THE downpour of Saturday saw the local football card decimated with only Lochgelly Albert seeing action.

And with a sickness bug hitting the Berts' dressing room it meant them taking on Syngenta short of many regulars.

The weather caused real frustration for the local sides with Kelty Hearts' bid to keep up their challenge at the top of the Lowland League by winning at Edinburgh University, a victim of the weather, and the big derby between Dundonald Bluebell and Hill of Beath Hawthorn at Moorside also off.

Syngenta JFC 2,

Lochgelly Albert 1.

LOCHGELLY had only 12 fit players for this match, on the artificial surface at Grangemouth Stadium, due to a sickness bug which hit the Albert dressing room during the week and that factor, and a red card, cost them a result their performance deserved (see Derek Patrick's photographs from the match).

With six men out boss Andy Healy had to piece together a side capable of competing with the Grangemouth team which is battling with them for a top five finish in the South Division.

Albert started well and a Stephen Stark assist saw Ross Gallagher put the ball in the net but it was chalked off for an infringement.

The rain was falling steadily but both sides put together some nice moves with the visitors seeing Stark shoot just wide and then from a corner, Pat Armour fired inches past the post.

Syngenta put together a nice move which ended with the underside of Albert 'keeper Shaun Hunter's bar being struck.

In 28 minutes the visitors went ahead. Ryan Kinness started the move, which involved James Gunn and Stark, and it gave Pat Armour space to fire a fine shot into the net.

Syngenta hadn't really threatened the Berts too often but two minutes from the break they got back into the game when the Albert defence was caught out and the ball took a wicked deflection and fell to a home forward close in and he netted.

Five minutes after the break there were more problems for the Berts when Michael Perrie was upset by a decision and made his feelings known too loudly and was red carded.

The ten men battled on gamely and the nearest Syngenta came to taking the lead saw a shot hit the side net, while at the other end Craig McGuinness saw his effort blocked on the line and them Sami Mitchell came so close to grabbing the lead for the Lochgelly team.

As the ten men began to tire Syngenta went for a winner but Hunter and his defenders kept them out until the 83rd minute when the visitors' trialist defender pushed a Dyes' attacker going for a cross and the penalty was converted to give them all three points.

Andy Healy was pleased with the way his team handled the game: "The sickness bug certainly took its toll and really only one of our subs was fit at all, but the lads really competed well.

"The red card changed the whole complexion of the game, but there were a couple of chances after Michael Perrie's dismissal with which we came close to getting the second goal we needed.

"The result means we have to work even harder to ensure a top half finish in our remaining seven games ."

Clubs look for weather break for big games

AFTER the horrible weather of last weekend the local clubs will be hoping for better conditions this coming Saturday.

Kelty Hearts will be in the Borders for a very important Lowland League game with Gala Fairydean, while there is a big cup derby where Crossgates Primrose entertain Hill of Beath Hawthorn in the third round of the Football Nation Qualifying Cup at Humbug Park, after their loss to the Haws away from home in the league a couple of weeks ago.

Dundonald Bluebell are also in Football Nation action at Dunbar.

Saturday's fixtures, Lowland League, Gala Fairydean v Kelty Hearts (3pm).

Football Nation Qualifying Cup third round, Crossgates Primrose v Hill of Beath Hawthorn (1.30pm), Dunbar United v Dundonald Bluebell (2.30).

South Super League, Livingston United v Lochore Welfare (1.45pm).