Kelty Hearts 1-2 Saints

Wednesday 7th October 2020

Goals from Jason Kerr and Chris Kane saw Saints secure a 2-1 win against Lowland League side Kelty Hearts in the Betfred Cup this evening.

It was a competitive start to the match but chances in front of goal were limited for large spells of the first half. However, Saints took the lead 2 minutes into stoppage time at the end of the first half as Jason Kerr headed home a Craig Conway corner.

Saints then got a second goal on the hour mark thanks to a Chris Kane header. Michael Tidser though pulled a goal back for the hosts to setup a nervy closing stage. However, that did not materialise as Saints comfortably saw the game out.

Next up for Saints is a home Betfred Cup Group C game against Brechin City on Saturday, kick off 3pm.

MATCH REPORT

After Sunday’s late defeat to Celtic Saints were back in action this evening as they made the short trip down the M90 to take on Lowland League side Kelty Hearts for a Betfred Cup Group C match. Callum Davidson made six changes to the team that started on Sunday as Elliott Parish, Shaun Rooney, Callum Booth, Liam Craig, Callum Hendry and Chris Kane all came into the starting eleven. They replaced Zander Clark, Jamie McCart, Murray Davidson and Stevie May, whilst Ali McCann missed out as he is on international duty with Northern Ireland and Danny McNamara was also absent as he is also away on international duty with Republic of Ireland under 21s. Kelty Hearts are managed by Barry Ferguson and this evenings match was the Fife sides first competitive game since March with the Lowland League due to get underway at the weekend. Although Kelty play in the Lowland League Ferguson’s side have a vast amount of experience and also includes former Saints players Tam Scobbie and Dylan Easton.

The hosts got the match underway and it was a competitive start to the match. On 6 minutes a Scott Tanser free kick hit the Kelty wall and the rebound effort from Callum Hendy was also blocked before being cleared.

Despite it being a competitive encounter clear-cut chances in front of goal were limited. As the match approached the half an hour mark a Craig Conway corner from the right picked out Jason Kerr however, his header went wide of the target.

Up the other end Kelty tried to play a free kick into the feet of Ross Philp however, there was too much power in the pass as the ball went out for a goal kick.

On 34 minutes a good passing move by Saints saw the ball played out wide to Shaun Rooney who swung a cross over into the box. However, his delivery was too high as Scott Tanser couldn’t make a proper connection with the ball.

Saints were enjoying a lot of the possession and another Conway corner on 38 minutes picked out Rooney but his header didn’t trouble Darren Jamieson in the Kelty goal. Then a minute later Conway was shown a yellow card for a high challenge on Scott Hooper.

As the match approached half time both sides tested the keepers. On 41 minutes Cameron Russell’s strike was easily gathered by Elliott Parish. Then play quickly switched to the other end as Rooney broke down the right before cutting inside and having a shot which was saved by Jamieson.

Saints got another chance to test Jamieson as the match entered stoppage time at the end of the half as Jason Kerr’s long ball over the Kelty defence fell to Liam Craig and his volley was tipped over the bar by Jamieson. From the resultant corner Conway’s delivery was met by Kerr who powered a header home to give Saints the lead.

Saints were out of the traps quickly at the beginning of the second half as after 3 minutes they created a good chance to double their lead. Conway’s deep cross from the right picked out Kerr but this time he put his header wide. Then a minute later Saints created another chance as Tanser’s cross was knocked down by Rooney to Conway but he blasted his effort over.

Callum Davidson’s side created another chance on 53 minutes as Hendry picked up a slack pass by Kelty in midfield and advanced into the box before unleashing a right-footed effort which was well saved by Jamieson.

Saints continued to create chances and on 56 minutes a good flowing move down the right saw Conway play in Rooney but Jamieson used his feet to block the strike. From the resultant corner Conway floated in a great ball which Rooney rose highest to make a connection with but his effort was well held by Jamieson.

The pressure from Saints eventually told on the hour mark. Tanser’s cross from the left was knocked back across goal by Hendry to Kane and the striker headed it down into the bottom right corner of the net to double Saints advantage.

The one-way traffic towards the Kelty goal continued as on 67 minutes Hendry headed wide from a Tanser cross. Then shortly after Kane’s strike didn’t trouble Jamieson.

Saints made their first change of the game on 70 minutes as Craig Bryson came on to make his debut, replacing Liam Craig.

Then a minute later Michael Tidser pulled a goal back for the hosts with a low strike.

Despite that setback Saints continued to control the game and they came within inches of getting a third goal on 78 minutes as Kerr’s header from a Conway free kick hit the bar.

During the final 10 minutes Kelty didn’t really trouble Saints as they comfortably saw the game out to get their Betfred Cup campaign off to a winning start.

Kelty Hearts: Jamieson, Stevenson, Boyle, Reid, Hooper, Reilly, Higginbotham, Tidser, Russell (Flynn 62), Easton (McNab 82), Philp

Unused Substitutes: Donaldson (GK), McKenzie, Bembo, Scobbie

Booked: None

Scorer: Tidser (71)

Saints: Parish, Rooney, Booth, Tanser, Gordon, Kerr, Craig (Bryson 70), Conway (Davidson 81), Wotherspoon, Hendry (May 90), Kane

Unused Substitutes: Clark (GK), McCart, Ferguson, Denham

Booked: Conway, Craig

Scorers: Kerr (45+2), Kane (60)

Referee: Alan Newlands

Attendance: BCD

Match Report by Daryl Scott

Picture: Jason Kerr scores Saints first goal of the evening