Lochee Utd 2-1 Kennoway Star Hearts: Battling Star edged out

Lewis Grierson saw red for Kennoway Star Hearts against Lochee United
Lewis Grierson saw red for Kennoway Star Hearts against Lochee United

Kennoway Star Hearts made the short journey over the Tay Bridge to take on league favourites Lochee Utd.

A fairly evenly matched opening to the contest saw the two sides battle to gain territorial advantage.

Gradually it was KSH that looked the more likely to open the scoring. Deploying a 3-5-2 system the Fife side began to pose a threat to the experienced Taysiders.

Craig linked up with Grierson on the right only to see his shot charged down by the imposing ex-Scotland international Garry Kenneth. At the other end, Lochee almost capitalised with a quick passing move that ended with an effort sailing over Swinton’s crossbar.

The opening goal arrived on 15 minutes and it was KSH who scored it through striker Bryce. A fast counter involving Collins, Young and Band saw the ball arrive some 20 yards out at the feet of Bryce. The striker caught out Ewing when his snapshot crept inside of the post with the keeper flat footed.

KSH looked to extend their lead when Craig hit another powerful shot from the edge of the area that was blocked by a resolute Lochee backline.

The block was a huge moment in the game as two minutes later the hosts levelled. A ball played down the Kennoway left took out two players, leaving Lawson an opportunity to slide the ball past Swinton from eight yards.

The away side almost regained their lead when in-form Craig hit a shot from distance that brought out the best of the Lochee keeper Ewing when he dived high to his right clawing the ball away for a corner.

Buoyed by the goal Lochee upped the pressure and they were denied a second goal when Swinton equalled Ewing’s save minutes earlier with an instinctive block from a point blank header.

The second half was minutes old when Young cut inside from the left to fire in another shot that had Ewing sprawling low to his left as the ball went out for a corner. From the resultant corner kick Brewster saw a header cleared as KSH almost had the perfect start to the second period.

Dogged and determined in the tackle, KSH were proving a tough nut to crack.

Swinton showed his agility when he produced another fantastic save from a header on goal.

A corner kick from the left with 15 minutes remaining finally saw Lochee take the lead for the first time. Swinton this time had no chance as centre back Millar powered home a header from a few yards out.

The players looked dejected after working so hard in protecting their goal. With a few minutes remaining Grierson saw a second yellow then subsequent red reducing KSH to ten men.

Kennoway Star Hearts: Swinton, Young, Bremner, Rolland, Brewster, Grierson, Craig, Collins, Johnstone, Band, Bryce, subs: Paterson, R.Muir, Doig, Lindsay.

Next game is at home on Saturday to Thornton Hibs, kick off 2.30pm.