Kelty Hearts 0-3 BSC Glasgow
New Central Park, Kelty
BSC Glasgow inflicted Kelty's first home defeat of the season with a ruthless display at New Central Park. It was a miserable afternoon for the Fifers, who finished the game with just 9 men after Ciaren Chalmers and Stephen husband both saw red.
Kelty reverted back to their familiar 4-4-2 formation, welcoming back captain Shaun Greig in midfield and Scott Dalziel returned to partner Stuart Cargill in attack with Scott Taylor MacKenzie and Ian Nimmo dropping to the bench.
Kelty got off to a flyer, taking the game to the visitors right from the first whistle, Chalmers and Dalziel both having chances to take the lead from early corners. Cargill too looked lively, popping up on both wings and Husband tested the keeper with a run & shot right through centre as Kelty went in search of the opener.
In truth though, this turned out to he the host's best spell of the game, as BSC weathered the early storm and began to create a few openings themselves. They were awarded 3 free-kicks in quick succession, all from dangerous areas and although Hughes couldn't make any of them count the warning signs were there. Up the other end, Smith was penalised for dragging back Dalziel on the edge of the box, but Husband's free-kick went harmlessly over.
The main action in the first-half revolved around referee Peter Stuart, who was a little whistle happy, blowing for every little bit of contact. Murray Carstairs was the first name into the book for an innocuous challenge that looked six of one and half-a-dozen of the other. When Errol Douglas and Thomas Orr followed for a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge as they chased the ball into the corner, the chances of finishing 11-a-side began to look slim.
Sure enough, on the half-hour mark, Kelty went down to 10-men when Chalmers caught Ballyntyne with a high boot in the middle of the park. It looked like a genuine attempt to win the ball, but Ballyntyne will be singing his Christmas Carols an octave higher this year, and Stuart had the red card out before he had even hit the deck. There was an argument for Hughes to be punished for his reaction as he pulled Chalmers to the ground in the aftermath, but he ref turned a blind eye.
Determine not to let his mate have all the attention, the nearside linesman then got in on the act, first insisting that the Kelty substitutes moved there warm-up cones a foot further away from the touchline. He then flagged for verbals from the Kelty bench which saw coach Davie McNeeley sent packing. Then, most bizarrely, the official started goading striker Stuart Cargill from the touchline on the stroke of half-time.
Safe to say that none of the match officials should be expecting too many Christmas cards with a Kelty postmark this year following an extraordinary first-half display. One can only wonder what referee supervisor Douglas Yeats, watching from the sideline, made of it all.
Things got worse for Kelty within seconds of the re-start when left-back Elliot Ford tried to guide a back-post cross out to safety but could only head into his own net to give BSC a priceless lead.
Kelty reacted quickly to going behind with a double substitution to try and get their way back into the game: Cargill and Graham making way for Nimmo and new signing Jamie Devlin.
But the visitors had the bit between their teeth, and when Carstairs got the ball tangled in his feet, Martin Grehan was on him in a flash to pinch it from him and fire it high into the net to double the lead
BSC were enjoying their best spell of the game now, and although Devlin gave Kelty some fresh energy up top, the visitors were going in for the kill. Another mix up in the Kelty defence, and the ball broke to Robbie McNab, who coolly chipped it over Christie from the angle of the box to finish the Fifers off.
There was still time for the ref to take the spotlight once again, flashing his yellow card to McNab and Smith and then twice to Stephen Husband to leave Kelty to play the last 15 minutes with nine men. With the points safe, BSC eased off a little, but Chrisite still needed to pull out two top drawer saves in order to keep the scoreline respectable.
Although all the talking points will revolve around the fussy referee and his antagonistic linesman, if truth be told Kelty ended up well beaten and were guilty of letting their frustration get the better of them. BSC were quicker & sharper all over the park, they won the key battles and had a desire and intensity that was missing from the home side. The defeat means Kelty drop to second in the table, 2 points behind East Kilbride with BSC just 2 points further back. Ferguson must now pick his troops up for next weeks tricky visit to the capital to face Civil Service Strollers before playing host to Vale of Leithen just 3 days before Christmas.
Full match gallery HERE
#Christie #Ford #MacAulay #Douglas #Carstairs #Chalmers #Husband #Greig #Dalziel #Cargill #Graham #Nimmo #Devlin #MacKenzie #McNab #Orr #Smith #Ballyntyne #McNeeley #Ferguson #Grehan #KeltyHearts #BSC