HILL of Beath Hawthorn recovered from losing three goals in 25 minutes to run East Kilbride close in the South Challenge Cup semi-final and there were also good performances from Kelty Hearts, Dundonald Bluebell and Lochore Welfare.

Meanwhile Lochgelly Albert gave their fans hope for the new season with a convincing win over Harthill Royal.

Civil Service Strollers 0,

Kelty Hearts 1.

HEARTS needed to win this one to stay in contention to finish runners-up in the Lowland League and they needed a resilient performance to get the points.

The game started with both teams having good spells of possession but the shooting was off target until the 28th minute when Brian Ritchie’s header came back off a post.

No goals at the break but Hearts were looking the sharper team in attack and they asked a lot of questions of the CS defence who seemed capable of finding a lot of answers.

Brett McKirdy went close with a good shot, however, with less than 15 minutes left came the key moment. The Strollers defence was caught out by Sean O’Neill and his fierce shot gave the ‘keeper no chance.

Kelty held on to collect the win and with BSC Glasgow losing to Dalbeattie Star they just have to win against East Kilbride in their last game and hope that BSC fail to win two of their last three games to achieve their target.

Hill of Beath Hawthorn 2,

East Kilbride 3.

A DREADFUL start to this South of Scotland Cup semi-final tie seemed to put Haws in danger of a real drubbing.

But back they came and Hill of Beath came close to taking the tie to extra-time.

The Lowland League champions started impressively and a penalty after 10 minutes put them ahead after a Russell Grierson tackle hauled down an EK attacker, and soon after the Haws gave the ball away in midfield and a clever chip doubled the lead for the visitors.

A third goal soon after gave the hosts plenty to think about but they got to the break only three adrift.

Hill of Beath came out for the second period determined to make a better first of it and Joe Kirby saw the EK ‘keeper pull off a fine save then in 65 minutes Kirby fired a low shot into the net to close the gap.

There were other chances for Hill of Beath and then with five to go Lewis Elder set up a grandstand finish with a fine free-kick finish.

In the last minute Elder found himself with good opportunity in the Kilby box but his shot beat the ‘keeper then just went over.

Haws boss Kevin Fotheringham was delighted with the way his team fought back: “To be honest we changed our tactics for this one and were maybe too defensive and they took full advantage.

“We changed things at the break and started to put them under a lot of pressure and we really dominated the closing stages and were unlucky not to take the tie further.

“It was a really good test for us and we came back well, now we have to set our target of winning our last three league games.”

Dunipace 1,

Dundonald Bluebell 3.

A FIGHTBACK gave Bluebell all three points at Dunipace and moved them into second place in East of Scotland Conference B.

The home team have been struggling this term but they made a good start to the game and had a Bluebell team, which included a couple of the 19s, on the back foot.

They grabbed the lead in 35 minutes and really Dundonald did not create a lot of chances.

However, in the first minute of the second-half Ross Drummond squared the game with a fine finish, from a free-kick on the edge of the box, and then ten minutes later Calum Smith was hauled down in the box but he saw the Dunipace ‘keeper save his penalty.

On the hour Bluebell’s pressure saw them take the lead when Lewis McKenzie latched on to a Smith cut-back to finish well.

Then on 75 minutes Kyle Wilson was fouled in the box and Scott Durie sunk the penalty to put the ‘Bell out of sight.

The result has Dundonald on 46 points and back in second place and manager Jason Dair was happy with the second-half performance: “We were a bit flat in the first-half but once Ross Drummond fired in the free-kick it was a different story and we played well from then on.

“It was good to include two of the 19s who did well and we want to finish our campaign with two wins and see where that takes us in the table.”

Crossgates Primrose 0,

Camelon 2.

PRIMROSE fought hard to get something from this League Cup first round tie but the Falkirk side were too streetwise for them (see Jim Payne's pictures from Humbug Park).

The opening stages of the game were very tight but Primrose had a couple of chances which could have made a difference to the game had these been taken.

However, good work by the Crossgates rearguard made it hard for Camelon to get many chances and a blank scoreline was no real surprise.

The second period saw Crossgates again fight hard to get the key first goal but they just could not hit the net although Scott Lawrie was unlucky.

When Camelon got the breakthrough in 62 minutes it gave them something to defend and they worked doubly hard to keep Primrose out.

The second goal in 73 minutes tied things up for the visitors.

Lochore Welfare 4,

Rosyth Recreation 2.

THE Welfare were comfortable winners of this South Division game to ensure that they can got into their closing three matches with confidence.

Lochore need wins to ensure they finish in the top three and win a place in the Super League.

However, they did not make a good start to this one. Rosyth grabbed the opener from a corner but gradually Lochore took over and levelled with an Adam Doig header from a Joe Kinninmonth cross.

They were creating chances and Rosyth had to defend desperately and just before the break Sean Johnstone gave the hosts the lead with a 30 yard special.

Just after the break Kinninmonth scored a great third when he cut inside and unleashed a fine shot which hit the net, but a soft penalty gave Rosyth the chance to come back into the game.

But the visitors could not stop Lochore and Kinninmonth fired in another great shot to tie up the points.

The result puts Lochore on 29 points, five behind third top Armadale with two games in hand.

Said Welfare boss James Adam: “Losing such an early goal was a real blow but we came back strongly and were well worth the three points.

“We know we need to finish in the top four to be sure of making the Super League and to ensure that we have to win our last three games.

“We go to second top Livingston on Saturday and it is a game that can be won.”

Lochgelly Albert 3,

Harthill Royal 1.

THE Berts will finish bottom of the South Division this season but this performance will have given the Gardiner’s Park fans confidence that there are better days ahead.

Harthill had an outside chance of staying in the promotion race before the game but they found Albert in good form and there was some great finishing which ensured a home win.

The Berts made a great start to the game with a goal in five minutes when Euan Robertson sent over a fine cross and Rikki Cooper appeared in the six yard box to guide the ball into the net.

Ryn Hughes made his first start in this game and he went close with a well placed shot before Cooper's 35 yard free-kick was not far away.

The second eventually came for Lochgelly a minute from the break when Cooper's pass to Hughes set his up and his first timed shot flew into the bottom corner of the net.

However, Harthill came back with a 25 yard rocket shot but the home team kept going forward and with 15 minutes left Hughes sent Cooper on a run and he let fly from 25 yards and the ball sailed into the net and with six minutes left Joe Dawson came close to a fourth.

The win moved Albert on to 14 points and manager Andy Healy was delighted with the performance: "That is definitely the best we have played since I came to the club.

"Harthill have been the form team in recent weeks but we defended really well and moved the ball about nicely and some of our finishing was top notch. A lot to be pleased about."

Saturday’s fixtures, East of Scotland League Conference A, Peebles Rovers v Hill of Beath Hawthorn (2.30). East of Scotland League Conference B, Haddington Athletic v Crossgates Primrose (2.30.

South Division, Bathgate Thistle v Lochgelly Albert (2.30), Livingstone United v Lochore Welfare (2.30).