THERE were fine East of Scotland League wins for Hill of Beath Hawthorn and Lochgelly Albert, on Saturday, while short-handed Dundonald Bluebell produced a good draw in their match with Haddington.

However, Crossgates Primrose, despite giving Premier League champions Broxburn Athletic a tough game, will now have to adjust to First Division football next term, and Lochore Welfare, also short on fit players, went down narrowly to Leith Athletic.

Hill of Beath Hawthorn 2, Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts 1.

THIS was a tense East of Scotland Premier Division derby fixture, with the Swifts desperate for a win to stay in the top set-up.

However, despite being a few regulars short through injury, Hill of Beath were anxious to pick up all three points to ensure they would finish the top Fife side in the East of Scotland set-up.

So the hosts opened well and in 15 minutes Jonny Galloway hit an Inverkeithing post, then the midfielder put Haws ahead in 25 minutes, when he burst through the Swifts’ defence and curled a 25 yarder into the net.

There was just the one in it at the break and in the second period a slack piece of home defending allowed Inverkeithing to get back into the game, when a short pass-back created the opening which the visitors accepted.

However, Haws were looking the sharper unit and they grabbed all three points when Dan Watt latched onto a through ball and went through to grab the winner.

The result put Haws on 47 points, with one game to be played, and they will finish seventh irrespective of the result against Penicuik this midweek.

Manager, Alan Moody, was delighted with the grit his team showed in a highly competitive match: “The Swifts were really battling for their lives and made it a tough game, but the lads did well again and were worthy winners.

“It was important that we won the game to finish the highest Fife side, and it was another very pleasing performance.

“Now this coming weekend, we have a League Cup fourth round tie with Sauchie, another hard game, but we will look to finish the season well with a good show.”

Dundonald Bluebell 2, Haddington Athletic 2.

A LATE Haddington goal denied Dundonald a win in this Premier League fixture at Moorside.

The ‘Bell were caught out in 10 minutes when they went a goal down but they were soon on the attack and a Luke Kennedy 20 yarder levelled the game before the interval.

Dundonald continued to have the better of possession and in 70 minutes a good shot from the edge of the box from Ross Brown put them ahead.

There were opportunities for Bluebell to make the win safe but the key third goal would not come for them, and in the closing minutes the home defence failed to clear a throw and Haddington struck to earn a point.

The Bluebell are now on 39 points, with two games to play, and if they win them both they will move up to eighth in the table.

Manager Stephen Husband felt that his team should have won the match: “We had a lot of good possession and should really have secured the three points.

“It was good to see Lewis McKenzie back for half an hour, after being out for a long time with injury, and our aim will be to finish the season on a high by winning the last two games.”

Broxburn Athletic 3, Crossgates Primrose 2.

THE Primrose knew they were relegated before their match with champions Broxburn kicked-off, but they went out to give the West Lothian side a tough game.

The champs started brightly and produced a couple of good early openings, but Crossgates held on.

Broxburn kept probing and went ahead with a neat finish, but Crossgates saw Cammy Muirhead go close before Athletic struck again to lead 2-0 at the break.

The visitors came back at Athletic, and pulled one back in 55 minutes when David Cross struck with a good finish, and then with 20 minutes left Craig Henderson levelled the game.

Crossgates saw the chance of a shock result in the making, and went all out to try and grab a third goal, but in the closing moments Broxburn made it their 23rd league win of the season with a late goal.

So Crossgates, despite someone valiant performances in the closing stages of the season, finish on 20 points, seven adrift of safety, and they will be joined in the First Division by Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts and Kinnoull.

Lochore Welfare 1, Leith Athletic 2.

SHORT of several regulars, Lochore hoped to improve their position in the East of Scotland First Division, but Leith held on to collect the points.

After their win on Thursday at Oakley, Lochore opened the game by dominating possession but Leith hit on the break effectively and in 25 minutes took the lead.

That was the only goal of the first-half, and in the second period Welfare created chances but failed to take them, and just after the hour Leith struck again.

Lochore kept attacking and there were other openings for them, but none were taken until Ethan Anderson struck to gave them the chance of a point.

Leith were fully stretched, but through some desperate defending they held on to win the game.

The result leaves the Welfare on 26 points, from 24 games, in a mathematically safe position but manager James Adam felt his team should have beaten Leith: “The lads have found the packed schedule a real test, but they battled hard in this one and were the better side throughout.

“However, our finishing on the day was not up to scratch and they held on against the run of play, which was very disappointing.

Lochgelly Albert 3, Livingston United 0.

THE Berts took time to wear down the Livingston resistance, in this East of Scotland Third Division game, at Purvis Park.

Lochgelly started the game well and created a few good chances, but there was a bit of composure lacking in the home finishing in the early stages.

However, in 25 minutes the home side broke the deadlock when Jens Moret went down the left, and his cross was met by the deadly Scott Russell, who finished well.

Then soon after Russell turned provider with a fine pass to Owen Dews, who converted expertly.

Shortly before the break it was almost 3-0, when Rhuarid Garvie hit the bar with a header.

The early stages of the second period were a little scrappy but then Lochgelly stepped things up, and Russell hit the bar, then Moret burst forward from his own half and sent a fine shot wide of the Livi ‘keeper to tie up the scoring.

The result has Lochgelly on 39 points, from 28 games, and if they were to win their last two fixturse it would give them a chance to finish in the top six.

Berts committee man, Derek Patrick, was delighted with the fourth win for his side on the trot: “There were a couple of scrappy patches at times but we again created plenty of chances and to get within touching distance of 40 points is something we could only have dreamt of after our poor start to the season.”

Fixtures, Wednesday: East of Scotland First Division – Whitburn v Lochore Welfare 7.30pm; East of Scotland Third Division – Lochgelly Albert v Edinburgh Community 7.30pm. Saturday: League Cup 4th round – Hill of Beath Hawthorn v Sauchie Athletic 2.30pm, Haddington Athletic v Crossgates Primrose 2.30pm; East of Scotland Premier Division – Dundonald Bluebell v Dunbar United 2.30pm; East of Scotland First Division – Lochore Welfare v St Andrews United 2.30pm; East of Scotland Third Division – Hawick Royal Albert v Lochgelly Albert 2.30pm.