Kelty Hearts extend their lead at the top of the Lowland League after an emphatic 7-0 win against Gretna 2008. Goals from Easton, Flynn, Higginbotham x2 and a hat-trick for Nathan Austin secured the victory against a hard-working Gretna side.



There were three changes from the starting XI that defeated Berwick Rangers last week, skipper Michael Tidser along with Jamie Stevenson and debutant Ryan Shanley came into the side for Ross Philp, Grant Anderson and Craig Reid who all dropped to the bench.


Kelty took the lead after just 3 minutes as Austin was tackled in the box, the Gretna centre half Jackson seemed to have won the ball, but a penalty was given by the referee. Higginbotham stepped up and fired the ball into the bottom left corner to give the home side an early lead.



Just ten minutes later, Kelty doubled their lead after sublime play by Reilly, Tidser and Shanley to play through Austin who buried the opportunity into the top left corner. Gretna had some decent opportunities to pull a goal back but both efforts by Cairnie were high over Jamieson’s goal.


A third goal came just before half-time as Boyle put in a lovely, floated cross for Shanley whose volley from the edge of the box took a slight deflection off Austin into the back of the net as Fash claimed his second of the game.



Austin grabbed his hat-trick after 66 minutes when he ran onto a ball played in behind by Reilly and the striker comfortably slotted past Taylor to seal his first hat-trick of the season. Substitute Philp then won Kelty’s second penalty of the match which was calmly slotted away yet again by Higginbotham.


The sixth came through substitute, Flynn, who bravely got onto the end of Anderson’s pin-point cross at the expense of colliding with the goalpost. Matty was unable to continue and we hope that Matty can make a full recovery as soon as possible.



The seventh and final goal came through, November Player of the Month, Dylan Easton, who was played through brilliantly by Reilly and then proceeded to take the ball around the keeper and slot the ball into the net to round off a great team performance.


7-0 was the final score-line which was extremely unlucky for the young Gretna side who pressed Kelty really well for the majority of the game and made the home side have to work to get their 7 goals. Another three points for the Maroon Machine puts them four points clear at the top of the league ahead of Tuesday’s game away from home against Spartans. Man of the Match again this afternoon was Thomas Reilly.


Photo Credit Billy Clark (Twitter: @Clark3_billy)


Match Report by Logan Bak