Updated: Jan 6, 2019
Hill of Beath Hawthorn 6-0 Oakley United
East of Scotland, Conference A
Kier's Park, Hill of Beath
Hill of Beath got the New Year off to a perfect start with a convincing win in their first game of 2019. Oakley United had made the short trip across Fife to first foot the Haws, but the hospitality didn't last long as three goals in each half gave the hosts victory in the derby match.
If the Haws had overdone it during the festive period, there was no sign of any hangover as the home side got off to a flying start. Ricky Patrick opened the scoring in the tenth minute with a fine finish from eight yards out to give the home side the lead.
Haws were enjoying plenty of possession and were racking up the corners when Jake Mitchell doubled the lead just five minutes later. The youngster has made a real impact on the side since graduating from the youth team, and he jumped highest to nod home a Joe Kirby corner.
Two up within fifteen minutes was the perfect start, and in truth the Haws never really looked back from there. Kirby got on the scoresheet himself midway through the half, keeping his composure to dribble round Robertson and tuck away number three.
At that point it was already looking like a question of how many Haws would get, but to their credit United dug deep and began to edge into the game. They created a couple of half chances in the run up to the interval and although they never really troubled Stuart Hall, it gave the visitors a glimmer of hope for the second half.
The hope didn't last long however, as immediately after the break, Callum Adamson beat the keeper on the edge of the box to leave himself a tap-in for number four. Things are pretty tight at the top of Conference A, and it could yet come down to goal difference, so even with the game won, Haws couldn't afford to take the foot off the gas.
Haws made a couple of changes around the hour mark, Denton & Payne replacing Mitchell & Morris. Charlie Denton had an immediate impact with a brilliant run & cross to set up Daniel Watt for number five.
As you would expect for a derby, it was a competitive match with plenty of bite in the challenges, but it never looked like getting out of hand. Referee Stuart Luke flashed a couple of yellow cards as the half wore on, but there was no real malice in the game and he had a reasonably quiet afternoon.
The same couldn't be said for Sean Robertson in the United goal, who was called on a few more times and had to make a couple of decent saves to keep the scoreline respectable. Mark Allan cleared one off the line too, without which the score could have been much worse for the visitors.
Denton wrapped up the scoring five minutes from time, cutting in from the left and firing a sweet right foot shot beyond the keeper. Six goals from six different scorers will please gaffer Kevin Fotheringham, and it rounded off a fine performance for the home team that keeps them right in the hunt as the business end of the season approaches. Haws sit in second spot, six points behind leaders Penicuik but with two games still in hand.
Oakley will be disappointed with their afternoon. Losing two early goals didn't do them any favours, but to be honest, they never really got going and there's still a bit of work for the new management team to do. United are currently ninth in the conference on 13 points and have played more games than most of the sides round about them.
Next week Oakley will host Dunbar at Blairwood Park, while Haws make the trip over the Forth to play Musselburgh.
Man of the Match: Despite all the goals and some decent performances from the front men, notably substitute Charlie Denton, it was a defender who got the nod. Kevin Conners strolled it in the centre of defence and didn't put a foot wrong all day, winning tackles and putting out fires all over the park.
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