GeoSonic Lowland League: Kelty Hearts 10 Gretna 2008 0

BARRY FERGUSON believes his Kelty Hearts side could have done better despite watching them rattle home double figures on Saturday.

The Lowland League title hopefuls recorded their sixth win from seven games – reaching an astonishing 40 goals in the process – as they demolished Gretna 2008 at New Central Park.

Top scorer Nathan Austin, who went on to hit the net four times, opened the scoring as early as the ninth minute by tapping home a cut-back from Ross Philp before Murray Carstairs nodded in from Scott Linton’s corner midway through the half.

Chris Dodd then got in on the act 11 minutes from the interval when he capitalised on a poor backpass to round keeper Cameron Copland and net from a narrow angle, before Linton’s fine free kick on the edge of the area made it 4-0.

The goals continued to flow for the rampant hosts after the half-time break, starting with Austin grabbing his second of the day with a low shot across Copland that went in via the post.

The former Inverness and Falkirk hitman completed his third hat-trick of the season on the hour mark with a fine turn and finish from 18 yards, and added his 17th goal of the campaign in the 68th minute by heading home Linton’s cross.

Just 60 seconds later, a magnificent seven became a great eight when Dodd slotted home coolly after collecting Austin’s pass, and he added Kelty’s ninth with 15 minutes to go.

Copland did well to palm away Linton’s free kick but, after the ball was returned into the middle of the penalty box by Gary Cennerazzo, Dodd rifled a fine half volley into the roof of the net from 12 yards.

The former Jeanfield Swifts midfielder completed the scoring with 10 minutes to go, curling a fine effort from the left-edge of the area over Copland and into the far corner.

Ferguson commented: “You might laugh at this but I thought we could have done better.

“At times we took our foot off the gas, which I wasn’t happy with, but when you step back, we’ve won 10-0.

“I can never question the attitude or the desire of the guys and the hard work they put in for themselves. It’s going well but we could still improve on a couple of things and we’re still missing a couple of players through injury.

“But, if someone is missing, it’s an opportunity for another one of the guys. We’ll keep our feet on the ground and work as hard as ever.”

Midfielder Stephen Husband added: “It’s certainly not a result you expect to see in the Lowland League but we’ve been scoring a lot of goals in the last wee while.

“We’ve been ruthless but the main thing has been keeping clean sheets, which is something we were guilty of last season.

“There a lot of strong teams, and it’s going to be a long season, so we’ll keep taking it one game at a time.

“Last year was our first year in the Lowland League, and there’s a big difference to the East of Scotland League, but it’s good now. We’re used to it and have to be on top of our game every week.”

East of Scotland League, Premier Division: Crossgates Primrose 3 Blackburn United 1

PRIMROSE boss Alan Campbell has hailed the influence of veteran hitman Chris Templeman after his side racked up a third successive victory.

The former Pars, Morton and Forfar striker scored his first goal since joining the Humbug Park outfit last month as they defeated Blackburn United to climb to mid-table in the Premier Division.

Templeman headed the home side ahead seven minutes before half-time in a keenly-fought contest, only for the West Lothian visitors to level through Danny Campbell just after the hour.

However, from the restart, Scott Lawrie put the hosts back in front before Ryan McDonald sealed the points 12 minutes from time.

“It’s probably not the best goal he (Templeman) has ever scored, as he’d tell you himself,” Campbell commented.

“He had a few offers to stay in league football but he’s done us a favour by signing for us and he’s been brilliant so far.

“His experience and attitude rubs off on the younger ones. When he’s talking or has anything to add, the young boys tune in and listen.”

Campbell, whose team host Hill of Beath Hawthorn on Saturday, added: “It was a tight game that could have gone either way.

“The previous Saturday, against Musselburgh, we were by far the better team, but on Saturday it was more the case that we had to grind it out.

“They (Hill of Beath) have had a similar start to us in that they’ve won a couple and lost a couple, and I think it will be another tight game.”

“It will be very difficult – they’re a really good team – and with Hill of Beath, there will be no shocks or surprises.”

Alex Jack Cup, second round: Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts 3 Tweedmouth Rangers 0

LEE DUFFY praised his Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts team’s reaction after they reached the Alex Jack Cup third round against Tweedmouth Rangers.

After a 2-1 defeat at Edinburgh United in the league last time out, Dean Anderson’s first-half opener set them on their way before Callum Strang and Calum Murray sealed victory after the break.

Duffy said: “After the disappointment of last week’s loss, it was important to bounce back with a victory, and the boys responded brilliantly.”

Co-manager Grant Brough added: “Tweedmouth once again proved to be difficult opposition, as they did two weeks ago when we beat them in the Football Nation Cup, however, this week’s scoreline was a bit more comfortable.

“We managed to score goals at important times within the game and we’re delighted with the clean sheet.”

Alex Jack Cup, second round: Dalkeith Thistle 0 Oakley United 1

OAKLEY UNITED overcame tough conditions to reach the third round after a hard-fought win at Dalkeith Thistle.

The Blairwood Park side bounced back from an agonising penalty shoot-out defeat to Easthouses Lily in an eight-goal SFA South Region Challenge Cup thriller with a well-earned victory.

In a scrappy opening, the contest’s first real opportunity arrived on the half-hour mark, and it proved decisive.

Recent signing Ray Digpal collected the ball 25 yards from goal and played a clever pass into Stuart Love, who showed great composure before sending a low shot into the bottom corner from 12 yards.

The visitors almost doubled their lead moments later when Johnny Harrison and Dylan McGowan led a dangerous counter attack.

The latter found Mark Allan but he couldn’t quite squeeze his effort beyond the Thistle goalkeeper.

McGowan then went close with a free kick on the stroke of half-time for the visitors and, although the hosts tried to force a way back, Oakley saw the game out for what manager Stewart Kenny felt was a deserved victory.

DJ Laing East Region Cup: Rosyth 0 Scone Thistle 2

BRIAN MUIRHEAD lamented the loss of another early goal as his side fell to defeat against Scone Thistle.

The Rosyth boss was frustrated as Aiden Benvie’s opener inside the opening five minutes was followed by Alan Carlon’s strike seven minutes after the interval to give the Perthshire visitors victory.

The hosts were without several key players but Muirhead said: “We had nine boys missing but the team I put out was still a good side.

“We didn’t play our best and we did our normal – concede inside the first five or 10 minutes. That’s at least four games this season where we’ve immediately gone a goal behind, so we’ll try a couple of things during the week.

“They were a good side and passed the ball well but we had seven or eight good chances that we didn’t convert. They’ve had five shots on target, and scored two.

“I don’t think it’s clicking just now – it’ll be scary when it does – but we’ve played a lot better than that. It’s hard to put my finger on it.

“We conceded in the first half and then put a bit of pressure on, but then switched off in the second half.

“It was one to forget.”

Saturday’s fixtures (kick-off 2.30pm): East of Scotland Premier Division – Crossgates Primrose v Hill of Beath Hawthorn. First Division, Conference A – Peebles Rovers v Oakley United. Conference B – Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts v Preston Athletic. South Premier League – Rosyth v Bo’ness United Juniors.