Hill of Beath Hawthorn 1-1 Dundonald Bluebell
Kiers Park, Hill of Beath, Fife
McBookie Superleage East
Hill of Beath had to settle for a draw in their last Fife derby as a Junior club. The Haws had taken a first half lead courtesy of a Lewis Elder strike, but Bluebell equalised in the second half to grab a well deserved point.
Both sides would have gone into the game in confident mood on the back of decent runs. Haws have enjoyed good form in the last month, and are unbeaten in their last six, helping them to climb to eighth in the East Superleague. While Bluebell have won three of their last four, and are still on course for a top four finish.
The Haws carved out the first chance of the match, with a Lee Reid free-kick that went just over the cross-bar. But the visitors started strongly too, pinning the Haws back and winning a couple of free-kicks in the danger zone. They couldn't make any of them count though, and Haws punished them midway through the half, when Elder reacted quickly to get on the end of a loose ball and kept his cool to slot past Lennox in the 'Bell goal.
The goal lifted the Haws, and they enjoyed plenty of possession, with both full-backs Leishman and Kellichan pushing forward from the back. They were still conceding some dangerous free-kicks though, and were lucky that Bluebell's delivery wasn't great. Both sides had chances to add to the score before half-time, but the finishing let them down. It had been tight first-half that the hosts just edged, and 1-nil at the break was about right.
It continued to be fairly even after the interval, and the 'Bell got themselves back into the game in the 53rd minute, taking advantage of a mix-up in the home defence. The Haws would have been disappointed that the didn't extend their lead when they were on top, but Bluebell did well to fight their way back into it, and were good value for the equaliser.
It wouldn't be a local derby without a bit of needle, but the challenges were strong without being dirty and the game was played in the right spirit. The free-kicks kept coming, giving Beath the chance to deliver into the danger area, but Lennox pulled out a couple of cracking saves to keep the sides level. Russell Grierson and Daniel Watt was starting to see plenty of the ball, but neither could make the breakthrough.
As the game drew to a close, both sides were giving it a decent go to try and win the game, and both carved out some decent chances. Haws chances were slighty the more dangerous, but Lennox was performing heroics between the sticks. Either side could have got a winner in the last 10 minutes, but neither could find the finish and so both had to settle for the draw. If the Haws had sneaked the first half, then the second was pretty even, and the draw was probably a fair result.
So Haws last derby as a junior club ended with a share of the points, and both sides kept their unbeaten runs going. Haws have only two matches left before they head off to the senior ranks, joining the exodus of junior sides to the East of Scotland league. The first of those is at home to leaders Bonnyrigg Ross on Saturday, before they finish their season with a trip to Carnoustie. Dundonald also have two games left, at home to Forfar West End on Wednesday and away to Broxburn on Saturday.
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