CROSSGATES Primrose and Lochore Welfare produced good performances on Saturday to collect winning results.
However, in the Scottish Cup, Hill of Beath Hawthorn lost out at Huntly, while Dundonald Bluebell went down to a narrow league defeat at Musselburgh.
Huntly 3 Hill of Beath Hawthorn 0
THE Haws had to take on Highland League Huntly in the first round of the Scottish Cup with many regulars missing, and they made a bad start to the game.
Goalkeeper James Donaldson had to make several good stops in the opening phase of the match but he had no chance in 20 minutes when Huntly grabbed the lead.
This gave the hosts extra momentum and when they struck again three minutes later the Keirs Parkers were up against it.
The Haws came back strongly and Calum Adamson posed a few problems for the home defence but there were no goals for the visitors.
The second-half saw Hill of Beath have some half chances early on but they needed a goal to get back into the game and it would not come and on the hour Huntly struck again.
Haws kept at it but they could not get the goal they needed to pose problems for the home side.
Haws boss John Mitchell said: “Our injury issues meant that we could have been better prepared for this difficult tie, with only two substitutes available to go on the pitch.
“We started well enough but two goals within three minutes gave us an uphill task. The lads never gave in though and had a couple of chances to pull one back before they got their third.
“One of the best aspects of the day was that for the first time since the Covid pandemic started we were able to travel as a team in a coach and the players enjoy a shower after the game, as well as the excellent hospitality provided by Huntly.”
Musselburgh Athletic 3 Dundonald Bluebell 2
DUNDONALD were always in this East of Scotland Premier League game, at Olive Bank, but ended up paying for defensive errors.
Indeed, the ‘Bell took the lead in 10 minutes when Stephen Husband’s 16 yarder gave the ‘keeper no chance.
There were a couple of other good openings for the Moorsiders, but at the interval they were only a goal up.
Ten minutes into the second period a poor piece of defending by Dundonald saw the Athletic level the game, and then in the 70th minute a bad tackle in the Bluebell box saw Musselburgh get the chance to go ahead from the penalty spot, which they accepted.
Five minutes later Bluebell were level again when Ross Drummond and Stuart Cargill combined well and Barry Sibanda clipped the ball past the ‘keeper.
However, in 85 minutes some more poor work by the Bluebell rearguard saw Musselburgh take advantage of a free header to go ahead again.
There was still time for Colin Wilson and Cargill to combine but the finish was too high.
The game gave the Bluebell the chance to move into the top four, but it was Musselburgh who achieved that and manager Kevin Fotheringham was very disappointed: “We really are shooting ourselves in the foot at the moment.
“We were always in the game, but we gave away two terrible goals and a needless penalty, but we really still should have taken at least a point from the game.”
Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts 3 Crossgates Primrose 5
A GOAL packed game at Dalgety Bay in the Alex Jack Cup and a good win for Crossgates.
Yet the Swifts made a great start with a goal in the very first minute, but it did not take Primrose long to come back into it and a fine volley from Scott Lawrie levelled things up four minutes later.
Crossgates started to dominate and in 20 minutes they went ahead when Cammy Muirhead’s curling 20 yard shot flew into the net.
Inverkeithing were struggle to match the pace of Crossgates and on the half hour it was 3-1 when Brian Ritchie netted with a strong header.
Swifts made a fine start to the second period when they scored a good goal, but within a minute a fine move opened up the Hillfield defence and Muirhead scored from close in.
Seven minutes from the end Swifts scored again to make it an interesting finish, but Muirhead completed his hat-trick from the spot after some rash defending by Inverkeithing.
Newburgh 0 Lochore Welfare 3
AN emphatic win for the Welfare on Tayside which sees them move top of Conference B.
The visitors opened the game well and forced eight early corners and from one of them Euan Sutherland saw a strong header well saved.
Lochore grabbed the lead in 20 minutes when Calum Murray’s cross gave Jamie Leslie the chance to slide the ball into the net.
The visitors kept pressing and on the half hour Robbie Crawford’s corner was headed home by Ethan Anderson.
In the early moments of the second period Crawford saw his shot cleared off the line by a ‘Burgh defender, then Leslie saw his shot drift inches wide.
In 65 minutes Sutherland was hauled down by a Newburgh defender in the box, but Lee Celentano, who was having a good game, saw his spot-kick saved.
Newburgh caused a stir with a corner which led to problems for Lochore, but with five minutes to go Crawford found James Adam, the Welfare boss who came on as a late sub, and his shot was blocked only as far as Leslie who netted the third.
The result has Lochore on 21 points, a point clear at the top of Conference B, and James Adam is delighted with the position: “We played some really good football at Newburgh but unfortunately missed a lot of good chances.
“We should have made the game safe long before the 85th minute but it is really pleasing to be top of the table.
“Our aim has to be keep on winning but we must keep working on our finishing which is a little bit wayward at the moment.”
Saturday’s fixtures, East of Scotland Premier Division, Hill of Beath Hawthorn v Newtongrange Star 2.30pm, Dundonald Bluebell v Penicuik Athletic 2.30pm, Blackburn United v Crossgates Primrose 2.30pm.
Conference B, Peebles Rovers v Lochore Welfare 2.30pm, Lochgelly Albert v Preston Athletic 2.30pm.