Annan Athetic 5 Kelty Hearts 1, cinch SPFL League Two

KELTY HEARTS' unbeaten start to to SPFL League Two came crashing to an end after 17 games following a heavy defeat at Annan Athletic.

A half-time red card for Jordon Forster, for what was alleged to have been dissent either side of two goals for the hosts, turned the tide in the home team's favour.

Nathan Austin took advantage of an error from a Steven Swinglehurst error to give Kevin Thomson's team the lead, but Owen Moxon's excellent strike in first half stoppage time pulled the Galabankies level at the break.

Michael Garrity's effort within a minute of the restart gave Peter Murphy's team the lead, before Tony Wallace - a second half substitute - grabbed a hat-trick, including a penalty, within the final 14 minutes to ensure third-top Annan are the first League Two team to defeat the SPFL newcomers this season.

However, Kelty remain seven points clear at the top after second placed Forfar Athletic lost 4-3 at home to Stenhousemuir.

Thomson made two changes to the team that defeated Stranraer 4-0 at Stair Park last time out, with Josh Donaldson coming in for Darren Jamieson in goal, while defender Dougie Hill missed out, with Ross Philp stepping in.

Goals from Jamie Barjonas and Kallum Higginbotham saw Kelty win the reverse fixture 2-1 in October, and they started brightly in this one.

Austin had two early sights of goal - the first being a header that was cleared off the line by Dominic Docherty, and the second ending with a shot over after excellent control on the chest to turn away from his marker after being picked up superbly at the far post by Joe Cardle - as they looked for seventh victory in eight away matches.

They came close to taking the lead in the 20th minute when, after a fine passing move that was started by skipper Michael Tidser around halfway, Barjonas' effort from eight yards from Connor Barron's low centre was pushed onto the bar by Annan keeper Greg Fleming.

The home side then had a decent spell themselves, with Matthew Douglas jeading over from Chris Johnston's cross, who then set up Lewis Hunter to test Donaldson, but it was Kelty who broke the deadlock.

It's not a moment for Swinglehurst to look back on fondly, as his mistake allowed Austin to win the ball and send a fine finish low beyond Fleming for his 17th goal of the season.

Daniel Finlayson headed not too far wide after lovely play from Higginbotham on the right to find space to cross, but it was Annan who scored the next goal a minute before the break.

And it was a well-taken goal, too, with Moxon playing a one-two with Johnston before sending a superb half-volley beyond the helpless Donaldson from around 20 yards out.

That wasn't the end of the first half drama, though, as following the whistle to mark the end of opening period, Forster was sent off for what is thought to have been something he said as the players were making his way up the tunnel.

It was a significant moment in the game and, within 60 seconds of the restart, the visitors were behind when Garrity cut inside into the penalty area and sent a right foot shot beyond Donaldson, despite his best attempts to keep it out.

Kelty tried to respond, with Finlayson heading over from a corner and Alfredo Agyeman being sent on for Cardle, and the substitute almost immediately tried his luck but was blocked out.

Garrity and Hunter both had decent efforts for Annan, while Austin latched on to a long ball and, although he beat Fleming, he couldn't find the power to send it into the net as Charlie Barnes cleared.

With 17 minutes left to play, Wallace was sent on in place of Docherty, and within three minutes he had scored his team's third.

Garrity did the legwork on the left, laying the ball into the substitute who, having had his first effort blocked well by Donaldson, made no mistake from the rebound.

It was a goal that you sensed had taken the game away from Kelty but, to be fair to Thomson's men, they kept going.

Barjonas was unfortunate with a good strike from range that was off-target, but a penalty conceded by substitute Thomas Reilly for a foul on Garrity allowed Wallace to slot home his second of the game.

Then, in stoppage time, Wallace shifted the ball onto his left from 16 yards to make it 5-1, after Hunter had struck the bar moments earlier, to seal a stunning win for Annan and condemn Kelty to a first league loss of the season.

Annan Athletic: Fleming, Barnes, Clark, Moxon (Fleming 90), Douglas, Swinglehurst (Lowdon 90), Hunter, Docherty (Wallace 73), Smith (Goss 89), Garrity, Johnston (Purdue 89).

Subs not used: Adamson, Anderson, McCartney, Steele.

Goals: Moxon (44), Garrity (46), Wallace (76, 86, pen, 90).

Kelty Hearts: Donaldson, Philp (Reilly 79), Forster, Finlayson (Biabi 79), Ngweyna, Barron, Tidser, Barjonas, Higginbotham, Cardle (Agyeman 55), Austin.

Subs not used: Hooper, McNab, McGurk, O'Ware.

Goal: Austin (36).

Sent off: Forster (45).

Referee: Craig Napier.

Attendance: 372.