Dundonald Bluebell continued their impressive first season in the East Superleague with a 3-1 victory over Musselburgh Athletic on Saturday.
The win consolidated fourth place in the table for a side that started the season with one simple aim - to stay in the division after winning promotion last term.
However, relegation fears have turned into top six ambitions following a remarkable run of 23 points from a possible 30 since December, with just one defeat in 10 league games.
It’s a far cry from the start of the season, where Bluebell lost five of their opening seven games, which prompted boss Stevie Kay to make a number of changes to the squad.
Additions of experienced defenders Craig Wedderburn and Ricky Patrick, goal-scoring midfielder Lewis McKenzie, and pacy strikers John Martin and Barry Sibanda, have made all the difference.
Kay told the Press: “We’ve done a fair bit of surgery on the squad. There was around 13 or 14 went out the door, and 10 or so coming in, so it’s been a big turnaround.
“It took time to settle but we’re starting to see the fruits of it now. We’ve always had quality but we’ve now got a better blend of height, pace and power.”
Of all the signings, the acquisition of 22-year-old McKenzie from Hill of Beath has arguably been Bluebell’s best piece of business, as he is currently the league’s top scorer with an impressive 25 goals from midfield.
“As a new team in the league, we knew that a goal-scoring midfielder would be invaluable,” Kay said.
“We bought Lewis from Hill of Beath and he’s been very effective. He’s as strong as an ox, great in the air, and he knows where the goal is.
“He’s like a poor man’s Frank Lampard - it’s the late runs that are killing teams.
“I’m worried senior teams will come sniffing around, but I’m hoping that the Scotland manager will come and have a look and give him and the club a bit of exposure.
“He’s even had a few games at centre-half and been the best player on the pitch.”
McKenzie was not among the scorers on Saturday as Bluebell put three past a Musselburgh side battling against relegation.
Graham Walker, the youngest player in the Bluebell line-up at just 17 years old, opened the scoring on 33 minutes before Sibanda doubled the lead four minutes later.
An own goal from Lee Rarity early in the second half gave Musselburgh a lifeline but Ross Lennie’s header sealed the three points for Bluebell.
Dundonald have three league games left, starting with Bo’ness United at home on Saturday, and Kay is hoping to finish the campaign on a high.
“The boys are learning how to win ugly, and how ruthless you have to be in this league,” he said. “Hopefully they’ve come of age, because we want to go to the end of the season undefeated.”