Kelty Hearts cruised into the quarter finals of the East of Scotland Cup with a comfortable victory over local rivals Hill of Beath Hawthorn at New Central Park. This was the third time the two sides have met this season, and the third win for Hearts.
Brian Ritchie was back in the starting line-up after his two match suspension and it didn't take him long to make his mark on the tie. In the seventh minute, Conrad Courts burst into the box, held off Grierson, and squared for Ritchie who smashed home from close range.
Kelty have scored 5 in both games against the Haws this season, and manager Bobby Wilson must have feared the floodgates were about to open again. The home side were moving the ball well and looking dangerous; Hall saved well from Courts' stinging shot and a long range drive from Greig just skimmed the bar. Stephen Husband had the chance to double the lead on the half hour when Ritchie was brought down on the edge of the box and, after consulting with his linesman, the referee pointed to the spot. Husband struck his penalty well, but it was a good height for the keeper who saved well and Husband was robbed before he could net the rebound.
This spurred the Haws on, and they finished the half well, with Marley in the Kelty goal having to pull out two good saves to keep his side in the lead at the break.
But Kelty were clearly in the mood and started quickly after the interval, with Ritchie going close twice in the opening minutes. In the 65th minute, Husband made up for his earlier penalty miss when he curled a fine free-kick low round the wall and into the bottom corner. The classy midfielder has been a little off the boil in recent games, but was looking more like himself and beginning to run the show.
Kelty were in control of the tie; they were knocking the ball about with confidence and wrapped it up five minutes from time. After a fine passing move, Husband's shot was tipped over the bar by Hall. The visitors failed to deal with the corner and O'Neil headed back into the danger area, where man of match Husband had time to pick his spot and fire home a cool right-footed finish.
So Kelty progress to the quarters, and the Haws must be sick of the sight of their local rivals. After shipping 13 goals in the 3 derbies, and with two more Fife El Classico's still to come, Hearts definitely hold the bragging rights. Next up for Kelty is another Fife derby, with a visit to Dundonald in the Superleague.