Crossgates Primrose 0-1 Hill of Beath Hawthorn
EoS Challenge Cup 2nd Round
Humbug Park, Crossgates
Hill of Beath claimed bragging rights in the Fife derby, advancing to the next round of the Challenge Cup at the expense of local rivals Crossgates.
Derbies don't come much more local than this, with less than a mile and a quarter between the two clubs. Haws made the sort trip along the B981 in good form, with two wins out of two in Conference A, and fresh off the back of an away victory at Oakley last week. Primrose by contrast have had a mixed start to the season, currently sitting 9th in Conference B, and were looking for a change of fortunes in the cup.
There wasn't a lot to separate the two sides in the first half, Shaun Leishman's 8th minutes goal from a corner kick the difference between them. The both sides had to make an early change after Grierson & Hynd both picked up knocks in a fifth minute challenge, Watt coming on for the hosts and Kellichan for the visitors.
Primrose were under pressure from a trio of Haws corners in the opening few minutes. The keeper saved them on the first, the woodwork on the second, but Haws made it count at the third attempt as Leishman out-jumped everybody to head the opener past Henderson.
The goal apart, it was a fairly even contest, both sides enjoying decent spells and carving out opportunities. The Haws chances were always that little bit more clear-cut however, Primrose having to make two goal-line clearances to keep themselves in it. At the other end, Crossgates opportunities were more of the half-chance variety, and Hall definitely had the easier first-half of the two keepers.
Primrose came out from the break with a flea in the ear and fire in their belly, and immediately produced their best move of the match Aitken squeezing between two defenders, and forcing the save from Hall. The second forty-five was definitely a spicier affair, with a bit more bite in the tackling. Ricky Patrick was shown the yellow for a high tackle on McKenzie, as the tie began to come to life.
Primrose were pressing forward in search of the equaliser, and their high-line left them vulnerable at the back. Adamson sprung the off-side trap and flashed the ball across the face of goal, but Watt just narrowly missed getting on the end of it. Primrose failed to heed the warning though, and three minutes later Haws beat the defensive line again, Adamson flicking the ball beyond the on-rushing Henderson to give the visitors a 2-nil lead.
Crossgates had to go for bust now, and substitute Stark had a great chance cleared off the line as the host tried to get themselves back into the game. Haws were soaking up the pressure though, and almost caught them out on the break on a number of occasions. Playing a high line was a risky strategy for the hosts, especially against the pace of Callum Adamson. The Haws forward beat the off-site trap again, and Higgins had to clip his heels to prevent him getting in on goal, earning himself a yellow card in the process. It was a carbon copy just five minutes later, and a second yellow for Higgins, leaving Primrose a man down with ten minutes to go.
Haws finished with ten men themselves, Dair picking up a knock after the visitors had used all their subs. They had done enough to see the game out though, and get their name into the hat for the third round draw.
Primrose now have a week's rest, with no game next Saturday, while Haws make the trip to the borders for the league game against Tweedmouth. The Fifers will be looking forward to that game, having slammed an incredible 16 goals past the same side just three weeks ago.
Flickr match gallery HERE