THE three matches which went ahead on Saturday, involving local East of Scotland League sides, saw Hill of Beath Hawthorn and Lochgelly Albert maintain their winning runs, and Dundonald Bluebell collect a very useful away point.

Haws’ home win over title chasing Jeanfield Swifts made it five victories on the bounce, and it was the same sort of story for the Berts, who beat Third Division leaders Bathgate Thistle to extend their unbeaten run to six games.

Hill of Beath Hawthorn 3, Jeanfield Swifts 2.

FOURTH top of the Premier Division, Swifts, were a stiff challenge for Haws, and the game was a really exciting affair for the good crowd at Keirs Park.

Central Fife Times: Action from Hill of Beath Hawthorn's victory over Jeanfield Swifts.Action from Hill of Beath Hawthorn's victory over Jeanfield Swifts. (Image: David Wardle)

Hill of Beath went ahead in the seventh minute when Jordan Tosh got on the end of a Brandon Luke’s cross at the far post, and gave the ‘keeper no chance.

Eighteen minutes later Ross Allum was pulled down in the Jeanfield box and Jake Mitchell fired the resultant penalty in the top corner of the net to double the home lead, after the guilty defender was sent-off for a second yellow card.

Swifts started to pose issues for the hosts and in 35 minutes they made the interval score 2-1 with a good finish.

Five minutes into the second period Allum latched on to a good pass and went through to put Hill of Beath 3-1 up, but within five minutes Jeanfield made it 3-2.

Central Fife Times: Action from Hill of Beath Hawthorn's victory over Jeanfield Swifts.Action from Hill of Beath Hawthorn's victory over Jeanfield Swifts. (Image: David Wardle)

Then when Calum Runciman brought down a Jeanfield striker to give away a penalty and was red carded, Swifts had a chance to square the game, but a fine save from home ‘keeper, Blair Penman, kept the hosts ahead.

The ten-a-side match saw some exciting moments in the closing minutes and some cool defending by Haws saw them bravely hold on to bring their points tally to 33, and a solid seventh place in the table.

Manager Alan Moody was delighted with the battling qualities shown by his team: “Jeanfield are a very good side and we knew that we would have to be on the alert for the entire 90 minutes, but the lads’ mental approach to the match was superb and they battled for every ball throughout the game.

“Blair Penman’s fine penalty save completed a really good day for us, to complete our fifth successive win.”

Central Fife Times: Action from Hill of Beath Hawthorn's victory over Jeanfield Swifts.Action from Hill of Beath Hawthorn's victory over Jeanfield Swifts. (Image: David Wardle)

Sauchie Athletic 1, Dundonald Bluebell 1.

A SOLID performance from the Bluebell saw them collect a point at sixth top of the Premier League Sauchie.

The first-half saw both sides battle for midfield supremacy and few good chances were created, despite maximum effort from the players.

Regan Lumsden came close with a neat lob which the ‘keeper dealt with well, but there were no goals at the break.

The second period saw Bluebell take the lead on the hour when Aiden Hendry was pulled down in the box and Lewis McKenzie fired home the resultant penalty.

Sauchie kept working hard and squared the game when the visiting defence was caught out by a set piece with a free header making it 1-1.

The closing stages of the game saw defences dominate and there were few good chances for a winner.

The result sees Bluebell move on to 26 points, from 16 games, and they have four games in hand on the top six teams.

‘Bell boss, Stephen Husband, said: “We lacked a bit of quality in the last third of the pitch, and couldn’t create the chances we need to beat a solid Sauchie team.

“However, we defended very solidly, which was very pleasing, and to come away from Sauchie with a point is never a bad result.”

Bathgate Thistle 2, Lochgelly Albert 3.

THE Berts made an amazing start to this match with top of the Third Division, Bathgate Thistle, and produced a performance which gave them a sixth game undefeated.

There was only 30 seconds on the clock when Scott Russell worked himself into the Thistle box and his perfect chip beat the ‘keeper.

Bathgate came back at the Berts, but they defended well until the 27th minute, when a short pass-back was picked up by a Thistle striker and he made it 1-1.

That was the situation at the break, then early in the second period young Owen Hughes got clear of his marker and went one-on-one with the Bathgate ‘keeper and restored the Lochgelly lead.

Thistle came back at Lochgelly and on the hour they squared the game, but the Berts were soon on the look-out for another goal but it came in a strange sort of way. The home ‘keeper made a hash of  clearance and sent the ball straight to Russell, who coolly slotted home number three.

In the closing stages Bathgate came at the visitors strongly but some good saves by Lochgelly ‘keeper, Adam Shaw, ensured the win which takes the visitors on to 23 points and sixth spot in the table.

Lochgelly committee man, Derek Patrick, said: “Bathgate had only lost one game in the league all season, but the lads took a lot of confidence from getting the early goal and really played very well.

“We posed them a lot of issues and then later in the game defended superbly, with young Adam Shaw doing excellently late in the game.”

Saturday’s fixtures: East of Scotland Premier League - Crossgates Primrose v Hutchison’s Vale 2.30pm, Dundonald Bluebell v Kinnoull 2.30pm, Musselburgh Athletic v Hill of Beath Hawthorn 2.30pm. East of Scotland First Division - Lochore Welfare v Blackburn United 2.30pm. East of Scotland Third Division - Lochgelly Albert v Fauldhouse United 2.30pm.