THE first full programme for many weeks saw some important wins, and two thrilling draws which produced 14 goals.

Kelty Hearts ground out an important three points in the Lowland League while Hill of Beath Hawthorn hit Sauchie six for and Lochgelly Albert did the same to West Calder.

Kelty Hearts 2,

Stirling University 1.

HEARTS had to work very hard to get the three points they needed to extend their lead at the top of the Lowland League table, with Bonnyrigg Rose not playing.

The opening stages saw the Students do well and Ben Mackenzie did well to block a shot and in 11 minutes they took the lead.

A fine run ended with a good finish and Hearts were having to look at coming back in to the picture.

They came close when Nathan Austin’s header came back off the post then Ross Philp’s shot was held by the Uni ‘keeper.

A goal down at the break Kelty needed to start the second period on the attack and they did just that and the equaliser came in 58 minutes when Cammy Russell sent Austin through and he made a trademark finish.

Russell came close soon after and with 12 minutes to go the hosts got what proved to be the winner.

When the ball was whipped into the Stirling box Austin appeared at the far post to slide the ball home.

The result puts Kelty on 48 points, five in front of Rose with a game more played.

Hill of Beath Hawthorn 6,

Sauchie 1.

HAWS came back from losing a very early goal to win this East of Scotland Premier League game comfortably.

In only three minutes the Clackmannanshire side took the lead when a long ball saw a good cross sent over and the ball was slid home.

Within five minutes the home side were level when Lewis Elder unleashed a rocket 25 yarder which flew into the net.

Then a few minutes later Calum Adamson latched onto Daniel Watt’s nod-on and finished well.

Sauchie came back well and put in some hard work without really posing any problems for Stuart Hall.

The second period saw Haws take complete charge and in 50 minutes they added another when Watt finished neatly, and five minutes later the striker added number four.

Sauchie’s defence was struggling badly now and on the hour Adamson struck a fifth and then with 15 minutes to go Lee Reid bulleted in a header to complete the scoring.

The result has Haws in fourth spot and 11 points behind leaders Boness, but with three games in hand.

Manager John Mitchell was delighted with the performance: “The first-half was very tight and the lads came back brilliantly after losing a goal in only a few minutes.

“The second period saw some really clinical finishing from us but we also defended very well throughout and that was an important aspect in the game. It sets us up for the two derby games we have coming up.”

Crossgates Primrose 3,

Dundonald Bluebell 3.

PRIMROSE looked dead and buried in this East of Scotland Premier League game with ten minutes left.

They were three down against ten men and looked out of it but the Humbug Park men staged a superb finish.

The ‘Bell made a great start to the game when Ross Drummond fired a free-kick into the bottom corner in five minutes and at this stage the visitors were dominating play.

In 20 minutes Dundonald scored again when Lewis McKenzie made no mistake from 12 yards.

There a few half chances for Primrose but nothing clear and at the other end ‘Bell could have got another.

Bluebell were shocked five minutes into the second period when Jamie Mackie put in a tough tackle and was given a straight red card but on the hour the shorthanded Moorsiders went three up when Aiden Hendry set up Calum Smith to head home.

Crossgates kept at it and Craig Nutt pulled one back with ten to go after the visiting defence failed to deal with a long ball .

Primrose went for another and in the last minute Derek Wallace fouled Archie Campbell in the Dundonald box and Scott Lawrie converted the spot-kick to set up a thrilling last few minutes.

In the fourth minute of time added on the ‘Bell defence got in a fankle defending a long punt and Kyle Brand fired in the equaliser.

The result has the teams on 20 points with Primrose having played four games more.

Bluebell boss Kevin Fotheringham was very disappointed at the way his team handled the last ten minutes of the game: “Even with ten men we were in control and were defending well.

“But in the closing seconds of the game we completely lost our composure and we gave away situations that should not have been allowed to happen.

“We are mentally soft defensively just now and we have to work hard at sorting that out because we are conceding too many goals.”

Lochore Welfare 4,

Whitburn 4.

A GOAL packed Super League game at Crosshill and four times the Welfare came back after going behind.

Whitburn, who are fourth in the table, grabbed the lead in five minutes, when the hosts were caught out but they came back well and Todd Arthur squared the game.

Lochore were posing the visitors problems and had a couple of chances to take the lead but it was Whitburn who got the second goal.

Lochore soon responded and Ben Rolland struck to ensure his team went in level at the break.

The Welfare needed to start the second-half well but inside 60 seconds they were 3-2 down as they were again caught out at the back but with 20 minutes left Greig Renton equalised.

Lochore were looking for the winner now and had chances but it was Whitburn who scored again in 80 minutes.

There was no denying the Lochore battlers though, and young Rolland struck again to give the home side a draw.

The point took Welfare onto eight points but strangely they went back to the bottom of the table as Harthill pulled off the shock of the day by beating leaders Livingston 3-1, but the Crosshill men have four games in hand.

Lochore boss, James Adam, was proud of the way his team never gave up: “It was very brave performance from the lads.

“We kept working hard and at times produced some really good football and scored some fine goals.

“The important thing was four times we came back against a team that is near the top of the table, so there were a lot of encouraging things to come from the game”.

West Calder United 1,

Lochgelly Albert 6.

ANOTHER goal laden performance from the Berts which took them into the top four of the South Division.

Lochgelly took the lead in the first minute with a move involving Sami Mitchell and James Gunn which saw Adam Haddow finish well and then Brian Clark saw a header cleared off the line, but in eight minutes West Calder levelled.

There were other chances for the Berts with Gunn seeing a shot cleared off the line and in 44 minutes they regained the lead when a long throw was headed home by the Lochgelly striker.

Before the break a long kick out by the United ‘keeper took a wicked bounce and it needed a great save from Shaun Hunter to keep it out.

West Calder contained Lochgelly well at the start of the second period but in 71 minutes Gunn took a Mitchell pass and rounded the ‘keeper to make it 3-1.

Three minutes later a cross from Ewan Robertson saw Haddow supply the chance for Gunn to complete his hat-trick and then he scored again in 77 minutes from a Haddow cross.

The Berts were not finished and Mitchell added a sixth late on to give them the win which closes the gap on third top Newburgh to seven points, who they play on Saturday.

Manager Andy Healy was delighted with the performance: “Again we were creating good chances throughout the game and scored some really good goals.

“Our aim is to put pressure on Newburgh by beating them at Gardiner’s Park this Saturday.”

Saturday’s fixtures, Lowland League, Kelty Hearts v East Stirling. East of Scotland League Premier Division, Hill of Beath Hawthorn v Crossgates Primrose (2.30), Sauchie v Dundonald Bluebell (2.30).

South Super League, Armadale Thistle v Lochore Welfare (1.45). South Division, Lochgelly Albert v Newburgh (1.45).