Edinburgh University 1,

Kelty Hearts 3.

AN impressive first-half performance ensured Kelty Hearts back to winning ways in the Lowland League on Saturday.

Saturday’s match at Edinburgh University was one that had to be won to keep Hearts in touch with the leaders East Kilbride and BSC Glasgow.

Kelty boss Barry Ferguson went for experience in the front line for this one with Scott Dalziel being joined by Brian Ritchie and Hearts started well at Peffermill.

In three minutes an Elliot Ford cross was perfect for Dalziel but his finish was too high then Ritchie’s angled effort was well saved by the Uni ‘keeper.

The opener came in 11 minutes when Ritchie cut inside and sent a curling shot into the net.

This settled Hearts who really started to pose Edinburgh problems and in 19 minutes they got number two.

Ritchie and Macauley played their part in the build up and Chris Dodd finished well to get his first goal for Hearts.

Uni were struggling now and Scott Taylor-MacKenzie set up Dalziel whose shot was cleared off the line.

It took Uni until the 36th minute to have a clear chance but Scott Christie pulled off a great save to ensure Hearts stayed two up the break.

A minute after the break Taylor- MacKenzie’s free-kick was held by the ‘keeper but six minutes later University pulled one back.

However, any concerns for the visiting fans disappeared within 60 seconds when Dodd’s shot was blocked by the ‘keeper but Ross Mutch was lying handy to turn in the rebound.

Kelty looked for a fourth but were denied by good defending and in the closing stages Christie pulled off a fine save.

Hearts coach Murray McDowell said after the game: “Getting the two early goals settled us and we could have had more in the first-half but possibly the most important thing was that as soon as we lost a goal just after half-time we went up the park and grabbed our third and that was a key moment.

“We have been creating a lot of chances but not getting the rub of the green in front of goal but it was very necessary to win this match and stay in touch with East Kilbride who may yet have a blip in their season.”

Derby day for Haws

THIS Saturday’s fixtures, Lowland League, East Stirlingshire v Kelty Hearts (3pm at the Falkirk Stadium).

East of Scotland League Conference A, Hill of Beath Hawthorn v Oakley United (2.30). EoS League Conference B, Burntisland Shipyard v Dundonald Bluebell (2pm), Sauchie v Crossgates Primrose (1.30).

South Division, Lochore Welfare v Armadale Thistle, West Calder United v Lochgelly Albert (1.45).