Kelty Hearts 3 Edinburgh City 1

TWO-GOAL Alfie Bavidge helped inspire Kelty Hearts to a much-needed win over an Edinburgh City side he believes people can "overlook" following their relegation.

The on-loan Aberdeen forward headed home a 29th minute equaliser, and then stroked home an early second half penalty, before Craig Johnston added a third to secure victory.

Oliver McDonald had given the visitors, who are already relegated after a tough season that has seen them suffer a points deduction for failing to pay players' wages on time and in full, with many of their squad departing as financial issues began to bite.

Although Kelty have won all four League One meetings between the sides this season - and, additionally, a Viaplay Cup group stage tie - they've had to fight back after losing the opening goal in both encounters at New Central Park.

Bavidge, whose brace took his tally in maroon to 10, said: "They're a good side.

"I think people overlook them sometimes but they are a good side. There's not an easy game in this league so we can't go soft on anyone.

"It was a very professional performance. We just need to build on that and move on to next week."

After losing at second bottom Annan Athletic last week, this game was crucial for the hosts, with only four points separating them from the relegation play-off spot ahead of kick off.

Player / manager, Michael Tidser, admitted post-match that "we knew we had to win", but were stunned when McDonald gave Edinburgh the lead, with their first attack, with an effort into the far corner of the net.

"The boy's essentially scored a cross. The boy's reaction told me everything - he didn't really celebrate, he was a bit shocked that it went in," Kelty defender, Brad McKay, said.

"It was a kind of cross-shot and it's went in the bottom corner, but the boys have showed good character. There wasn't any panic in there.

"It was a case of stay calm, trust what we're good at, and it will come. Thankfully it did in the second half."

Lewis Moore and Bavidge both went close before the latter levelled matters following excellent work from the impressive Johnston.

Kelty's captain for the day raced on to a ball flighted down the right and, with City keeper, Ruaridh Adams, racing off his line to try and intercept, took the ball around him.

Dunfermline Press: Craig Johnston provided the assist for the equaliser and secured victory by scoring Kelty's third goal.Craig Johnston provided the assist for the equaliser and secured victory by scoring Kelty's third goal. (Image: David Wardle.)

Although the angle was too tight for a shot, he had the presence of mind to look up and play a perfect centre for Bavidge, who headed the ball into the back of the net.

He then grabbed his second of the day six minutes into the second half, sending Adams the wrong way from the spot after Moore was felled by Callum Wilson, before Johnston sealed it with his ninth goal of the season.

Tidser was happy to come through a game he agreed was a free-hit for their relegated opponents, with the result moving them six clear of second bottom Annan.

This weekend, Kelty go to Queen of the South, who are one place and three points behind in seventh, and he added: "I'm really pleased.

"It's not easy because they've got nothing to play for, a lot of energy, a lot of good players as well, so, ultimately, it's a good day in terms of three points, and we move on to Queen of the South next week.

"It's been like that (a free hit for Edinburgh) for them for the majority of the season which makes it hard. It's hard to play against, especially teams with high energy, a lot of youth and a lot of legs in their team.

"I thought we stood up to it after the first maybe 25 minutes. Obviously Bav getting a couple of goals as well, I'm just really pleased for him.

"I'm really pleased for CJ to nick his goal as well. It just builds us up for next week and we'll go down there with our tails up."