Updated: Aug 1, 2019
Hill of Beath Hawthorn 4-3 Jeanfield Swifts
Kier's Park, Hill of Beath
EOSFL Premier League
Haws and Swifts served up a cracker at Kier's Park as midweek action returned to the EOSFL. HoB looked on easy street, taking a 4-1 lead after half an hour thanks to a Lee Reid hattrick. But Swifts clawed their way back into it and made the hosts sweat and were unlucky not to take something following an onslaught in the last fifteen minutes.
Haws were quickest off the mark, with an early chance for Lewis Elder and a shout for a penalty in the opening minutes. The breakthrough came in just five minutes after good work down the left, Lyle Kellichan squaring for Daniel Watt who was unmarked on the penalty spot and knocked the opener past Mark Mitchell.
Ten minutes later Haws doubled their advantage, Reid picking up a knockdown in the box and rifling home his first from close range.
Just as it looked like the home side were about to run away with it, Gary Fergus pulled one back for Swifts within two minutes, taking advantage of some slack Haws defending.
Another two minutes later Reid extended the lead further, reacting quickest when the ball broke to him in midfield and chipping in an exquisite finish that left the keeper no chance.
Haws had another penalty claim turned down when Elder went down a little too easy in the box before Reid rounded off his hattrick on 33 minutes with a superb free-kick from 30 yards out, which once again sailed past Mitchell's fingertips into the top corner.
With the clock ticking down to half-time, Gary Fergus got his second of the night with a peach of a finish. Back to goal, the midfielder controlled the ball on his chest, turned and hit a sweet volley into the top corner to give Swifts hope for the second half.
There were fewer goals in the second half, but it turned out to be just as entertaining as the first had been. Although they had been comfortable on the ball in the first 45, Swifts lacked a cutting edge and looked vulnerable to Haws more direct style of play. The visitors were still stroking it about well, but were now getting forward in numbers and starting to cause the Haws a few more problems.
Haws still carried a threat of their own, and continued to look capable of catching the visitors out with the direct ball over the top, the pace of Elder and Adamson clearly giving them the edge.
Swifts pulled another on back with an hour gone, Rhys Davies couldn't quite get on the end of Simpson's low cross, but Jake Dolzanski was on hand to fire past Donaldson and set up a cracking finish.
The momentum was with Swifts now, and it really looked like they had an equaliser in them, but Haws were defending in numbers and somehow managed to keep the visitors at bay.
It was end-to-end stuff though, and Beath were creating plenty of chances of their own, Mitchell pulling out a couple of top notch saves to keep his side in it. Haws had another big shout for a penalty but after talking to his linesman, the ref ended up booking Elder, much to the annoyance of the home support.
Despite all the action at both ends, there were no more goals and Hill of Beath held on to take the points, which were enough to lift them to 4th in the early season table, one place and one point ahead of Jeanfield.
Man of the Match: There were plenty of decent performances on both sides, but it's hard to overlook hattrick hero Lee Reid. Looking fit & trim, the Haws midfielder was hungry throughout and although he blotted his copybook with a late yellow card, he did more than enough to get the nod.
See the whole match photo set HERE