Burntisland Shipyard 2 - 7 Kelty Hearts
Breen (p) Cargill (p)
King Cup Round 1
Recreation Park, Burntisland, Fife
Kelty twice had to come from behind to book their second round place at the expense of their Fife rivals in a cracking cup tie at Recreation Park. The Hearts survived a difficult first half, before a hat-trick from Errol Douglas helped them to put the tie to bed.
Kelty started the match as favourites thanks to their sparkling league form this season, but it was the home side who took the lead after just 2 minutes. John Martin took advantage of some slack defending to beat O'Neil and slide the ball under Christie. Martin didn't get much time to enjoy his moment though, as he limped off a few minutes later with a painful looking foot injury.
Kelty looked rattled by losing the early goal; they were struggling to get their passing game going and the defence that normally looks so composed had an unusually nervy look about them. It took moment of brilliance from Scott-Taylor MacKenzie to bring them level in the tenth minute. Errol Douglas was fouled wide on the right and the wee midfielder stepped up to fire a perfectly placed free-kick into the postage stamp. MacKenzie was Heart best player in the difficult opening spell, barking out orders and trying to spark his teammates into action.
That equaliser should have been enough to settle their nerves, but the defence still looked shaky, and Shippy were in no mood to let them off the hook. The home side carved out two or three really good chances, with Christie and the woodwork coming to the rescue. Then on the half hour mark, Burntisland were back in front thanks to more hesitant defending from Kelty. Christie came from his line but couldn't collect, and the defence failed to deal with the danger before O'Neil was penalised for a barge in the back. Breen stepped up and scored the penalty, sending Christie the wrong way.
The lead only lasted a couple of minutes however, when Douglas was tripped in the other box, and referee McNab pointed to the spot again. Stuart Cargill stepped up and fired his spot kick low into the bottom corner past Adamson, who was unlucky not to keep it out. There were more chances at both ends, but the scored stayed 2-2 at the break.
Whatever Tom Courts said to his side at half-time had the desired affect, because after the interval, Kelty started to look a bit more like themselves. MacKenzie & Conrad Courts switched position, and the defence had a more solid look about it. But it was Douglas who really made the difference in the second 45, the big hitman finding his shooting boots to fire a devastating hat-trick and finally kill off the hosts. All three goals had a really similar look to them; Douglas cutting in from the right, beating his man and slipping a composed finish beyond Adamson. His second was probably the pick of the bunch, thanks to an inch perfect pass from captain Greg to find his striker.
In between Errol's strikes, there was another penalty for Kelty, after Brian Ritchie was tripped in the box, and the ref pointed to the spot for a third time. It's a bit unusual to see three penalties in a game, and it has to be said the ref got all three right. Cargill stepped up to take his second spot kick, but this time Adamson saved with his feet, before Ritchie followed up and tapped home for a well deserved goal.
With the match now safe, Courts made a triple substitution, bringing on Dalziell, McCabe and Philp, with Ford, Cargill and Ritchie all making way. And it was Dalziell who rounded off the scoring, with a crisp finish from the edge of the box to take his side into the next round.
It was far from an easy ride for Kelty, and will hopefully be enough of a reminder to keep them on their toes in the run-in, as the league challenge looks like going right to the wire. The first of those crucial league games is next week, with a trip away to Heriott Watt.
Christie, Ford, O'Neil, Carstairs, MacKenzie, Courts, Husband, Greg, Ritchie, Douglas, Cargill. Subs: McCabe, Philp, Dalziell
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