Oakley United 4 Rosyth 2

OAKLEY UNITED earned the West Fife bragging rights after they saw off derby rivals Rosyth at Blairwood Park on Saturday.

Lee Richardson’s team secured just their fifth win in this season’s South Division to bounce back from their pre-Christmas Junior Cup exit and deny the visitors the chance to move within three points of second-top Edinburgh United, who lost at leaders Pumpherston.

Barry Cockburn’s team, who remain sixth in the table, had been out of action since a 4-2 defeat at Lochgelly Albert on December 2, while Oakley’s most recent match was their cup loss to Linlithgow Rose two days before Christmas.

Richardson felt that fitness played its part as the home team took the game to Rosyth, who found themselves hit by two goals in as many minutes on the half-hour mark.

A third goal three minutes after the break, and a fourth in the 66th minute, put the game beyond the visitors as Gavin McMillan and James McAteer helped themselves to a brace each.

Gregg Robertson did pull a goal back for Rosyth before Baillie Kay added a second at the death but Oakley were comfortable winners to the delight of their manager.

“It was a good win against my old team and I felt we played well in stages,” he said.

“I felt we moved the ball well and kept it short. They played three at the back which helped our wingers get in behind them, and we were cruising at 4-0.

“They had a couple of chances – they hit the bar and my young keeper made a couple of good saves – but we were playing well enough to step up a gear if we needed to.

“We were cruising at 4-0 but lost two sloppy goals towards the end.

“We had a good few chances; my strikers, Gavin McMillan and James McAteer, both scored two but it was like neither of them wanted to score a third!

“They need to be more clinical and a bit greedy instead of passing to each other when on two goals each.

“We’ve got a core of 16-17 players gelling together and they’re playing for each other.

“I thought we were a lot fitter than them, worked around them and created a lot of chances.”

Meanwhile, Crossgates Primrose’s scheduled match at Lochgelly Albert was cancelled due to a waterlogged pitch.

East of Scotland League: Kelty Hearts 4 Burntisland Shipyard 0

KELTY HEARTS began the New Year in fine style by seeing off the challenge of Burntisland Shipyard at New Central Park.

Thomas Courts’ side maintained their 100 per cent record at the top of the league – they’ve now won 13 matches – and are 11 points clear of second-placed Leith Athletic, who have played a game less.

But their closest challengers for the title remain likely to be Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale, who also have a perfect record but have played just seven league games so far.

The teams are scheduled to meet in the capital on January 20 in what looks like being a pivotal game in the title race but, prior to that, they have an SFA South Region Challenge Cup Third Round tie to negotiate against Threave Rovers.

They warmed up for both of those games with a four-goal dismissal of their Kingdom rivals, taking their tally of strikes in the league to a whopping 84.

A crowd of more than 300 were in attendance and watched Kelty begin in the ascendancy and soon take the lead.

Good hold-up play by Errol Douglas on the right edge of the area saw him lay the ball off for Ross Philp to cross to the far post where Jordyn Sheerin headed home powerfully from close range.

The hosts continued to press, with Sheerin fashioning an opportunity for himself that was well saved, Stephen Husband having a header tipped onto the post brilliantly and Scott-Taylor MacKenzie coming close with a great effort from distance, but they only had one goal to show for their first-half efforts.

Their dominance, however, was soon rewarded after the restart when, after Shipyard keeper Sean Malpas made a good stop from Elliot Ford, the rebound fell kindly for Douglas to fire high into the net from around 12 yards.

A poor cross-field free kick from the visitors was then seized upon by Brian Ritchie, who headed the ball away from its intended target before finding Philp in the area, who was desperately unlucky to find the base of the upright.

Kelty were not to be denied and put the game firmly out of Shipyard’s reach with a third goal thanks to MacKenzie’s sweet right-footed strike after he was found at the edge of the area in acres of space from a corner.

The home side added further gloss to the scoreline when a fine move sent Ritchie racing clear into the penalty area before sending the ball beyond the outrushing Malpas.

This Saturday’s tie with Threave will be the first time the teams have met competitively and will be Kelty’s first home match in what the club describe as the “the non league seniors’ most prestigious cup competition”.

Kelty have already beaten Selkirk and Newton Stewart on the road in the tournament, and they will advance to a quarter-final with Edusport Academy with a victory.

Saturday’s fixtures (kick-offs 1.45pm unless stated): McBookie.com South Division – Crossgates Primrose v Oakley United, Rosyth v Harthill Royal. SFA South Region Challenge Cup (Third Round) – Kelty Hearts v Threave Rovers (2.30pm).