Queen of the South 1 Kelty Hearts 3

KELTY HEARTS fought back from a goal down to record an impressive win at Queen of the South and maintain their hold on a League One promotion play-off place.

Michael Tidser's team bounced back from their home defeat against Cove Rangers the previous week in style at Palmerston on Saturday by defeating the Doonhamers for a second time this season.

Since being promoted to the third tier in 2022, the New Central Park outfit have enjoyed a good run of results against the Dumfries side, recording four wins from five meetings prior to the weekend.

The last game between the teams saw Kelty recover from a one goal deficit to win 3-1 on home turf in September, and history repeated itself in their latest encounter.

The visitors fell behind on the half hour when, after goalkeeper, Kyle Gourlay, made a superb double save to deny Craig McGuffie, Jason Thomson was unfortunate to divert the resulting corner into the bottom corner of his own net.

On the stroke of half-time, however, Kelty pulled level when player / manager Tidser's corner to the far post was met by Fergus Owens, who headed through a crowd of bodies and into the net, despite attempts from a Queens defender to clear from the line.

The on-loan Hamilton Academical defender's first goal in maroon provided the catalyst for a turnaround, which the visitors completed within 10 minutes of the restart.

The second period was only four minutes old when Kelty went ahead - and, not for the first time against the Doonhamers, it was Tidser who found the net.

Reece Lyon was unfortunate to see his header brilliantly saved from close range by Harry Stone, after Lewis Moore had picked him out with a superb cross, but picked up the loose ball.

Lyon played it back to Billy Owens, who touched it on for Tidser, who brilliantly stepped inside McGuffie before shooting from the edge of the box.

His effort took a deflection off Kyle McClelland, but found the net for his second goal of the campaign, with the other coming against Queens in September.

Shortly afterwards, the 'Maroon Machine' made the game safe when a fine move, involving Lewis O'Donnell, Tidser and Botti Biabi, after being started by Lyon, was ended by the former Greenock Morton midfielder firing a fine strike across goal for his sixth goal of the season.

The victory keeps Kelty fourth in League One, four points behind third-placed Cove, with 21 points from their 14 matches played so far, ahead of Saturday's trip to second-top Hamilton Academical on Scottish Cup duty.

Tidser has been delighted with his team's start to the campaign, commenting: "The boys have been different class for me. I really couldn't ask for any more in terms of their application, their willingness to go and work for each other, and ultimately try and win games of football.

"In all those aspects it's been pleasing, but I think if you would ask most of the boys, we probably should have a few more points on the board. It's just a work in progress, it's new to us, so it's been a good start."