Civil Service Strollers 2 Kelty Hearts 3, Lowland League

KELTY HEARTS maintained their winning start to the Lowland League season by coming out on top by the odd goal in five at Civil Service Strollers.

Barry Ferguson’s side, the reigning champions, made it two victories from two thanks to strikes from Michael Tidser, Kallum Higginbotham and Ross Philp but had to come from behind in the capital.

The New Central Park outfit have had a hectic start to the campaign, courtesy of their involvement in the Betfred Cup, and came into this fixture on the back of a narrow 1-0 loss at Dundee United last Tuesday.

Ferguson’s men produced a creditable performance despite the defeat at Tannadice and Scott Hooper came close to giving them the lead with a header that Lewis Budinauckas brilliantly pushed onto the bar and over.

Alieu Faye made the most of that let-off by slotting Civil Service ahead from the penalty spot but, before the break, Kelty were level when Higginbotham teed up Tidser to rifle home a fine left-foot shot from 20 yards.

Early in the second half, the visitors were given a spot-kick of their own when Dylan Easton was felled in the box, allowing Higginbotham to convert, before Philp slotted home from close range after good work by Paddy Boyle on the left.

Although Jack Brydon pulled one back for Strollers, Kelty held on to secure the points.

Crossgates Primrose 2 Tranent 3, East of Scotland League, Premier Division

A LAST-GASP goal condemned Crossgates Primrose to a first defeat of the season as Tranent completed a thrilling fightback at Humbug Park.

After drawing 1-1 with Linlithgow Rose in their opening fixture, Alan Campbell’s team secured a similar result at Jeanfield Swifts last Tuesday evening thanks to Darren Aitken’s equaliser, and were looking to mark their first home match with a victory.

It started well for Primrose when Aitken again found the net, with just 25 minutes on the clock, to put them ahead only for Kayne Paterson to equalise eight minutes before half-time.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men for two yellow card offences but, with 18 minutes left, found themselves ahead again when Paterson scored his second goal.

That advantage was short-lived however as, only three minutes later, Aitken completed his brace to pull Primrose level.

However, Rhys Craigie scuppered any hopes of a third successive point for the West Fife outfit with the winning goal in the 89th minute.

The result leaves Crossgates 13th in the 18-team table.

Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts 0 Penicuik Athletic 3, East of Scotland League, Premier Division.

GRANT BROUGH insists that his Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts side have “something to build on” despite going down to their second defeat of the season on Saturday.

The newly-promoted Ballast Bank team were hit for six in their first ever match at Premier Division level against Tynecastle last time out, and are still waiting for their first point – and goal – of the campaign following this match with Penicuik Athletic.

Jamie Devlin ran in behind the Swifts’ defence to slot home a seventh minute opener for the visitors before notching his second from close range just 30 seconds after the interval.

Joe Viola ran through just before the hour mark to complete the scoring for the Midlothian visitors, who have won both of their matches so far, but home boss Brough saw some plus points for his side, which contained five 18-year-olds.

“They’re a good side,” he said.

“I put it into perspective to the boys that, last year, they played in the Scottish Cup and only got beat 1-0 off Partick Thistle.

“It was 1-0 at half-time and we were still in the game and we lost a really sloppy goal 20 seconds into the second half, which sort of kills us a bit.

“Up until then we were still in the game.

“It’s not the result that we wanted but it was far better than the previous week.

“It’s something to build on now; it might sound stupid after you’ve been beaten 3-0, but it was a much better performance than the week before.

“It’s a learning curve for them. It’s going to be hard for them to learn against tough opposition but it’s going to make them better players in the longer-term.

“We worked quite hard on limiting Penicuik to the chances that they would have and the boys took that on board. I’ve watched the whole match highlights back and, apart from Penicuik’s goals, they never had a shot on target.”

Up next is a trip to former junior giants Linlithgow Rose this Saturday, and Brough added: “It’s up there with one of the hardest games we’ll have this season, but it’s what you want.

“You want to be testing yourself against these guys. Linlithgow’s a good, organised, experienced side, so it’ll be good for the boys.”

Ormiston 2 Rosyth 1, East of Scotland First Division, Conference A

ROSYTH went down to their second successive defeat in their maiden campaign as a senior side after Ormiston fought back to win on Saturday.

Brian Muirhead’s team had beaten Kirkcaldy and Dysart in their first-ever East of Scotland League fixture but were brought back down to earth last Tuesday evening against Kennoway Star Hearts.

Despite taking the lead three times, thanks to goals from Tam Hampson (2) and Gregg Page, the visitors recorded a 7-3 success at the Fleet Grounds and the Rec were looking to bounce back in East Lothian.

The prolific Hampson appeared to have set them on their way by striking in the first half, his fourth goal of the season, to give Muirhead’s men the advantage at the interval.

However, a second half double from Brandon McGill turned the match on its head and secured the points for Ormiston, leaving Rosyth 11th in the 16-team table with three points from three matches.

Stirling University EOS 0 Oakley United 3, East of Scotland First Division, Conference B

OAKLEY UNITED’S game management was praised by manager Stewart Kenny after they claimed a second successive three-goal win in Conference B.

After seeing off Lochgelly Albert in their first match of the campaign at home, the Blairwood Park outfit repeated the feat on their travels against Stirling University, with Stuart Love helping himself to a brace with a goal in each half.

He set the ball rolling for Oakley after only 10 minutes and, after Craig Martin headed home James McAteer’s cross six minutes before the break, Love wrapped up a fine victory over the students with a well-taken free-kick with five minutes left.

“It was a good result away from home against a tough university side, a fit side,” Kenny said.

“I think they had one shot at goal, which is pleasing from my point of view because, defensively last season, it was a case of ‘we’ll need to score more than you’.

“That was the kind of attitude we had to have.

“Any football manager will tell you that, if you can keep clean sheets, you’ve got an even better chance of winning football matches.”

He continued: “The university made it very, very hard for us and, in fairness to them, the goals we scored were all decent quality goals.

“At 2-0, I said to the boys to just be patient in your build-up and realise that, if you don’t concede you’ve won the game.

“It was just a professional second half; we soaked up the pressure and then hit them on the break.

“It worked out perfectly.”

Kenny was delighted with the win and clean sheet but knows it won’t always be so straight forward.

He acknowledged: “We’ve got some tough games coming up.

“We’ve got Burntisland at home followed by Easthouses on Wednesday night away from home, and then we’ve got a trip down to Eyemouth.

“Ideally, you want to take maximum points from every game, but they’re not going to be easy.

“I’m certainly not getting too ahead of myself but it’s a good start by the players.”

Saturday’s fixtures (kick-off 2.30pm unless stated): Lowland League - Kelty Hearts v Dalbeattie Star (3pm). East of Scotland League, Premier Division - Linlithgow Rose v Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts, Penicuik Athletic v Crossgates Primrose. First Division, Conference A - Rosyth v Coldstream. Conference B - Oakley United v Burntisland Shipyard. All fixtures are behind closed-doors.