KELTY Hearts 1
Hill of Beath 1

(Kelty win 5-3 on pens)

KELTY Hearts required confidence from 12 yards to see off the challenge from local rivals Hill of Beath in the Fife & Lothians Cup.

With the teams level after 90 minutes, it was Thomas Courts’ men who advanced to the fourth round with five perfect penalties that sent the Haws keeper the wrong way.

The visitors drew first blood in the battle at New Central Park when Aaron Hay was afforded space in the midfield before driving forward and lobbing Kyle Marley in the Kelty net from range on 25 minutes.

Jordyn Sheerin almost scored an equaliser from a corner, but his first touch let him down and the away defence were able to clear.

Shortly after the break, Sheerin was once again denied as his hooked attempt at goal from four yards out found a black shirt waiting to block.

Sheerin’s strike partner Brian Ritchie then saw his downward header incredibly kept out by two Haws’ heads as they protected their lead.

It was a lead they would have doubled if it wasn’t for a top drawer save from Marley as his outstretched hand denied the Hill of Beath forward from eight yards out.

They would rue that miss as Kelty equalised through Stuart Cargill.

A clever dummy and cross from Conrad Courts found Cargill, who dominated his marker and bulleted his header into the back of the net with 10 minutes remaining.

Kelty almost won the game in the last few minutes when Sean O’Neil powered a header towards goal. Unfortunately for the commanding centre-back, the crossbar denied him a late winner.

The game went to penalties with Cargill coolly slotting home to give the hosts the advantage. Lee Reid stepped up first for Hill of Beath and his effort beat Marley but struck the left-hand post. 

Ritchie, Archie Campbell, Craig Thomson and Neil McCabe all followed Cargill’s lead and dispatched their penalties with aplomb, securing the bragging rights and a spot in the next round where they will travel to face Tranent, who presently sit in fifth place in the East Premier League.

Oakley United 3
Kirkcaldy YM 2

IT was almost ‘one of those days’ for Oakley boss Lee Richardson as his side had to wait for a last minute winner to best lowly Kirkcaldy.

The visitors opened the scoring after a cross into the box found its way into the net via an own goal from captain John Tully. 

Prolific striker Lee Celentano restored matters for Richardson’s men with a ‘soft penalty’ before the break, but Kirkcaldy etched themselves in front once again with a thunderbolt from range as the second half got underway. 

With time running out, Tully, who had given a dominant performance at the back, was thrown forward in attack and assisted Oakley’s 16-year-old trialist for the leveller. 

Tully would then fire a fantastic strike past Kirkcaldy’s keeper in the dying embers for a deserved three points for Richardson’s side.

He said: “It really should have been a lot more comfortable. As soon as they got the second they sat back. 

"We battered them. It was just one of those games, it could have easily been 7 or 8-2 to us. Kirkcaldy defended for their lives. It would have been an injustice if we hadn’t beat them.

“We’ve now got two away games left against Edinburgh United and Livingston United, so if we win those last two we could finish seventh I reckon. 

"I was hoping for a top six finish, but we’ve had so many injuries that put an end to that. We had eight guys out at once, and I’m still without my goalkeeper, so my goalkeeping coach has to fill in.” 

Pumpherston 3
Rosyth 0

IT was only the heroics of the home goalkeeper which denied Rosyth finding the back of the net in a losing effort at Recreation Park.

For the second week in a row Barry Cockburn’s men were kept out by the opposition, despite having their fair share of chances.

Cockburn would have been hoping to exact revenge on the promotion chasers who hammered Rosyth 6-0 in the reverse fixture earlier on in the season.

Returning hitman Tam Hampson was presented with a great chance to open the scoring after being teed up by Matty Dawson, but a defender stretched to make a crucial touch to deny the striker.

Veteran Mark McCulloch then went close with a powerful drive and Hampson’s effort from the edge of the area drew another smart save from the inspired Connor Shaw. 

The best was yet to come for Shaw, as he then made a stunning save from Dawson’s point blank strike before Pumpherston took the lead.

A teasing delivery was glanced home by Mark Wilkins five minutes before the break, and he would then add a second after Rosyth’s defence switched off at a corner at the start of the second half.

It would soon be three as the free-scoring Ally McRitchie killed the game with a smart finish.

Cockburn said: “The pitch was awful and it wasn’t conducive to good football. 

"We had to change our style of play, and I think that suited them. They adapted better than us. 

"It’s been up and down for us recently. 

"We were good against Oakley, we hammered Kirkcaldy and were disappointed to only take a point. We had two tough away games against West Calder and now Pumpherston. 

"We’re focusing on preparing for next season now.”