Kirkcaldy finding their feet after step up to East of Scotland league

Kirkcaldy & Dysart boss Craig Ness says his team has finally got to grips with life in the East of Scotland league after a shaky start.

By Paul McCabe
Thursday, 6th January 2022, 9:00 am

The club found it tough going in their maiden season after making the step up from Junior football for the truncated 2020/21 campaign, suffering a number of heavy defeats.

But at the midway point this time around the Alex Penman Park outfit are sat fourth in the Conference A table with 10 wins in the 16 games so far, with a 5-1 victory over Dalkeith Thistle in their last league outing in November.

Ness admits making the adjustment to the EoS took him by surprise.

Kirkcaldy & Dysart manager Craig Ness. (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

“I didn't realise the difference between Junior and the East of Scotland league,” he says.

“It's much more tactical, it's much more technical. In every game you're coming up against better players and coaches.

“We definitely took our time to find our feet, but this season we hit the ground running.

“That's down to the signings we've made and also due to some of the younger guys having another year under their belt and really finding their feet.

“They've started to become more confident and if you win games you breed that.

“So we've kept that momentum going throughout most of the season.

“We did hit a wee bad spell but to be fair to the guys they dug in and we got back on track.

“We've been beaten by Haddington and Leith, who are the top two sides in the league, but even in both of those games we were well in it.

“Just now we're on a fantastic run and scoring lots of goals. I think in our l four or five games we've scored 20-odd goals.”

Ness added to his squad by making the loan deal for Jay Bridgeford from Kelty Hearts a permanent move this week, and says his squad is "in a good place".

"Without wanting to sound cocky or arrogant, I think we've now found our feet at this level.

“We're sitting in fourth place just now which is unbelievable for a club with a budget like ours.

“Our main aim is to finish in the top seven which would see us qualify for the rejigged league structure for next season which would put us in the Championship.

“We're well on track to do that but I keep telling the players we need to take it game by game.”

Kirkcaldy hope to be back in action this weekend having had their last three games called off over the festive period.

Ness says: “We've got two big Fife derbies coming up in the next two weeks - St Andrews United this week then Kennoway Star Hearts the week after.

“It's always brilliant to be involved in those sorts of games.

“They're both at home and both against teams we've beaten recently as well so we'll definitely look to be confident in the matches.

“St Andrews are on a great run, they've really turned things around, so we're under no illusions how difficult that will be.

“Lee Richardson, the manager at Kennoway, just jacked it the other day so we'll have to wait and see what they do.

"We're quietly confident in what we do without being arrogant about it.”