A VERY productive Saturday for the local junior sides with only Lochore Welfare not picking up points.

Jason Dair saw his Dundonald Bluebell side get their first Super League win under him while Hill of Beath Hawthorn got a point from Broxburn and in the South Division both Lochgelly Albert and Crossgates Primrose won, while Kelty Hearts edged out Leith Athletic to win their 21st successive match.

Dundonald Bluebell 1

Lochee United 0.

A GREAT result for Jason Dair as his new team recorded their first win under him and did it against a team who are in the semi-finals of the Scottish Junior cup.

It was a very tight match with Lochee, who themselves, have been in the top eight of the table all season.

But the ‘Bell started the game positively and created a couple of half chances with Lewis McKenzie posing United problems and twice coming close to opening the scoring.

However, the visitors are well known for the quality of their defensive work and there were no easy chances going for Dundonald and at the break the scoreline was blank.

The second period saw Lochee start well and create a few half chances but Bluebell defended solidly and gradually regain the initative.

And the key moment came in 75 minutes when Colin Wilson’s knock down created the chance for McKenzie whose shot was blocked but Calum Smith banged the rebound home.

After that Lochee threw everything at trying to get back into the game but the ‘Bell solidly saw it out to pick up their first win in four outings, a result which cements their place in the top five of the table on 42 points.

Jason Dair was delighted with the performance and result: “Lochee are a very good side but the lads applied themselves well and kept creating openings and eventually the key strike came.

“We defended well throughout the game and that was an important factor in the win.”

Hill of Beath Hawthorn 1,

Broxburn Athletic 1.

THE old adage, a game of two halves, could certainly have been applied to this Super League tussle at Kiers Park.

The first 45 minutes saw Haws struggle to get out of first gear and Broxburn dominated the midfield area and created severa;l very good chances.

Haws’ ‘keeper Stuart Hall produced a couple of good stops in the first 20 minutes of the game but there was nothing he could do to stop Broxburn taking the lead in 25 minutes after a good move.

The West Lothian side were bossing the game and Hall made three other excellent saves to ensure that when the break whistle arrived there was still only one goal in it.

However, it was a different team in red that came out for the second period for they went at Broxburn from the first whistle and hemmed the visitors in.

There were a couple of openings which were not converted but on the hour Daniel Watt fired a left foot drive into the bottom corner to level things.

There were more chances for Hill of Beath and Lewis Elder went close before Paul Allan’s header hit the top of the Athletic bar.

In the end a point for Haws which takes them to 23 points and 11th place, something manager Kevin Fotheringham want to see his men improve in the coming weeks: “The first-half was terrible from our point of view.

“We just did not create much at all and Stuart Hall saved us from being at least three or four down at the break.

“We changed things a bit for the second period and the players responded but taking the game to Broxburn and there were a couple of chances to take all three points but after the first 45 minutes a draw was probably the right result.

“Haws seem to be the treble chance specialists with the number of draws we have had recently but we need to start winning to push on up the table.”

Crossgates Primrose 3,

Stoneyburn 0.

A SUPERB second-half performance earned Primrose all three South Division points at Humbug.

The first 45 minutes was a bit frustrating for the home fans with Crossgates seeing plenty of the ball but not hitting the onion bag.

There were plenty of openings for the home side as they dominated possession but some very organised defensive work by Stoneyburn kept them out.

The visiting ‘keeper was also in good form as the interval was reached with the scoreline blank and that was due to a fine penalty save from Scott Hynd’s penalty after a foul in the ‘Burn box ten minutes from the interval whistle.

The second-half saw Crossgates continue to press and the breakthrough came in 65 minutes when Hynd made amends for his penalty miss by firing home the opener.

Six minutes later the striker doubled the lead with another good finish and in 78 minutes Scott was able to forget his penalty failure when he completed his hat-trick to tie up a 3-0 win.

The win takes Primrose onto 37 points in sixth spot in the table and sets them up for this coming Saturday’s derby with Lochgelly Albert at Gardiner’s Park.

Lochgelly Albert 2,

West Calder United 1.

THE Berts got their six goal drubbing at Edinburgh United out of their system with a win over third top West Calder.

Yet in the first 45 minutes chances were few for the Lochgelly side although West Calder also struggled to pose the hosts too many problems.

However, Scott Murray had a good chance for the Albert on the half hour but from a good position he headed wide and six minutes later the visitors took the lead with a move which caught the Berts’ defence out with a header across the six yard box and the ball was turned into the net.

Lochgelly came out in determined mood for the second period but they were needing some inspiration to get back into the game and it came in 59 minutes when right-back Craig Bateson went on an amazing run which took him past four opponents before firing an unsaveable 18 yarder past the ‘keeper.

That opened the game up and then Joe Kirby entered the fray for Josh McPhie and almost immediately Kirby’s trickery started to open up the United defence and a couple of chances were missed before in 70 minutes he created the chance for Michael Perrie to fire Albert ahead.

Then John Duffy had the ball in the West Calder net but was give off-side but Lochgelly held on for three welcome points to take their tally to 29 from 16 starts.

If the Berts can beat Crossgates this Saturday it could re-ignite their challenge to make the top two in the table.

Lochore Welfare 3,

Lochee Harp 4.

ANOTHER game of two halves here as Lochore Welfare went from dominating this North Division fixture to conceding bad goals and eventually losing.

The first 45 minutes was Lochore at their best creating chance after chance Lochee had little chance of stopping them.

The opener came in 20 minutes from a three man move involving Regan Lumsden and Aaron Wood who fed James Adam and he finished in style and after Harp hit the bar Welfare scored again when Lumsden fired a magnificent shot into the top corner.

Harp were not creating much at all and before the break a strike from Dean Ewing after Wood and Lumsden had created the chance from made the interval score 3-0.

Lochee pulled one back in 50 minutes when a long throw was not dealt with and some five minutes later, after some more poor defending at another long throw, saw the gap narrowed further. Then on the hour mark yet another throw created another chance to allow Harp to level.

After that Welfare had chances to go back in front and then in the closing minutes Lochee broke away and Kearyn Hicks caught an attacker and the resultant penalty was converted to win the game for the visitors.

Said Lochore boss Andy Healy: “In the first 45 minutes we were superb, we created so many chances and maybe could have been further ahead at the break than 3-0.

“But in the second-half it was all so different, we started making bad unforced errors at three long throw-ins and were badly punished. It was really disappointing after playing very well going forward but failing to deal with these throw-ins”

Hearts battle for 21st victory

Kelty Hearts 3,

Leith Athletic 1.

ANOTHER very competitive East of Scotland League game for Hearts but they battled through to take all three points and record their 21st successive league win.

The opening stages of the game saw both defences on top with few really good chances although Kelty certainly had the better of them with Scott Dalziel and Errol Douglas both working the Leith ‘keeper.

Scott Christie mopped up a couple of Leith raids but there were no goals at the break but the opener came from Hearts defender Murray Carstairs who was in the perfect place to fire home the opener.

This opened the game up and Leith started to look more adventurous but they were shocked when Stuart Cargill fired in number two.

Hearts looked to be on the path to victory but they received a shock when Leith netted to pull the score back to 2-1.

Athletic were ready to throw everything in to getting another to grab a point but their aspirations were shattered when Stephen Husband blasted in a third Kelty goal to tie up the points.

Hearts are on 63 points with Lothian Thistle also having won all of their 17 games 12 behind with four games in hand.

Kelty boss Thomas Courts tweeted: “The last two weeks have been a great advert for the East of Scotland League with games played to a very high standard”.

Saturday’s fixtures, East Super League, Jeanfield Swifts v Hill of Beath Hawthorn. South Division, Lochgelly Albert v Crossgates Primrose. North Division, Lochore Welfare v East Craigie. Fife and Lothians Cup, Boness United v Dundonald Bluebell.

King Cup second round, Hertiot Watt University v Kelty Hearts (all games 2.30).