Kelty Hearts 5
East of Scotland League
New Central Park, Kelty
P16 W16 L0 D0 F100 A7 GD93
Kelty Hearts slammed five past Tynecastle in another impressive display to rack up league goal number 100 for the season. Thomas Courts' team has been unstoppable since making the step up from the Junior ranks, reaching the milestone in an incredible 16 league matches. A stunning average of 6.25 goals per game.
Courts welcomed back both members of his central defensive partnership, Sean O'Neil and Murray Carstairs as well as club captain Shaun Greig in the centre of midfield. On paper, this should have been one of their toughest games, and Courts fielded an attacking looking side, with Ian Nimmo and Scott Taylor-Mackenzie alongside Grieg in midfield and Brian Ritchie & Ross Philp either side of Stuart Cargill up top. As it was, it took the Fife outfit just sixteen minutes to make the breakthrough, when Ritchie got on the end of O'Neil's long ball out of defence. Ritchie beat his man at the back post and cut back to Philp who had time to pick his spot.
Within six minutes, the lead was doubled with Ritchie the creator again. The big man, who has looked sharp since returning to the side after a long injury, won the ball in the middle of the park and slid it out wide to the overlapping Elliot Ford. The full-back burst into the box and fired a powerful drive, which beat the keeper and rebounded off the post into the path of Philp who tapped home his second. Philp must the most versatile player in the league, having played in virtually every position this season, and never looking out of place wherever he's picked.
Tynecastle were giving it a good go themselves, but their passing just wasn't up to scratch, and they were struggling to make it through the Kelty midfield. And any time they did, the found keeper Scott Christie in top form. Christie has been a bit of an unsung hero between the sticks, but this was his tenth clean sheet in the league this season, a record which speaks for itself.
Number three for Kelty came just after the break, and once again Ritchie supplied the ammo playing a quick 1-2 with Nimmo before sending a cross to the back post, where Cargill was flying in to knock home from the six yard box. Unfortunately, it was Ritchie's last contribution of the match as he landed awkwardly on his wrist, and was soon subbed off to be replaced by Jordyn Sheerin.
Tynecastle were trying hard, and to their credit, continued to try and play out from the back. But Kelty were sharper, making the key interceptions and forcing them into errors round their own box. Ian Nimmo has been in impressive form in recent matches, and was beginning to pull the strings in midfield. With ten minutes to go he picked up he ball the middle of the park an quickly fed substitute Neil McCabe, who skinned his marker and beat the keeper with a fine finish into the far corner.
It's testament to the Fife side's fitness that most of their goals have come late on in matches, so it was fitting that when the century strike came, it was in the 89th minute. Nimmo again won possession by pressuring the keeper, and the ball broke to Sheerin, who played a 1-2 with Errol Douglas. When the return came to him Sheerin held off his marker and tucked away a crisp finish.
The stats for this Kelty side have been quite remarkable so far this season: played 16; won 16; 100 goals scored and only 7 conceded. But while their league form has been faultless, the only blemish on their record has been their cup results, having been knocked out of both the Scottish and the Challenge Cups. They will be hoping to rectify that this mid-week when they travel to Lothian Thistle for a Valentines Day match in the League Cup.
Full match photo gallery HERE