WHILE it was a curtailed card on Saturday through the wet weather, the three clubs in action all pulled off excellent victories.

And for Lochgelly Albert it saw them end their poor run and renew hopes of getting away from the bottom of the South Division.

Kelty Hearts 4,

Whitehill Welfare 0

(after extra time).

THIS Football Nation Qualifiying Cup tie went all the way at New Central Park, with the lowly visitors defying Hearts for the whole 90 minutes.

Hearts started the match with a lot of possession but the Welfare defence was in defiant mood and after ten minutes there were no goals.

The best opening came in 22 minutes when Stuart Cargill saw a sharp finish blocked by the Welfare rearguard.

Four minutes later Kelty were awarded a penalty after a rash challenge in the Whitehill box but the normally reliable Stephen Husband saw ‘keeper Ross Jardine dive to save.

Cargill came close just after the half hour when he latched on to a Macaulay pass but his shot crept wide.

Whitehill had not really threatened Scott Christie’s goal in the first period but after the break they went close, before Hearts started to take charge and Ciaran Chalmers went close with a well placed header.

Ian Nimmo had a clear opening but his shot was blocked then Cargill found himself with a good position but he fired over.

Welfare were continuing to frustrate the home side and with quarter of an hour to go Murray Carstairs saw his close in effort saved.

Hearts stepped up the pace in the closing stages and sub Willis Hare went clean through but just could not get a goal.

So the tie went into extra-time and Welfare comfortably survived the first few minutes but the breakthrough eventually came when Chalmers proved his value by striking from close in.

Whitehill’s resolve was starting fade and Chalmers struck again to double the lead.

There was no way back now for the visitors and Cargill fired in the third to put the tie to bed.

The visitors were running completely out of steam and Nimmo completed the scoring.

So Hearts were rewarded for keeping at it and were well worth their place in the next round.

Crossgates Primrose 5,

Dunipace 1.

AFTER their great performance at Bonnyrigg the previous week Primrose went into this East of Scotland Conference B game with struggling Dunipace full of confidence.

The home side made the best possible start to the game when Lyall Shaw fired them ahead in the first minute.

Crossgates were all over the visitors and there was no surprise when a poor challenge in the Dunipace box saw a penalty awarded in only six minutes and Scott Lawrie converted to double the lead.

Dunipace have found the move from the junior ranks to the East of Scotland League very difficult and really they were on damage limitation before the 20th minute.

Chances were continuing to be created by the home side and the visiting ‘keeper had some great stops.

However, on the half hour there was nothing he could do to stop Shaw adding number three with a neat piece of work.

To be fair to the visitors they did come back and pulled one back four minutes later to make the break score 3-1.

Crossgates started the second-half looking to get the goal that would put the game out of sight but the Dunipace defence worked really hard.

However, there was nothing they could do in 62 minutes when Scott Hynd got into a good position and hit the ball past the ‘keeper.

Primrose went after more goals but the Dunipace defenders kept battling away but in the 75th minute a Blair Clark effort completed the scoring.

The result took Crossgates on to 21 points and fourth spot in Conference B.

Lochgelly Albert 3,

Kirkcaldy YM 1.

A FINE performance from the Berts which ended their horrible run in the South Division.

YM went to Gardiner’s Park with a pretty good record and a win would have taken them to the fringe of the top four, but Albert’s new boss, Andy Healy, has been building up the squad and he was looking for signs of improvement here.

Front man Darren Ormiston arrived on loan from Lothian Thistle and Calum Ashford by the same route from Berwick Rangers, while the team also included four teenagers.

Ricky Cooper’s trickery posed problems for the YM defence in the opening stages and in seven minutes his work with Declan Boyle saw a pass that was converted by Jack Mathieson.

YM came back strongly and an effort glanced the Lochgelly bar but Cooper went close again for the home side only to see the ball cleared off the line.

The Albert’s problem with defending corners continued in this game with YM’s equaliser in 26 minutes seeing a header hit the net.

YM took inspiration from the goal and started to dominate possession and they had a few good chances before the interval but Michael Perrie and Cooper both had openings for the Berts.

Lochgelly started the second period in an excellent manner and came close to taking the lead in 47 minutes when an Ormiston cross was perfect for Perrie who blasted the ball just wide.

However, in 65 minutes they got in front. A corner was knocked and Nathan Laird was lying handy to shoot home his first goal for the Berts.

This gave the Lochgelly the edge and they grabbed a third three minutes later. It was a brilliant piece of opportunism and skill by Cooper who tricked a defender before firing in a shot off the underside of the bar.

YM never gave up though and they kept fighting hard but the Berts defence did brilliantly to keep them out and near the end Ormiston beat two man and set up Cooper whose finish was inches too high.

The result has taken Berts to nine points from 13 games and are only a point behind the second and third bottom sides.

So manager Andy Healy was delighted with what he saw: “This was a really excellent performance from the lads.

“We had 16 year-old Glen Marshall at centre-half and he did superbly well alongside another of the young players from the 17s, and it was really excellent the way they handled the YM attack.

“There were no failures and Hamish Munro had long spells where he controlled the midfield which allowed us to create some good chances.

“Going forward Ricky Cooper and Michael Perrie were excellent and Ricky’s goal was something really special.

“The committee did an excellent piece of work during the week getting Darren Ormiston on loan from Lothian Thistle and Calum Ashford on loan from Berwick, which boosted our resources and hopefully we can build on this win to get away from the foot of the table.

“Mind you the league goes into storage this weekend when it is the League Cup and we have Pumpherston at Gardiner’s Park, a real challenge for us but one we look forward to taking on.”

Saturday’s fixtures, Lowland League, Kelty Hearts v BSC Glasgow (3pm). East of Scotland League Conference A, Hill of Beath Hawthorn v Penicuik Athletic (2.30). EoS League Conference B, Crossgates Primrose v Tranent (2pm), Lothian Thistle v Dundonald Bluebell (2.30).

Thorntons Property East League Cup, Lochgelly Albert v Pumpherston, Lochore Welfare v Kirkcaldy YM (1.30pm).