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Kelty's winning run halted

Scottish Junior Cup 5th Round

Kelty Hearts 1 - 2 Kilwinning Rangers

Kelty's unbeaten start to the season was finally brought to an end as Kilwinning sent them crashing out of the Scottish Junior Cup. In front of a 900 strong crowd in New Central Park, the Buffs managed what no other team have done this season and put Tam Courts' side to the sword.

There was drama early on as the Buffs goalkeeper Adam Strain went down unchallenged with an ankle injury. He played on after receiving treatment, but looked in constant pain and must have been glad for the easy afternoon courtesy of the home side's lacklustre display.

The visitors soon had the home side under pressure, and went ahead with a long throw into the box that McGuiness rose highest to head home. The Kelty side have shown some spirit on their long unbeaten run, and looked like getting into their stride as the half wore on. The visitors defence dug in though, and some tough tackling saw a flurry of yellow cards for the away side in the run up to half-time. The Hearts couldn't make anything of the resulting free-kicks, and headed for the dressing room 1-nil down.

The Buffs had weathered the storm though, and grew in confidence in the early minutes of the second half. They went close twice in as many minutes, before any uncharacteristic mistake in the Kelty defence gifted Lewis an opportunity he couldn't pass up, calmly slotting home for 2-0.

The frustration was growing in the home ranks, and they were soon down to 10 men when Brian Ritchie got his marching order for a rash two-footed tackle. The ref evened the numbers up shortly after, with Montgomery heading for an early bath too.

Kelty central defender Sean O'Neil moved up front to try and breakdown the dominant Buffs defence, and gave the home side a glimmer of hope late on, finishing from the tightest of angles. But it was too little too late, and the fans headed for the exits with their cup dreams over.

So it's the Buffs who go into the draw, while Kelty turn their attention back to Super League business. Player manager Courts though, must be left wondering how his high-flying team failed to trouble a side who played 80 minutes with an injured 'keeper.

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