LOCHORE WELFARE completed a frustrating East of Scotland League, First Division campaign with a comfortable success at Vale of Leithen last midweek.

James Adam's side were 4-1 victors at the league's bottom side, who were relegated alongside Oakley United, after a dominant display.

It took them just eight minutes to take the lead through Joe Kirby's good finish and, six minutes later, they struck again through Ethan Anderson.

Vale then had a better spell, but failed to test the Lochore defence, before Gregg Page added a third ahead of the break.

An improved second period from the hosts was rewarded with a goal from James Flynn, 13 minutes from time, but Kilby had the final say, netting his second and Welfare's fourth late on.

They finished third from bottom - although 19 points clear of second bottom Oakley - and just five points adrift of Leith Athletic, who finished eighth.

Adam was frustrated that his team had to play a third of the season in a five-week spell, which tested their small squad, commenting: "Having to play three games a week for some considerable time, and then latterly four a week, asked a lot of our resources.

"The lads did brilliantly in very trying circumstances, but the damage done by one of the wettest seasons in a long time was difficult for all the clubs in the East of Scotland League.

"We went weeks without a game due to the downpours, and then when the weather improved the games came thick and fast.

"I felt the team did well in most of our games, but perhaps at times we did not convert enough of some very good chances.

"However, we are still a First Division side, and hopefully we can add to the squad to give us the opportunity to look to become a solid mid-table side next season, or better."

Meanwhile, Hill of Beath Hawthorn boss, Allan Moody, was pleased that his team consolidated their place in the Premier Division.

He guided them to seventh in the league and praised his players for their application throughout the campaign.

Former Newburgh boss Moody, who also turned out for the Haws as a player, said: "Our first aim when we arrived at the club was to stabilise results, after a poor start, and at that stage if we could achieve a mid-table position it would have been pleasing.

Central Fife Times: Hill of Beath Hawthorn ended the season seventh in the Premier Division.Hill of Beath Hawthorn ended the season seventh in the Premier Division. (Image: David Wardle.)

"But the lads quickly showed us that they had a willingness to work really hard in training, and on the pitch, and with the quality of players we had they started to put together some excellent results.

"They kept up the momentum and the results had the consistency which gave us the opportunity to look at a top half of the table finish."

That momentum kept them piling up the points and more successes saw them finish with a decent haul.

"To finish with 50 points was something we could only have dreamt about in the autumn, but it was the result of a string of first-class performances,” Moody continued.

“The Premier League has some very strong sides in it, and is a real challenge, but our players met this challenge head-on and their hard work was well rewarded.

“Our players stood up to the task and I have nothing but praise for the skill and application shown by them throughout the season."

Now the manager is looking ahead to the next campiagn and has already looked at adding to the Haws’ line-up: "There are areas that can be strengthened and I have some players in mind that can help us.

“Hopefully over the coming few weeks we can add to our squad, and by August, be ready for the new challenge that will await us.

“It would be good to improve on last season’s performance, and while it will not be at all easy, that has to be our target.”