Kelty Hearts 2 Peterhead 1

Apr 30, 2023

An afternoon of hope, prayers, luck and nail-biting ended up in disappointment and frustration as a late Kelty Hearts winner was the last piece of the jigsaw for Peterhead that sealed relegation to League Two. For anyone associated with the club, they wanted to go down with having a bit of heart, desire and determination. Those three assignments were definitely ticked but it’s now a case of rebuilding and going again next season.

Things were calm to begin with and Peterhead’s Josh Oyinsan looked to force a header towards goal but it went over, at the other end, a Kallum Higginbotham drive was held by Stuart McKenzie in the visiting goal.

Jordon Brown then forced a drive towards goal that flew wide of the right-hand post as Peterhead searched for an answer to getting that opener, Oyinsan then got on the end of a Connor O’Keefe delivery but he couldn’t connect at the back post from a pinpoint delivery.

Peterhead remained on the hunt for a goal but weren’t conclusive enough with their final product, Andy McCarthy attempted to pull the trigger but collapsed with the ball breaking to Kieran Shanks with both him or Oyinsan failing to work Liam Campbell.

Then, a moment of controversy as we had the ball in the net but any early celebrations were premature as the linesman deemed Shanks offside, a diagonal ball came in from McCarthy then found Oyinsan who headed it down before deflecting off Jack Milne, his initial effort goalwards failed to test Campbell before breaking to Shanks who guided a perfect finish past the young Kelty goalkeeper only for the stand linesman to give an offside just eight minutes before the interval.

It turned out to be decisive in the match with us keeping a high line but failing to break a stubborn Kelty side down.

Six minutes after the restart, Kelty took the lead, a corner from Joe Cardle found Arron Darge who sent a thumping header into the bottom right corner to give the Fifers the lead, they had still been in the game but hadn’t been productive in the final third until then but they took their opportunity and had something to build on.

Despite the adversity in going a goal down, we had chances to pull level with three chances in quick succession, Jordon Brown, Shanks and Oyinsan all had opportunities but were denied by some good goalkeeping from Campbell.

On 65 minutes, we got the leveller we craved, an excellent pinpoint delivery came into the box from Jack Wilkie that was met instinctively by Josh Oyinsan who headed past a packed Kelty backline, they attempted to clear it but referee Craig Napier merited the ball had crossed the line and the Blue Toon were looking for some much-needed momentum.

The new co-management team made changes in the hope of getting a late winner, news had crept into Fife that Dunfermline had beaten Clyde 2-1 just a couple of miles away and Jack Maciver had a golden chance when hitting an effort from the edge that just went wide before the playmaker tried to find Shanks but the forward didn’t time the run.

Then Kelty created a sucker punch and sealed the points, Ross Philp played a ball out wide to Joe Cardle before the experienced winger tucked it and curled a shot low past McKenzie to seal all three points for John Potter’s side.

Tough to take for the management team, players and supporters but the hard work has already started for next season and the team will work hard to end the season on a high this Saturday at home to Falkirk.

Co-manager Ryan Strachan said post-match, “We were great, anyone that was there would see how far we’ve come in the last seven matches, we’re now a team that has a bit of grit and quality.”

“Saturday was the first team we’ve come away from home this season and had 65% of the ball.”

Kelty: Campbell, Megwa, Martin, Milne, McCulloch (Peggie 45), Lyon, Higginbotham, Darge (Philp 71), Barjonas, Leitch (Cardle 45), Agyeman. Subs: Jamieson, Peggie, Cardle, Graham, Philp, Shearer, Hunter, Kamgna.
Peterhead: McKenzie, Danny Strachan (Melingui 88), Ryan Strachan, Jordon Brown, Jason Brown, Jack Brown (Maciver 66), Wilkie, McCarthy, O’Keefe (Bisland 77), Shanks, Oyinsan. Subs: Joshua, MacIver, Allan, McLeod, Bisland, Ikwa, Wood, Melingui.