DUNDONALD Bluebell will host League Two leaders Queen’s Park in the next round of the Scottish Cup after beating Easthouses while Hill of Beath’s reward for defeating Whitehill Welfare is a trip to the Highlands to face Keith.

Kelty Hearts, drawn against Jeanfield Swifts in the cup, swept a hail of goals past Gretna to go clear at the top of the Lowland League while heavy rain put paid to the other local fixtures.

Dundonald Bluebell 4 Easthouses Lily 2

BLUEBELL moved this game to Stark’s Park when the wet weather put Moorside out of action on Friday and were rewarded with a place in the first round of the Scottish Cup.

Dundonald wanted to get this preliminary second round tie on and booking Raith Rovers ground proved to be a smart move.

They go an early boost and took the lead in 11 minutes when Craig Wedderburn fired home from close range. The ball broke to him after the defence failed to clear a set piece and he gave Easthouses ‘keeper no chance.

There was a blow for the ‘Bell soon after when young Keiron Dall had to go off after a challenge from the Lily ‘keeper, it was later discovered the youngster’s leg was broken, and Calum Strang entered the fray.

A foul in the box by trialist goalkeeper Darren Somerville saw Easthouses get the chance to get back into the game from the penalty spot. Somerville, who had an eventful game when he came in for the injured James Lennox, made amends with a fine save to keep them in front.

Dundonald built on this in 27 minutes when they doubled their lead. After a good move Scott Durie buried the ball into the net from 25 yards. That was the score at the break, but three minutes into the second period Bluebell scored a third when Strang burst through and he passed to Stuart Cargill who made no mistake.

It was all about Dundonald and in 55 minutes they grabbed a fourth when Lewis McKenzie headed the ball home. However, they were soon down to 10 men when Bowhill Rovers man Somerville was sent off for a second yellow, after conceding a second penalty. Jed Crowe went between the sticks but couldn’t stop Lily getting a goal back.

Bluebell nerves started jangling when Easthouses grabbed a second goal with five minutes remaining but the Fifers held firm, closing ranks to ensure they booked a home tie against Queen’s Park.

Manager Kevin Fotheringham said: “It was tremendous that we got the chance of playing the tie at Stark’s Park, after Moorside was ruled out, and Raith Rovers were generous hosts and we thank them.

“We played well in spells and got four goals clear, but when we went down to 10 men Easthouses came back at us and the lads handled the situation well.

“It is an exciting draw to get Queen’s Park at home and something for everyone at the club to look forward to.”

Hill of Beath Hawthorn 2 Whitehill Welfare 1

THE Haws got through this Scottish Cup second preliminary round tie and will now face Highland League side Keith in the first round.

However Welfare made them work hard for their place and the tie was in the balance for long spells.

It started with a bang with the Haws taking the lead in six minutes when Calum Adamson took advantage of Whitehill’s botched offside trap.

The winger ran on to Ryan Connelly’s pass and found the net. Three minutes later they scored again when a lovely cross was headed past the ‘keeper by the flying Jake Mitchell.

However, Whitehill scored in 14 minutes when a foul in the Haws box by ‘keeper Stuart Hall saw a penalty awarded. He tried to make amends and saved the initial shot but the rebound was fired home.

Whitehill started to play with a lot more confidence and before the break Hall made two fine saves to keep his team in front. In the second half the Haws created several good chances, with an overhead kick from Mitchell so close to a third goal.

Connelly then tried his luck from range with two drives skidding just off target as they tried to kill the tie. Welfare pushed for a leveller but Haws held on.

They were handed a trip to face Keith and Haws boss John Mitchell said: “We came out of the traps flying and scored two good goals but credit to Welfare who kept at it.

“However, we defended very solidly and kept them at arms’ length in the second period and could have scored two more with some good moves. It is excellent to get into the first round proper of the Scottish Cup although we would have preferred a home tie on Boxing Day.”

Kelty Hearts 7 Gretna 2008 0

A NATHAN Austin hat-trick and a penalty double from Kallum Higginbotham allowed Hearts to stretch their lead at the top of the Lowland League while their rivals were in Scottish Cup action.

Kelty were in the groove inside three minutes when Austin was fouled in the box and Higginbotham stroked away the spot kick. Gretna came back and had a great chance, but from only a few yards out the ball was blasted over the bar.

The day went downhill from there for the Borders side and they were soon two down. Skipper Michael Tidser, Thomas Reilly and Dylan Easton combined to send Austin clean through and he coolly beat the ‘keeper.

Goalie Scott Jamieson denied Gretna and four minutes from the break Paddy Boyle crossed for a fine Ryan Shanley volley that Austin helped into the net.

Easton saw his free-kick thump off the Gretna bar just before the half-time whistle and Hearts had to wait for the hour mark for goal number four, with Austin bursting through the defence with a 30 yard run that ended when he slotted the ball into the net.

Kelty went nap when Ross Philp was hauled down for another penalty and Higginbotham was again on the spot. Philp turned creator when he made space to send over a lovely delivery that Matty Flynn slotted home, with the goalie stranded, to make it 6-0.

The magnificent seventh came late on when Easton took the ball around the ‘keeper after a good home move. Hearts are four points clear at the top of the table.

Manager Barry Ferguson said: “Gretna are a young and spirited team, but we started at a high tempo and got the early goal which gave us momentum. We played well and scored some good goals and it was three welcome points, but we still have room for improvement.”

Sunday’s Scottish Cup first round draw gave Hearts a home tie with East of Scotland Premier League side Jeanfield Swifts on December 26.

Saturday’s fixtures, Lowland League, Kelty Hearts v Stirling University 3pm.

East of Scotland Premier League, Crossgates Primrose v Sauchie 1.30pm, Dundonald Bluebell v Penicuik Athletic 1.30pm, Hill of Beath Hawthorn v Newtongrange Star 2.30pm.

East of Scotland First Division Conference B, Stirling University v Lochgelly Albert 2.30pm, Lochore Welfare v Eyemouth United 1.30pm.