Five Star Kelty Enjoy Their Day Off
Kelty Hearts - 5
Whitehill Welfare - 1
New Central Park, Kelty
Scottish Cup week for these two teams was due to have been a rest day, having both been knocked out in the previous round. So this hastily arranged friendly was just a run out to keep them ticking over. Kelty were looking to test themselves against Lowland League opponents, while Welfare were hoping for a confidence boost to get their season back on track. Although these two are a league apart, Whitehill's position in the table means they are only five places above East of Scotland leaders Kelty.
The Fifers had an unfamiliar look about them, with Leighton replacing O'Neil in the centre of defence and Nimmo starting in place of Greig in midfield. Top scorer Dalziel dropped to the bench, with Cargill up front alongside fit again Douglas, and Sheerin in behind the front two.
The early exchanges were pretty tight, with both teams trying to grab the initiative. Ford was seeing plenty of the action on the left, but just couldn't find the final ball. It might have been a friendly, but neither side was holding back in the tackle - nothing malicious, just a good competitive midfield battle. The visitors were trying hard, but Kelty are on the crest of a wave after a run of impressive away victories and began to take control. On the half hour, they went close when Sheerin turned his marker and hit the bye-line, but neither Douglas nor Cargill could get on the end on his cut-back.
But ten minutes later, the hosts did make the break through after some fine work on the right from Husband. The midfielder floated a high cross into the six yard box, where Mackenzie was waiting to slam home from close range to give his side a slender lead at the break.
Twelve minutes after the interval, the visitors grabbed an unexpected equaliser, when Mitchell curled a sweet free-kick into the top corner from wide on the right. But the hosts carried the greater threat, with Mackenzie running things in midfield Douglas and Sheerin giving the defence plenty to think about.
Cargill was withdrawn for McCabe, and the sub soon restored the home sides lead in unlikely fashion. Douglas did well to hold the ball in at the corner flag, and slipped it inside to McCabe who floated his cross to the back post, that beat everyone and crept into the top corner.
Four minutes later, Douglas beat the offside trap and raced through on the keeper, before slipping a cool right-footed finish past the keeper, inside the far post, to make it 3-1.
That goal knocked the stuffing out of the visitors and Kelty were in complete control by now. They looked capable of scoring at will, and Sheerin put some gloss on the scoreline with a double strike in the dying minutes, to round off another slick professional performance.
This Kelty team have a fine record in friendlies against higher league opposition this season, and they should have nothing to fear if they can win promotion. There's still a lot of football to be played before they can think about that though and next is another tough home game against Preston Athletic in the East of Scotland League.
Full match gallery HERE