East of Scotland Football League, First Division Conference A/B:
Oakley United 5 Hawick Royal Albert 0

“FOOTBALL is a funny old game.”

After the month Stewart Kenny has had, you can’t argue against the reinstated Oakey United manager’s words.

He was relieved of his duties on January 8 and now, three weeks after his shock departure, he has his job back.

Speaking to Press Sport this week, he admitted he never saw the exit door coming.

“It came out of the blue,” he reflected.

“I thought we were doing well in terms of where Oakley were at and what the vision was when I took over the job.

“The committee were looking for improvement when I was appointed and from my point of view, and the coaches’, we had given them that improvement.

“We took over a team that was second-bottom of the league last year with four points.

“The team is eighth in the league now – definitely in the mix for the top half – and we got to a cup final. I think that’s good form.

“The sacking did come as a shock.

“I got a call and was told that I’d been relieved of my duties. I just accepted it, basically.

“Unbeknown to me, some of the other committee members weren’t happy about the decision.

“They phoned me last Tuesday and asked if they could come and speak to me. I asked what for and they replied saying it was about reinstating me as manager.

“They told me that there had been a wee shake-up in the committee; it’s up to them to sort that side out, for me it’s just about the football and it always has been.

“I was surprised by the offer but at the same time I felt I had unfinished business.

“We had set out a target at the start of the season and as it’s yet to be achieved, I want to do that going forward.

“The committee approached me and apologised for the way things happened.

“I’m not one for holding grudges.

“I just want to get back to football and get Oakley as far up the table as possible.”

An Oakley United spokesperson told the Press exclusively last Wednesday that Kenny had accepted the club’s apologises over the way he was handled and would be returning to the Blairwood Park dugout.

Kenny and his staff have now signed deals to remain at the club until 2022.

A return to Oakley was an easy decision for him to make but he wanted to make sure the players were on board before agreeing to the move back into the dugout.

“A few of them were disappointed at how things happened,” he said.

“We had to make sure everyone was singing off the same hymn sheet. They told me and a few of the other committee members that they’d love to go back to the way things were with me in charge.

“I’m happy to be back in. There’s a good buzz around the place right now. It’s a happy dressing room.

“I’m just happy that I have full football control. That’s all I wanted in the first place.

“Committees are an important of any football club, and if they get everything done behind the scenes correctly, I can only see the club moving forward if I’m honest.

“Bad press on social media and newspapers isn’t good for the club but hopefully we can come out the other side and win football matches. If you win football matches, people start forgetting about the past and start to realise what’s best for the club.

“I’m very excited by how it’s looking. It’s early doors but the committee have been really good and I hope we can take all this positivity around the place now into the rest of the season.

“Our goal at the start of the season was to finish in the top half of the table. If we can get that, after everything that’s happened, I’ll be more than pleased.”

Due to prior commitments, Kenny was absent from the dugout on Saturday during Oakley’s return to winning ways against Hawick Royal Albert.

Oakley tore into their struggling opponents from the start and played like a team keen to put a turbulent couple of weeks behind them and let their football do the talking.

Stuart Love opened the scoring with Lee Halpin and Craig Martin adding to the tally before the break, with Love also missing a penalty shortly after his first.

Dylan McGowan made it four with a rasping drive and he then set up Love for his second to cap off an excellent display for the home side.

Kenny’s first game back in charge will be away to Dalkeith Thistle this Saturday.

Ormiston 0 Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts 3

GRANT BROUGH was a happy man as his Hillfield side were comfortable winners on the road at Ormiston.

A solo strike from Reece Bernard and a double from loanee Regan Lumsden made the difference for the Swifts during a busy first half which saw them cruising.

Brough told Press Sport: “They wanted to bounce back after losing last week and they did that.

“We maybe could have scored more in the second half but Ormiston really had a superb attitude and defended well.

“I’m being greedy saying I would have liked to have scored a couple more but the reaction from the boys was excellent.”

East of Scotland League, Central Taxis Premier Division:
Broxburn Athletic 3 Crossgates Primrose 2

CROSSGATES were beaten late on by Broxburn in the Friday night fight between the two teams.

Forwards Archie Campbell and Scott Lawrie were among the goals but they couldn’t fire their side to victory.

Crossgates were ahead at half-time courtesy of Campbell’s finish but Broxburn produced a second-half comeback.

They netted a 10-minute double to surge into the lead but Lawrie levelled matters with a quarter of an hour to go.

With the game looking destined to finish all-square, Athletic pounced with five minutes left on the clock to seal victory.

Alan Campbell’s Crossgates are now sitting 10th in the league table after Friday night’s disappointing defeat.

McBookie.com East Region South Premier League:
Rosyth 3 Kirkcaldy & Dysart 1

ROSYTH’S remarkable run of form continued as Kirkcaldy left West Fife empty-handed.

Boss Brian Muirhead had asked his team to win all of their last three games and they have managed to achieve just that.

Newburgh, Stoneyburn and Saturday’s visitors have all fallen at their hands in the past month.

They knocked league leaders Stoneyburn off their perch last week and Rosyth now find themselves four points clear at the top of the division as they stretched their winning run in the league to 11 games on Saturday.

Muirhead told Press Sport: “We’re just focusing on ourselves right now.

“I’ve said to the boys every single week that it’s just about the next game that’s in front of us.

“We take things one game at a time and come the Saturday, they know what’s expected of them.

“Stoneyburn still have three games in hand and we need to play each other again.

“Anything can happen in football but we’re keeping grounded.

“Wherever we end up, it’ll be a testament to the players and the staff for the work they have all put in.”

Mikey McMillan netted the opener after a Sean Johnstone cut-back for a half-time lead.

He made it two to put breathing space between the sides before Jarek Butryn killed the game with the third.

Kirkcaldy pulled one back but it was too little, too late for the visitors to the Fleet Grounds.

Saturday fixtures, 2.30pm kick-offs:

  • Central Taxis Premier Division – Crossgates Primrose v Jeanfield Swifts.
  • East of Scotland Football League, First Division Conference A/B – Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts v Kinnoull, Dalkeith Thistle v Oakley United.
  • McBookie.com Premier League South – Syngenta v Rosyth.