THE weather posed problems for the local junior card on Saturday with the Fife and Lothians Cup matches involving Hill of Beath Hawthorn at Arniston and Lochgelly Albert at home to Tranent postponed due to waterlogged surfaces. 

However, Dundonald Bluebell were able to strengthen their position in the top two of the East Super League, with a convincing win while Lochore Welfare collected a good North division point.

In the East League a brilliant second-half performance from Kelty Hearts saw them teach the students a lesson and make it 15 successive wins.

Dundonald Bluebell 3 Newtongrange Star 1

TWO late goals gave Bluebell the points which keeps them in second top spot in the East Super League.

Dundonald, as expected, found Star a determined bunch who tried to close them down at every turn. But in the opening stages the home side carved open a fine chance for Lewis McKenzie which was matched by the ‘keeper.

Then in 12 minutes it was the visitors who took a surprise lead when the Bluebell conceded a free-kick 20 yards out and Star’s Dale O’Hara curled a fine shot past James Lennox. However, it did not take Dundonald long to come back into it and McKenzie and Calum Smith both went close to a leveller.

They were starting to take a grip of the midfield but that did not stop Newtongrange having a couple of dangerous raids and in one attack they came close to making it 2-0 when they struck the crossbar.

The second period saw Bluebell continue to have a lot of the ball but their opponents were good going forward and Lennox had to make two good saves and another couple of openings were fired over.

But the equaliser had to come and Smith deflected a shot past the ‘keeper to square the game.

It was all Dundonald now but clear chances were few and far between. The game was heading into the closing stages when McKenzie struck to shoot  Bluebell into the lead.

Star had to commit players to the attack to try and get a leveller but they were hit on the break in the last minute when Smith slotted the ball home to take Dundonald on to 36 points, two behind league leaders Bonnyrigg Rose.

Bluebell boss Stevie Kay was delighted with the way his team kept at it: “Losing an early goal is always awkward but we came back really well although perhaps we did not create as many clear chances as we wanted.

“However, we kept going forward and the two late goals were thoroughly deserved. It is good to be up there contesting with the top teams but we have another tough game this Saturday against Lochee United which we must look to win.”

Craigroyston 3 Crossgates Primrose 2

A LATE goal sunk Primrose’s hopes of getting closer to second top in the South Division after defeat in Edinburgh.

The hosts leapfrogged over Crossgates in the table with this result but the Humbug Park side will be frustrated as it’s a match they could have won. Primrose were in this game from the first whistle and there were several good early chances which they just could not put away.

Craigroyston started to come more into the picture and they managed to get their noses in front. But it was not long until Crossgates’ Mark McKenzie levelled the game.

The hosts were well organised and created chances, taking one just before the break to lead 2-1 at half-time. The second period was a very even game and Crossgates equalised again with a goal from a trialist. 

It looked like Primrose were the favourites to take all three points and there were a couple of chances but they did not add to their tally and in the closing seconds Craigroyston struck to take the win.

The result leaves Craigroyston on 27 points, two ahead of Crossgates but with three more games played.

Kinnoull 2 Lochore Welfare 2

THIS was a hard fixture for Lochore, taking on the third top team in the North Division, but they came away with a point and a feeling of what might have been.

Kinnoull have been winning a lot of games this season and started the game aggressively but the young Welfare side settled in well and kept them in check.

However, just after the half hour the home side went ahead when a good move breached Lochore’s rearguard. It didn’t take the visitors long to draw level and a goalmouth scramble saw Aaron Wood feed Logan Donaldson and he finished well to square matters.

Level at the break, Lochore started the second period by taking the game to Kinnoull and in 65 minutes Welfare went ahead.

James Adam took a corner which he laid back to the edge of the box and there was Wood who sent a 20 yarder past the ‘keeper to put the visitors in the driving seat.

Joe Kinninmounth went close for Lochore with a long range shot that just cleared the bar but Kinnoull upped their game and with 19 minutes to go they equalised with a well taken goal.

The result has Welfare in eighth place in a packed mid table and manager Andy Healy feels that the opportunity is there for his youngsters to aim for the top six.

He said: “We lost 5-2 to Kinnoull at Lochore so to come here and lead going into the last quarter was pleasing and we were certainly worth a point.

“It shows how far the lads have come on over the past few months and while it will be difficult there is no reason why we cannot set our sights on the top six. This weekend’s away game against Arbroath Vics will be a benchmark for us.”   

Kelty Hearts 7 Stirling University 0

ULTIMATELY Hearts’s run of straight wins in the East of Scotland League reached 15 but the opening 45 minutes was a real struggle.

But it was all change in the second half as they taught the students a lesson with six of the best. 
The opening half saw the university side defend well and they managed to keep the eager Kelty frontline at bay until just before the interval.

The visiting goalkeeper had several good saves and it took an expert conversion by Stuart Cargill from the penalty spot to give the home team a half-time lead. 

The spot kick was awarded after a mistimed tackle in the box. Although just a goal up, it had been a one-sided affair and Kelty got the goals their play merited in the second half. The uni defence started to run out of answers and once Scott Dalziel cleverly fired in number two the writing was on the wall for Stirling.

The Hearts midfield were moving the ball about well and another fine piece of football saw Dalziel make it 3-0. As the students started to run out of steam Kelty went in for the kill and Ross Philp made it 4-0.

A fine goal from Brian Ritchie so Hearts go nap and then a late double from Neil McCabe saw the  final Kelty tally reach seven.
With Lothian Thistle’s game postponed, Kelty are 18 points clear but with six games more played.
Saturday’s fixtures: East Super League, Dundonald Bluebell v Lochee United, Hill of Beath Hawthorn v Newtongrange Star. South Division, Crossgates Primrose v Rosyth Recreation, Lochgelly Albert v Oakley United. North Division, Arbroath Vics v Lochore Welfare (all games 2pm). East of Scotland League, Tynecastle v Kelty Hearts (2.30).