DEFEATS for Kelty Hearts and Hill of Beath Hawthorn were the main talking points from Saturday’s football card.

However, there were good wins for Dundonald Bluebell and Crossgates Primrose but a serious blow was sustained by Lochore Welfare in their promotion bid.

Dalbeattie Star 2,

Kelty Hearts 1.

HEARTS went to Dalbeattie knowing that they needed a win to maintain their strong challenge to finish second top of the Lowland League.

Second bottom Star are difficult opponents at home and Hearts never really got to grips with this game.

With goals being hard to come by recently Hearts went for Errol Douglas back up front after spending half the season at centre-half, and in the early stages there were half chances for Kelty.

The visiting defence was playing well though and Star did not really threaten and there was no real surprise that the 45 minutes produced only one goal.

But that came for Hearts when debutant Sean McKirdy was on the spot to convert after a good Kelty move.

However, Dalbeattie started the second period well and levelled five minutes into the half.

Hearts always looked then likelier side to score but with ten minutes left Dalbeattie scored and despite a late siege of the Star goal there was no equaliser.

So Hearts drop to fourth but still are only four points behind second top BSC Glasgow and a strong finish could still achieve the runners-up spot.

Dundonald Bluebell 4,

Haddington Athletic 2.

THE ‘Bell got back into action with this impressive East of Scotland League Conference B win over the East Lothian side.

To be honest this was a good open game with both sides attacking strongly although the opening stages saw defences dominate.

Haddington hit the Bluebell woodwork early on but two minutes from the break the home side went ahead with a good finish from Ross Drummond from the edge of the box.

Athletic started the second period well and levelled in 57 minutes but within three minutes Archie Campbell fired Bluebell back in front from 20 yards.

It quickly became the Campbell show and he was on the spot to score number three in 63 minutes from close in and two minutes later he completed his five minute hat-trick to put the game out of sight.

Haddington kept battling and pulled one back late on but it did little to affect the result.

Bluebell boss Jason Dair was delighted with the win which has his team in third place in the table and only a win away from their target of finishing in the top five to qualify for the next season’s Premier Division.

He said: “An amazing hat-trick from Archie Campbell and it came at a perfect time to give us the result which puts us within touching distance of a top five finish.

“It was a good open game and just the result we wanted but having to sub both centre-backs, Liam McDaid and Craig Wedderburn, was a blow and they could be out for this coming weekend.”

However, he has added Kelty’s Matt Gay to the squad.

Tranent 1,

Hill of Beath Hawthorn 0.

A VERY dour King Cup second round tie in East Lothian and it took a fantastic finish to decide it.

Haws tried hard to force an early breakthrough but really could not force many good saves from the Tranent last line.

However, the Hill of Beath defence did very well in closing down the Tranent attackers and at the break there were no goals.

The second period saw a similar pattern but before the hour mark Joe Kirby went one-on-one with the home ‘keeper only to be denied.

Then soon after the decisive moment came when the Tranent left back cut inside and fired a 30 yarder past Stuart Hall.

The Haws saw a lot of the ball in the closing stages but just could not carve out any clear chances.

A disappointing result but their midweek win over Coldstream saw them keep their second top spot in Conference A.

Haws boss Kevin Fotheringham is concerned with recent performances: “Like the past few games we did not create a lot of chances against Tranent.

“We have been struggling to open up defences recently and we need to get back to the way we were playing earlier in the season, although I cannot in any way criticise the application and effort shown at Tranent.”

Crossgates Primose 3,

Arniston Rangers 0.

PRIMROSE produced a strong second-half performance to win this King Cup third round tie at Humbug Park.

Rangers have been struggling this season in Conference A but they opened the game reasonably well and Crossgates had to mop up a couple of visiting raids.

However, the Primrose midfield started to get a grip of the game and a couple of good chances were squandered until in the 32nd minute James McAteer fired the hosts ahead.

That was the way it stood at half-time and Primrose had to look to get another early in the second period.

It came in 55 minutes when Dale Allen hit the net to give Arniston a mountain to climb.

Sami Mitchell struck three minutes later and it was job done for Crossgates, who can now concentrate on their task of making the top five of Conference B.

Lochore Welfare 0,

Stoneyburn 3.

LOCHORE wanted to win this South Division game to keep their chances of a top three finish strong.

However, after a decent start to the game, a crazy 10 minute first-half spell ended home hopes.

They conceded two penalties, which were converted, and Scott Renton was red carded for too strongly protesting at the second award.

A third goal made the Welfare’s hopes virtually disappear but in the second period Lochore started to have a lot more of the game.

There were a couple of decent chances but the finishing was off on the day and Stoneyburn ran out comfortable winners, something they would not have expected before kick-off.

The Welfare can still make the top three as they are six points behind third top Armadale with three games in hand.

Lochore boss James Adam said: “What a crazy, crazy spell that was in the first-half.

“To lose two penalties and three goals and have a player sent-off was madness, and while we were so much better, even with ten, in the second period, the damage had been done. Definitely a bad day at the office.”

Pumpherston 5,

Lochgelly Albert 1.

THIS top v bottom South Division game saw the Berts worn down by Pumphy whose finishing was really clinical.

Lochgelly found the league leaders eager to create chances but when they opened the scoring the Berts' defending was questionable and it was the same at the second inside 15 minutes.

Lochgelly then started to come right into the game and Joe Dawson went through and and was denied by the 'keeper and then Darren Ormiston saw the Pumphy last line pull off a good save.

Before the break Mark Higgins missed from close in so the Albert were still in it and a fine piece of work by Jordan McKenzie teed up Ormiston to pull one back.

The 'Berts were back in it but a key moment came when a high ball into the box took a wild kick off a divot and bounced over the visiting 'keeper to make it 3-1 with not long to go and two late goals gave the leaders a rather flattering scoreline.

So the Berts cannot avoid bottom spot but manager Andy Healy, who had eight players missing for the game, saw a lot of positives: "We did not defend well enough at times and at least three of the goals could have been avoided but for long spells we had the better of things and created some really good chances.

"However, no team can give away the type of goals we conceded and expect to get a result and that it something we will have to work on for next season".

Fixtures, Lowland League, Wednesday Kelty Hearts v Cumbernauld Colts (7.45). Saturday, East Kilbride v Kelty Hearts (3pm).

East of Scotland League Conference A, Arniston Rangers v Hill of Beath Hawthorn (2.30). East of Scotland League Conference B, Tynecastle v Dundonald Bluebell (2.30).

South Division, Lochore Welfare v Pumpherston (2.30).