A HARD earned Lowland League win in the Borders for Kelty and a good point for Hill of Beath at Conference A leaders Penicuik, were the main talking points from Saturday’s football card,

Dundonald Bluebell came back from Dalkeith with a draw but there were defeats for Crossgates, Lochore and Lochgelly.

Gala Fairydean 0,

Kelty Hearts 1.

A REALLY tough task for Kelty Hearts, at Netherdale, but they defended solidly and were fully worth their narrow success.

Gala have greatly improved this season and the opening stages saw both teams defending really solidly.

Hearts had the better of possession and they created some problems for the home team with a couple of set pieces.

Kelty kept probing and they got the break they were searching for when Ross Mutch was fouled in the Fairydean box and Stephen Husband converted the penalty.

That goal separated the sides at the interval but on the hour mark there was a shock for Hearts when a Gala front man was fouled in the box and Scott Christie came to the rescue by saving the penalty kick.

Openings were still few and Gala were not for giving up but the Kelty rearguard was working well and neither side really looked like hitting the net again.

Three good points for Hearts which keeps them 1 behind leaders East Kilbride.

Penicuik Athletic 1,

Hill of Beath Hawthorn 1.

A GOOD result for Haws but it could have been even better for them as they clashed with the East of Scotland League Conference A leaders.

Hill of Beath opened well and Josh Morris and Charlie Denton threatened in the early stages, but with their first attack, in ten minutes, Athletic took the lead.

Joe Kirby was a constant threat for the visitors and he was cruelly flattened midway through the half and the Penicuik defender was sent off.

However, while Haws forced corners and free-kicks there were not a lot chances for them.

But five minutes into the second period they were level. Daniel Watt set up Jake Mitchell and the youngster coolly netted.

However, Penicuik defended solidly from then on but there was a great chance for Hill of Beath late on when Watt saw his effort stopped on the line.

So the draw sees Haws five points adrift of Penicuik with a game in hand and manager Kevin Fotheringham knows his team needs the Lothians side to lose unexpectedly to give his side a chance of the title.

He said: “It was a very tight game with few chances but when they went down to ten we felt we could take advantage of that to force a win.

“It was not to be but our aim is to win our remaining nine games and see where that takes us.

“Before that though we have a cup-tie with Edinburgh United on Wednesday.”

Dalkeith Thistle 3,

Dundonald Bluebell 3.

A FINE fight-back by the ‘Bell earned them an East of Scotland League Conference B point.

It was a real thriller with both teams constantly on the attack and it was Dundonald who took the lead in 29 minutes with a fine finish from Calum Smith.

However, the lead lasted but a minute when Thistle went up the park and earned a penalty, after Craig Wedderburn’s, foul which was converted.

That was it at the break and Dalkeith started the second period well and took the lead in 55 minutes.

However, ‘Bell were soon buzzing around the home goal and in 73 minutes Smith squared it with a very neat finish.

Dalkeith kept posing problems for the visitors and they grabbed a third through a well placed header.

This shocked the Dundonald team, but they rolled their sleeves up and grabbed the leveller two minutes from time with a fine Archie Campbell 20 yarder after Ross Drummond’s free-kick came to him off the defensive wall.

The result keeps Bluebell second but they need a couple more wins to ensure a top five spot.

Manager Jason Dair was disappointed at not winning the game: “We had several good chances early on to get clear of Thistle but squandered these and almost paid the penalty.

“Not a great result but we are closing in on our goal of finishing in the top five to qualify for the top division next season.”

Crossgates Primrose 0,

Bonnyrigg Rose 3.

WITH the East of Scotland League Conference B leaders at Humbug Crossgates Primrose knew it was going a tough assignment (see Jim Payne's pictures).

However, they were not there to be bullied and in the opening stages the game was close with defences doing well.

Clearly Bonnyrigg had the better of the openings and Henderson in the Primrose goal made several good stops.

However, Rose grabbed an interval lead with a good move which created a decent opening which was tucked away.

The second period saw Crossgates try hard to get back into the game and there were a couple of half chances but Bonnyrigg kept them out but a second goal three minutes after the break but the visitors in charge.

Primrose were still trying to get a goal but could not find a way through and a third goal 20 minutes from time ensured another Bonnyrigg win.

Crossgates stay fifth but there are a clutch of clubs closing in on them.

Lochore Welfare 0,

Livingston United 2.

LOCHORE decided to produce their worst performance of the season at the wrong time.

This was a winner takes all Thorntons Property East League Cup sectional tie and Welfare fans were confident they could maintain their unbeaten form and qualify for the knockout stages.

However, Livingston made a good start to the game and got the goal they wanted in the early stages.

Welfare came back into the game and created a few half chances with Joe Kinninmonth prominent but the visitors stood firm.

A goal down at the break Lochore came out determined to do better after the interval but chances were few for both sides.

Welfare were just not firing on all cylinders and Livi kept them out and a second goal late on sealed the win that put the visitors through.

Welfare boss James Adam was disappointed with his first defeat as manager of the club: “It really was a poor performance from us.

“We just did not create the openings we normally do and the quality of our play was much below normal standards. However, we now have to ensure that we keep our promotion challenge going in the South Division.

Dundee North End 5,

Lochgelly Albert 2.

THE Berts went to Dundee without several regulars through being cup-tied and found it hard going in the early stages of this East Region Cup-tie.

The Berts were hit by three goals in the first 15 minutes of the tie, but then started to come right back into it.

Ricki Cooper's shot was blocked and Mark Higgins followed up to pull one back. There were other chances for Lochgelly with Joe Dawson posing North End real problems and Higgins came close to grabbing a second as the visitors hemmed the hosts in, but good goalkeeping kept them out.

And near half-time Dundee added a fourth in a break up the park.

The Berts started the second period well, with Dawson continuing to cause trouble for North End, and Cooper rounded the 'keeper to make it 4-2 then Higgins came close twice to a third but a late fifth made the tie safe for the home side.

With two players out injured and three cup-tied Albert boss Andy Healy brought in young acquisition Jordan McKenzie and two of the 17s side and he was impressed with their contribution.

He said: "The young lads did brilliantly against a good side which was very encouraging.

"North End hit hard at the start but the lads recovered superbly from losing three goals in 15 minutes and started to dominate the game and there were a lot of chances created around the North End goal.

"We should have had more than two ourselves and there were lot of positives to take from the tie."

Fixtures, Wednesday, Central Taxis League Cup, Hill of Beath Hawthorn v Edinburgh United (7.30pm).

Saturday, Lowland League, Kelty Hearts v Whitehill Welfare (3pm).

East of Scotland League Conference A, Hill of Beath Hawthorn v Dunbar United (2pm). East Of Scotland League Conference B, Tynecastle v Crossgates Primrose (2.30pm).

South Division, Armadale Thistle v Lochgelly Albert (2.30pm), Kirkcaldy YM v Lochore Welfare (2.30pm).