SATURDAY’S East of Scotland programme saw only one win for the five local sides.

The three Premier League sides lost, as did First Division Lochore Welfare, with the only local win of the day going to Lochgelly Albert, in the Third Division.

Hutchie Vale 2, Hill of Beath Hawthorn 1.

A LAST minute goal saw Hill of Beath Hawthorn pipped at the post by Hutchie Vale, in Edinburgh.

Hutchie, striving to finish the season in third top spot in the Premier League, opened the game well and created several good chances early in the game, but Haws defended well, and got to the break level.

Vale started the second period pushing for a goal and got the breakthrough in 51 minutes, but Haws pressed back into the game and Dan Watt’s header, in 71 minutes, levelled things.

Both teams created openings in the closing stages, but the defences were working well, and the game looked like finishing level, then with the last move of the game, Vale fired home an 18 yard shot to capture all three points and strengthen their bid to finish in third top spot.

Haws are sitting on 44 points, from 29 games, and coach, Steve Clark, was disappointed to lose the match with virtually the last kick: “Hutchie had the better of the first-half, but we worked really hard to limit their opportunities, and it was pleasing to reach the interval level.

“On balance Hutchie had the better chances, but to lose to the last kick of the game was galling.”

Musselburgh Athletic 4, Dundonald Bluebell 0.

BURGH clinched the runners-up spot in the Premier League, with this convincing win over a severely understrength Bluebell, at Olive Bank.

Athletic came at Dundonald right from the kick-off, but the visitors kept them out, then a penalty-kick gave the home side the chance to take the lead.

This settled Musselburgh and a second goal in the 25th minute boosted home confidence and they added two more in 35 minutes and 40 minutes to make it 4-0 at the break.

Bluebell tried hard to make things more difficult for Musselburgh in the second-half and clear chances for both sides were few and and at the end of the day the visitors were happy to leave without any further damage.

Dundonald are sitting on 38 points, from 27 games, in ninth place but having only 12 players fit for the game made things difficult for them as manager Stephen Husband commented: “Burgh were really working their socks off to try and get a win to clinch second top spot, and the first-half was a really torrid time for us.

“Credit to the lads, they kept working away but it has been a really tough time for them and we hope that we can finish our season with three home games that can produce a good result or two, but unfortunately we are not going to see many players recover their fitness for these matches.”

Crossgates Primrose 1, Dunbar United 2.

CROSGGATES could have done with a win from this Premier League game, at Humbug Park, to ease their relegation worries, but United ground out three points to keep their hopes of a top five finish alive.

Dunbar started the game well and took the lead with a good finish in 15 minutes.

Then six minutes later the home defence was caught out and Dunbar went two ahead, but credit to the Primrose, they battled back and in 28 minutes Paul Brown made the score 2-1.

The second-half saw Crossgates keep battling away and there were chances to get level in the game, but a mixture of good goalkeeping and some wayward finishing defied their efforts.

The result leaves Crossgates on 20 points, with two games left, and they need to win both of these to have a chance of avoiding the drop.

Lochore Welfare 1, Heriot Watt University 3.

THE Students just managed to quell the Welfare challenge in this East of Scotland First Division clash, at Crosshill.

The Welfare’s packed programme has been seeing them play four games a week and it has seen the squad struggle with injuries.

They had only 13 fit players for this game, with Heriot Watt, but started the game well and Joe Kirby went clean through, but failed to hit the target, and then Mattie Christie saw a shot brilliantly saved.

However, Heriot Watt were trying to hit on the break and before half-time they mounted a raid which saw them take the lead.

Lochore came back at the visitors and in 70 minutes Scott Warrender equalised with a well taken goal.

The Welfare went for a winner and there were chances for them, but Heriot Watt survived, and late on broke away to grab the lead again.

As Lochore pressed for an equaliser, the useful Students side broke away yet again to clinch the win which leaves Lochore still needing safety points.

Said manager, James Adam: “We played pretty well, but missed too many chances to be honest.

“I am hoping that we will have at least a couple of lads back fit for this week’s important games at Oakley, on Thursday night, and at home to Leith Athletic on Saturday.”

Lochgelly Albert 6, Linton Hotspur 0.

ANOTHER good performance from the Berts who strengthened their bid to finish in the top six of the East of Scotland Third Division and in it, striker Scott Russell hit his third hat-trick of the season.

Lochgelly took the lead in four minutes when Declan Boyle’s close-in header gave the Linton ‘keeper no chance, then in 12 minutes Russell got his first goal of the afternoon, when he cut in from the left and fired a fine shot into the net.

Hotspur were finding themselves under constant pressure, and 12 minutes from the break Calum Bennell celebrated his 21st birthday with a 12-yard shot into the top corner to make it 3-0.

And it could have been more before the interval with Russell twice defied by the Hotspur ‘keeper.

The second-half did not improve things for Linton and on the hour Russell went solo and finished with style to make it 4-0.

Lochgelly were going forward constantly, and six minutes later Russell completed his treble with a well placed header, and with 15 minutes left Boyle grabbed his second goal with another good header.

And there was still time for the Albert’s Scott Houston to rattle the visitors’ bar.

The win has pushed the Berts on to 36 points, from 27 games, and with three fixtures left they can earn a top half of table finish, not bad when you remember they collected one point from their first 10 games!

Albert committee man, Derek Patrick, was delighted to report that ace striker, Scott Russell, has signed on for next season: “It was a very good performance from the team and it saw Scott move his tally for the season to well over 20 goals.

“We are delighted that he is staying with the club and to have a 20 goals-plus striker in the ranks is excellent.”

Fixtures, Thursday: East of Scotland First Division - Oakley United v Lochore Welfare 7.30pm. Saturday: East of Scotland League Premier Division - Broxburn Athletic v Crossgates Primrose 2.30pm, Dundonald Bluebell v Haddington Athletic 2.30pm, Hill of Beath Hawthorn v Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts 2.30pm. East of Scotland First Division - Lochore Welfare v Leith Athletic 2.30pm. East of Scotland Third Division - Lochgelly Albert v Livingston United 2.30pm.