the local East of Scotland sides whilst Lochore Welfare and Crossgates Primrose both drew.

But both Dundonald Bluebell and Lochgelly Albert produced disappointing results and for the latter it leaves them having to win all of their remaining games to avoid relegation.

Hill of Beath Hawthorn 4 Vale of Leithen 0

THREE crucial points for Haws in their quest to stay in the East of Scotland League Premier Division.

Bottom side, Vale, came to Keirs Park determined to make life difficult for the hosts, but in only two minutes Lewis Elder was pulled down in the visiting penalty area and Lewis Payne converted the spot-kick to give Hill of Beath the important first goal.

It would have been in the minds of the home fans that Vale of Leithen’s only win came against Haws and they were delighted when Jonny Galloway broke away and fired a 20 yarder into the bottom corner of the net to give their team a 2-0 interval lead.

There were chances for James Harley and Michael Fleming to stretch the lead and in 54 minutes, Elder closed the Vale ‘keeper down and his clearance cannoned off the striker and into the net to add number three.

The visitors were starting to struggle and number four game when Elder cut the ball back to Andy Jones to took the opportunity well.

The home defence was solid and the game marked a magic moment for long serving Haws’ ‘keeper, Stuart Hall, who recorded his 100th shutout for the club.

Interim Haws boss, Darrin Wright, was delighted with his team’s performance, which put them on to 32 points, three clear of the relegation zone, with three games to play, and he stressed that there is still a whole lot of work to do for his men: “Getting the early goal was a huge boost and over the piece we were well worth the win.

“However, there is a lot of work to be done with two wins needed to secure our spot in the Premier League.”

Dundonald Bluebell 0 Lothian Thistle 2

THE ‘Bell produced a desperately disappointing Premier League performance in this game, as Thistle secured their spot in the top division for next season.

Perhaps it was having the East of Scotland Qualifying Cup semi-final tonight (Wednesday) against Stirling University at Forthbank looming, but they never settled into a good pattern of play.

Lothian started the game well and took the lead in 15 minutes, when they converted a well worked opening and despite having plenty of the ball, Dundonald could not get many telling shots away.

Luke Kennedy came close to a goal with a good header at the back post but the ball would not go in, and when Thistle grabbed a second goal 20 minutes into the second-half, things were looking bleak for the hosts.

Barry Sibanda did have the ball in the net, but it was chalked off for a hand ball incident in the move leading up to the finish.

It summed up Bluebell’s day and manager Stephen Husband was unhappy at the lack of creativity from his side: “I don’t know if it was the big cup-tie being in everyone’s mind, but we just did not engineer any good chances.

“We will certainly have to play better at Forthbank, on Wednesday, if we are going to make the final.”

Crossgates Primrose 3 Jeanfield Swifts 3

A REAL thriller at Humbug Park as Swifts never gave up and managed to sneak a Premier League point from Crossgates.

Fourth top Swifts started positively and took the lead in 16 minutes but Primrose came back at them, and Craig Reid and Archie Campbell went close, before Andy McDonald equalised from close in 39 minutes, then on the stroke of half-time Campbell slotted in number two to give the home side the break lead.

The momentum was with the home side and they grabbed a third with only 14 minutes left when Campbell struck again with an expert finish.

Swifts looked deflated, but with five to go they gave themselves a lifeline by pulling one back, and it set up an exciting finish.

There was action at both ends and two minutes into time added on Jeanfield got the equaliser to the dismay of the home fans.

The result leaves Primrose on 41 points, from 25 games, in eighth place in the table and still in with a chance of a top five finish.

Lochore Welfare 1 Dunbar United 1

A GOOD performance from the Welfare who gave the East of Scotland First Division leaders a real run for their money.

Lochore made a great start to the game, and a sweeping move in nine minutes ended with Euan Sutherland curling a shot into the top corner of the net.

Stunned Dunbar came roaring back into it and equalised two minutes later, and from then until the interval both teams created openings.

Defences did well though and the sides were level at the interval, and the story was the same in the second period with both sides creating openings but being denied by good work at the back.

In the closing stages the best chance fell to the Welfare with Cammy Bell’s fierce shot coming back of the United bar, and the game ended all square giving Lochore a point, which leaves then on 23 from the same number of games.

Welfare boss, James Adam, was pleased with the performance: “It was a good point against the leaders, and while we are still in the bottom three we are only a point behind Coldstream with two games in hand, and if we can win three of our remaining seven games it should guide us into a safe position.”

Lochgelly Albert 1 Edinburgh United 2

THE Berts needed to win this one to stay in with a realistic chance of staying in the Second Division but like so many games this season they missed chances and gave away goals.

The first period was very evenly matched, but the Albert just could not fashion a goal, although United seldom threatened.

However, 15 minutes into the second period a long ball from Edinburgh saw Greg Clark short with a headed pass-back, and the United striker raced in to open the scoring.

Lochgelly forced a succession of corners without getting a goal, and with the game in the last quarter Albert ‘keeper Gregor Brown was unlucky to be penalised for an innocuous challenge in the box and the penalty was converted.

However, the Berts kept battling and pulled one back when they were awarded a penalty for a poor challenge in the Edinburgh box, and Michael Gibb converted, but they could not get the equaliser.

The result leaves Lochgelly 10 points from safety with only four games left and committee man, Derek Patrick, admits it will be a tough task: “It was a game we should have won but a poor opening goal, and some missed chances led to yet another defeat.

“We have to win all of the remaining games, but to do that we will have to defend better than we have in recent matches.”


Fixtures: Wednesday: East of Scotland Qualifying Cup Semi-Final: Stirling University v Dundonald Bluebell (7.30pm).

Saturday: East of Scotland Premier League (2.30pm): Tynecastle v Hill of Beath Hawthorn, Linlithgow Rose v Crossgates Primrose, Dundonald Bluebell v Musselburgh Athletic.

East of Scotland First Division: Kennoway Star Hearts v Lochore Welfare.

East of Scotland Second Division: Lochgelly Albert v Hawick Royal Albert.