Kennoway Star Hearts 2 Lochee United 1
Match report by DeeMan
Lochee United’s struggles against lowly league opposition continued at Treaton Park. Following on from defeat to Jeanfield Swifts and a narrow win over Forfar West End, the Bluebells crashed 2-1 to Kennoway Star Hearts in their midweek fixture.
Lochee haven’t been at their best since their win over Auchinleck Talbot in the first leg of their Scottish Junior Cup semi-final and it was a deserved win for the home side.
This was an uphill battle in more ways than one for Lochee as the Treaton Park slope must be one of the steepest gradients in junior football.
They had a couple of nippy wingers in Liam Craig and Lyall Shaw and a bustling, physical striker in Matthew Gay who the Bluebells back line had difficulty containing.
Manager George Shields rang the changes again, with Mark Stewart in goal and Jamie Reid and Cameron McMahon introduced into midfield.
The visitors started the game well enough with a Scott McComiskie header forcing Robbie Paterson into a fine save, but the home side went in front on 17 minutes. Matthew Gay drove a ball into the box where a fortunate deflection sent it into the path of Liam ROLLAND who stabbed the ball into the net.
Lochee continued to press the game but Hearts were always dangerous on the break with Shaw, Gay and Craig.
McComiskie had several chances to level for Lochee but found Paterson in good form.
At the other end left back Keiran Band hit the side netting for the home side.
Playing down the slope in the second half didn’t improve the Bluebells fortunes much and it was Kennoway who started the stronger. A cross from Craig had Stewart flapping and Matthew Gay hit the side netting.
A good move involving the home side’s two wingers saw Stewart bring off a good save.
At that point Lochee brought on Millar for Paul Lunan.
There was a controversial moment on 53 minutes when McComiskie was brought down in the box by Shaw, but the referee appeared unsighted, and, on seeing Shaw lying injured in the penalty box, inexplicably awarded a foul to Kennoway.
Connor Birse was then brought on to replace Reid as Lochee sought to get back into the game and the sub was soon claiming a penalty after a Logan Davie corner kick appeared to be handled by a defender.
Lochee were struggling to find any rhythm and the home side’s eager forwards were causing problems at the back with Stewart having to save with his legs a shot from Craig.
A strong run down the left by Greg Kirk saw him find Grant Lawson in the home box but he was robbed of the ball on the point of shooting and the chance was lost.
On 75 minutes the homesters grabbed their second goal and it was that man Craig who set it up, driving into the Lochee box before squaring the ball to Matthew GAY, who despatched it past Stewart.
The home side weren’t finished, either. Rolland should have scored with a close-in header and Craig Johnstone skimmed the top of the bar with his effort.
Lochee grabbed a lifeline in the 85th minute when McCOMISKIE jumped highest to head home a cross from the right and the last five minutes or so were mainly spent in the Kennoway half as Lochee looked for the equaliser.
The closest they came though, was when substitute Reece Ritchie’s shot was deflected on to the Kennoway bar.
FT: Kennoway Star Hearts 2 Lochee United 1
Kennoway Star Hearts: Paterson, Young (Johnstone 46), Band, Brewster, Rolland, Doig, C Gay, Muir, M Gay, Craig, Shaw (Bryce 82).
Lochee United: Stewart, McNally, Smith, Lunan (Millar 52), Kirk, McMahon, Reid (Birse 60), Lawson, Davie (Ritchie 75), McComiskie, Deasley. Subs not used: McIlravey, Cameron.
Written on 03 May 2018