Kennoway Star Hearts 0-2 Hill of Beath Hawthorn
McBookie Superleague East
Treaton Park, Star, Fife
Hill of Beath triumphed in the Fife derby, with a 2-nil win over Kennoway Star on a cold & damp evening in the Kingdom. The Haws have found some late season form in recent weeks, and are on course for a decent top 10 finish before their move to the senior ranks.
Hearts actually got out of the traps quicker than their visitors, and had a couple of chances to take an early lead. Playing down the hill on their own park gave them the edge in the early skirmishes, and Haws were nearly caught napping as it took the visitors a good quarter of an hour to hit their stride
In truth, it wasn't much of a first half. Star were having plenty of the ball, without really troubling Stuart Hall too much, while the visitors were restricted to a handful of long ball attempts. Lewis Elder tested the keeper with a long-range drive, and a Lee Reid challenge left the goalie flat out on the turf, but in terms of quality there wasn't a lot to offer.
Haws started the second half a lot brighter. Playing down the slope clearly suited them, and the continuous drizzle was making the surface slick enough to start causing the home defence some problems. Shaun Leishman in midfield was driving his side forward and his passing was beginning to pick out the front two. Young left wingback Lyle Kellichan was providing plenty of energy going forward, even if his defensive duties were suffering - a few missed tackles putting his side under pressure.
Despite the improvement the football still had an end of season feel about it, although the weather definitely had a mid-season chill. Even though the Haws were on top, it was Hearts who had the ball in the net first, although it was ruled off-side. Just as it looked like a nil-nil was on the cards, Reid popped up with a perfectly placed header from the edge of the box to break the deadlock just past the hour mark. The big man had been showing signs of frustration, getting needlessly involved with both centre-backs, before he gave his side the lead. No sooner had he scored than he was withdrawn and Lea Schiavone introduced.
1-nil was clearly good enough for Haws, as Leishman was dropped back into defence to protect the slender lead. But Schiavone was providing a new outlet on the right, and the Haws were now carrying a threat down both wings. In the 75th minute, Daniel Watt made the points safe, cutting in from the left and smashing home right-footed for a fine solo goal.
With the game won, and the weather closing in, Haws were happy to hold on for the last quarter of an hour and take the points back along the A92 with them. It certainly wasn't a vintage performance from either side, but there are times in football where grinding out the result is just as satisfying. Beath now another home match against Brought Athletic this coming Saturday as the look to make it four wins on the bounce and cement their place in the top half of the table.
Haws Line-up: Hall, Kellichan, Connors, Wright, Grierson, Partick, P Allan, Leishman, Elder, Reid, Watt
Full match gallery HERE.