Kelty Hearts 3 Edinburgh City 1

A BRACE from Alfie Bavidge helped inspire Kelty Hearts to an important comeback win over Edinburgh City in League One this afternoon.

The on-loan Aberdeen forward cancelled out Oliver McDonald's early opener for the already-relegated visitors before the break, before stroking home a penalty early in the second half.

Those goals, which took his tally for the season to 10 in maroon, was added to by Craig Johnston to give Kelty a crucial three points in their bid to steer clear of the relegation play-off spot.

Kelty stay sixth and are six points clear of second bottom Annan Athletic, who drew at Alloa Athletic, who sit ninth and in the relegation play-off position.

Player / boss Michael Tidser said: "We knew we had to win. Simple as that.

"To go a goal behind disrupted us a wee bit. I thought the boys looked a wee bit anxious and a wee bit nervous at times, myself included. I always, always add myself.

"We managed to get the goal to equalise. I think it took the shackles off us a wee bit. We get to half-time, sit them down, and say, look, come on, we're better than this. We're much better than this - we just need to play with a wee bit more composure, get the ball moving side-to-side, a wee couple of tactical tweaks as well, and then I think we score the second and third.

"The game's probably dead and buried then. It's about managing it and, again, it still stays scrappy, but we're probably the one that look like we're going to go and score a fourth, as opposed to them scoring a second.

"I'm really pleased."

Queen of the South, who Kelty visit next weekend, are three points behind Kelty after drawing at Hamilton Academical, a result that confirmed Falkirk as champions, as are Stirling Albion, who lost at Cove Rangers.

Tidser made three changes to his line-up following last weekend's loss at Annan.

One of those was enforced - Tam O'Ware missed out through suspension after a late red card at Galabank - whilst Reece Lyon and Billy Owens dropped to the bench.

Forward Bavidge, who missed Kelty's last two matches due to Scotland under-19 involvement, returned to the attack, whilst there also places in the starting eleven for Stefan McCluskey and Lewis Owens.

Lewis Moore attempted to give the hosts a fast start - having a shot blocked from inside the area, after the ball fell to him from Joe McGlynn, inside the opening minute - but the visitors stunned Kelty with the opener with their first attack.

Following a neat, patient passage of play, they worked the ball to the right edge of the area, where McDonald was positioned to send a fine shot into the far, bottom corner for his fourth goal of the season - and first since he netted in City's 3-2 loss at New Central Park to Kelty last month.

The City goalscorer then dragged an effort well wide of goal before Moore was denied by the feet of Adams, following a quickly taken free-kick by Tidser that sent him into the box.

Bavidge then sent a decent volley narrowly over before he pulled the hosts level with a superbly-worked team goal.

Stefan McCluskey's perfectly flighted ball down the right was chased by Craig Johnston, who took the ball around Adams as the keeper came rushing out to the edge of the box to try and deal with the danger.

Although Kelty's captain for the day found himself too far wide to shoot, he had the presence of mind and vision to pick his head up and cross for Bavidge, who headed into the empty net.

That goal was a relief for the home side, but Alieu Faye, almost immediately, forced Kyle Gourlay into a block at the other end, whilst both he and Liam Parker sent headers over the bar.

Findlay Marshall then sent a shot wide from 18 yards after the ball broke kindly for him on the stroke of half-time for Edinburgh, but they fell behind six minutes into the second half.

Callum Wilson was penalised by referee, Gavin Duncan, for sending Moore sprawling inside the box, allowing Bavidge to step up and send Adams the wrong way from 12 yards for his and Kelty's second of the afternoon.

Bavidge then brought out a good save from Adams, before McGlynn drove straight at him, as the hosts pushed for a third goal, but City served note that they could still be a threat when Momodou Sambou, after being forced wide by Brad McKay, shot into the side net.

However, moments after Sambou's effort, Kelty did extend their lead when Johnston found the net, assisted by Moore, for his ninth of the campaign.

Central Fife Times: Craig Johnston sealed the win for Kelty.Craig Johnston sealed the win for Kelty. (Image: David Wardle.)

That third goal gave Tidser's team a comfortable cushion, and they had a shout late on for a penalty when Adams clattered into the back of Johnston, after which Bavidge fired wide, but nothing was given.

It didn't matter, however, as Kelty comfortably saw out an important three points.

Kelty Hearts: Gourlay, McCluskey, McKay, L. Owens, Paterson, Moore (Cunningham 73), Tidser, O'Donnell (McAllister 73), McGlynn (B. Owens 84), Bavidge, Johnston.

Subs not used: Lyon, Biabi, Shearer, Garvie, Campbell.

Goals: Bavidge (29, 51 (pen)), Johnston (69) Edinburgh City: Adams, Mitchell, Flatman, Ewen, Parker, Zaid, Marshall, McDonald (MacNamara 73), Wilson (Mair 65), Sambou (Pitt 89), Faye (Devine 89).

Sub not used: Quate.

Goal: McDonald (8).

Booked: Wilson (63).

Referee: Gavin Duncan.

Attendance: 353.