Kelty Announce League Arrival In Style
Kelty Hearts - 11
Eyemouth Utd - 1
East of Scotland League
New Central Park, Kelty
Kelty Hearts fired a warning shot to their East of Scotland rivals by blowing away Eyemouth in a ruthless display on their senior league debut. The Fifers made the switch from the junior ranks in the closed season, and signalled their intent with a goals avalanche, including a double hat-trick from hitman Errol Douglas.
It was a slightly disappointing crowd for Kelty's introduction to the league pyramid structure, but the sun was shining and expectation was high as the game kicked off. The home fans didn't have to wait too long for something to cheer, when Errol Douglas opened the scoring in only the 3rd minute. The summer signing pounced onto a sloppy back-pass in the United defence, side-stepped the keeper and slotted home the opener with a composed finish. It was the perfect start for the home side, and any big occasion nerves vanished immediately.
Six minutes later, Archie Campbell doubled their lead with a cool finish of his own. Cargill picked up the ball wide on the right, twisted away from his marker and squared to Campbell, who slammed home a right-foot shot from the edge of the box.
Cargill himself joined in the fun 5 minutes later when he got on the end of McCabe's through ball and finished with another fine right footer from the 18 yard line, to make it 3-0 with only 14 minutes on the watch. The wee striker has been missing from the early season matches after struggling with injury, but he celebrated his return to the side by setting up Douglas for his second, and Kelty's fourth in the seventeenth minute.
There was one cloud on the horizon for Kelty, when keeper Scott Christie limped off to be replaced by Kyle Marley.
Husband was next to get his name on the score sheet, running from deep to get on the end of Campbell's cut-back and finish from six yards out, with the United defence failing once again to deal with the danger. Husband was causing problems for the defence again six minutes later, when was pulled down in the box with just the keeper to beat. Douglas scored from the spot to bag his hat-trick with only half an hour gone.
Eyemouth were in second best in every department, with the hosts looking sharper and hungrier all over the park. There was a brief respite from the onslaught, when a long free-kick was flicked on and looped over Marley into the top of the next, to make it 6-1 at the interval.
Any hopes the visitors had for a quieter second half, lasted only 10 minutes, when Mackenzie hung a tempting free-kick to the back post, and Sean O'Neil rose highest to nod home number seven.
Number eight followed a minute later, and it was the pick of the bunch. Campbell surged forward, and when he was dispossessed Ross Philp was first to the ball, and slid a perfect pass into Douglas. The big hitman took a touch to shift the ball out of his feet, before slamming it past the keeper. Douglas was at it again on the hour mark, this time getting his head to McCabe's cross to nod home his fifth of the afternoon. He was just too hot for United to handle: his power, pace & precision was causing mayhem in the visitors defence and he looked like he could score at will. He got his double hat-trick with 15 minutes to go from captain Greig's free-kick. Substitute Dalziel controlled it beautifully on his chest turned on the edge of the box, and laid it into his path for him to squeeze home left-footed from a tight angle. It was the icing on the cake for man-of-the-match Douglas, capping a devastating performance and guaranteeing him a spot in Kelty history.
With the goals racking up, the fans were starting to lose count, and you were scared to look away in case you missed another. There was still time for Dalziel to get his name on the score sheet though, applying the finish to Campbell's cross to make an incredible 11-1 score line.
It was a five star show to get the Fifer's league campaign off to the perfect start, with great performances, notably from MacKenzie, Philp, Campbell and of course Douglas. As newcomers, the result will send shockwaves through the established sides in the league, but in truth it is difficult to know exactly what to make of this performance as Eyemouth were just so poor. To be fair, they kept their discipline in circumstances where they could have easily lost their cool, but they were second to every tackle and capitulated far too easily. By contrast, Kelty were ruthlessly clinical, punishing every mistake and keeping their foot on the gas in a match that was effectively over after 20 minutes.
Next up for Kelty is a much tougher test, with a trip to Spartans in the Football Nation Cup qualifying round on Tuesday 22 August.