IT was an awful start to the season for the local East of Scotland League sides with all five teams losing.

The Premier League trio of Crossgates Primrose, Dundonald Bluebell and Hill of Beath Hawthorn were all well beaten, Lochgelly fell to a heavy home defeat and only Lochore Welfare could consider themselves unlucky after a narrow loss in the First Division.

Lochgelly Albert 1

Stoneyburn 5

A BAD WEEK, when vandals set fire to buildings at their ground, got even worse when the Berts were hammered at home by Stoneyburn.

Lochgelly had hoped to get the perfect start to their promotion bid from Division 3 but it only underlined the defensive frailties, which saw them relegated last season, are still very much around.

There was only five minutes on the clock when slack play in defence was punished by the ‘Burn and then in 12 minutes the home side were two down.

A penalty in 22 minutes saw the game starting to drift away from Lochgelly, and they were three down at the break.

The Albert rallied and Martin Woods twice went close before the striker pulled one back for his side.

Central Fife Times: Plenty to ponder. Glum faces on the Lochgelly Albert sidelines as the team lost 5-1 on the opening day of the league season.Plenty to ponder. Glum faces on the Lochgelly Albert sidelines as the team lost 5-1 on the opening day of the league season. (Image: David Wardle)

However, a fourth goal for Stoneyburn on the hour more or less sealed the game.

Young Lochgelly goalie Charlie Miller did save a penalty, only for the rebound to be converted and leave the Berts well beaten.

Committee man, Derek Patrick, was bitterly disappointed by the performance: “We don’t seem to have learned our lesson from last season.

“Poor defending saw us relegated but we conceded three avoidable goals in this one, so there is still a lot of work to be done before we can start looking to be confident of winning games regularly.”

Haddington Athletic 3

Crossgates Primrose 1

PRIMROSE were pushing for an equaliser when they lost a late goal to give Haddington a more comprehensive result.

Defences dominated in the early stages although Cammy Muirhead came close for the visitors.

Just before the break a raking 20 yard drive gave the East Lothian side the lead.

Crossgates needed to start the second period well, but a goal in the opening minutes saw them chasing the game.

However, when Archie Campbell pulled one back from the spot, after a foul in the Athletic box, the visitors sensed they could take something from it.

Several telling raids by Crossgates almost produced the leveller, but a goal in the closing minutes sealed an opening day defeat for Primrose.

Dunbar United 4

Dundonald Bluebell 1

A VERY poor start to the season for the ‘Bell who also found East Lothian a difficult place to visit.

The opening minutes saw Dundonald produce a few openings, but no goals, and United took the lead with a goal from a free-kick.

Some poor defending gave the home team a free header at a corner, putting them two up at the break.

And it got worse for Dundonald in the second period when two goals within a couple of minutes saw them four adrift.

The ‘Bell finished the game by creating a few openings, and with five minutes to go Lewis McKenzie fired in a fine 25 yarder, but it was only by way of a consolation.

Bluebell boss, Stephen Husband, was very disappointed with his team’s performance: “It was a very poor indeed.

“We conceded a couple of very avoidable goals and there is a lot to work to do at training on Tuesday before our game at Kinnoull on Wednesday night.”

Tynecastle 5

Hill of Beath Hawthorn 1

CAPITAL punishment for the Haws as they were thumped in the opening Premier League match in Edinburgh.

The Fife side never really recovered from losing a goal in the first minute at Meggetland.

Tynecastle were lethal on the counter attack and took confidence from the early strike, and although Hill of Beath tried hard to nab an equaliser, minutes before half-time the home side pushed forward and grabbed number two.

Within the first five minutes of the second period they were three down, but there was a glimmer of hope when Ross Allum was fouled in the box Stuart Love converted the penalty.

Haws went looking for a second goal and came close but in 82 minutes Tynecastle broke up the park and grabbed the fourth goal to out the result beyond doubt.

A fifth goal was added at the death to give new Haws boss Stewart Kenny the start he didn’t want to the Premier campaign.

“It was a really poor performance from us and were too easily caught out by the fast Tynecastle breaks,” he said.

“You have to give credit to the home side, for they did burst quickly up the park, but we should have dealt with the situation much more effectively.”

Preston Athletic 2

Lochore Welfare 1

LOCHORE came close to getting a result against Preston Athletic in this tight First Division clash in East Lothian.

The Welfare had a great start to the game and threatened twice to hit the net before taking the lead in 17 minutes with a neat finish from Logan Donaldson.

His back post header, after some good build-up play, boosted their confidence and there were other chances for Lochore.

However good goalkeeping kept them out and 10 minutes before the break Athletic got the equaliser.

The second-half saw both sides create chances, but the finishing touch was missing from Welfare with Cammy Bell and Ewan Sutherland out of luck.

Preston got the winner in the 71st minute with a sweet finish.

Lochore kept chasing the leveller but it would not come.

It looked all over when Matt Christie was sent off after picking up a second yellow card in time added on, only for a late twist.

With seconds left Ethan Anderson found the net but the referee ruled out the goal for what he felt was a hand ball offence in the lead-up.

Welfare boss James Adam was frustrated at not taking something from the fixture: “It was a very close game, with both teams creating good openings, but to see Ethan Anderson’s goal ruled off was a real sickener because there was no hand involved in the finish.”

Tonight's (Wednesday) fixtures – East of Scotland Premier League: Kinnoull v Dundonald Bluebell, Luncarty v Hill of Beath Hawthorn. First Division: Lochore Welfare v Whitburn. Second Division: Pumpherston v Lochgelly Albert. (All kick-off at 7.30pm).

Saturday fixtures – Premier League: Crossgates Primrose v Jeanfield Swifts, Dundonald Bluebell v Hutchie Vale, Hill of Beath Hawthorn v Dunbar United. First Division: Lochore Welfare v Vale of Leithen, Fauldhouse United v Lochgelly Albert. (All kick-off at 2.30pm).