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Albion Rovers 0-0 Kelty Hearts

Albion Rovers 0-0 Kelty Hearts

By Chris Toner

Albion Rovers picked up a crucial point against ten-man league leaders Kelty Hearts at The Reigart Stadium this evening.

Kieran Ngwenya was given a straight red card for the visitors just before the hour mark and Rovers even had their chances to snatch a late winner, but Brian Reid and his side can be content with the point.

The result means that Rovers have now opened up an eight-point lead over bottom of the table Cowdenbeath, with a game in hand over the Blue Brazil. It also forces Kelty to have to wait a little longer before they can wrap up the cinch League Two title.

After Charlie Reilly blazed a shot over the bar in the opening minutes, the first best chance to open the scoring fell to Kelty’s Joe Cardle, but his awkward shot was saved on the line by Harry Stone.

But it was Rovers who had the best chance of the half, as Josh Jack’s cross found the head of Kyle Doherty, who forced Darren Jamieson to somehow tip the ball over the bar. Sean Fagan would then go close from the ensuing corner as his curling effort shaved the left-hand post. Reilly would have another chance before the half, which he blazed well wide.

When these two sides faced off on Saturday, Kelty opened the scoring inside of the first 30 seconds of the game. This time, they almost scored within 30 seconds of the restart as Alfredo Agyeman’s chance from the middle of the penalty area was put high and wide.

Five minutes later, Rovers had a golden opportunity to take the lead as Doherty found Reilly with only Jamieson to beat, but once again the midfielder couldn’t keep his shot down.

Approaching the hour, Reilly was about to find himself through on goal once again, but was taken down by the last man, Ngwenya. The defender could have no complaints as he was given his marching orders by referee Lloyd Wilson.

Despite the disadvantage of being a man down, Kelty still showed the threat they can pose as Agyeman forced a save from Stone at his near post. Manager Kevin Thomson would bring on star man Nathan Austin in the 70th minute, but the striker, who scored a hat trick on his last visit to Coatbridge, failed to make his mark on the game.

After losing Callum Wilson to injury in the 80th minute, Rovers had chances to win it in the dying minutes. Man of the match Lewis Wilson’s cross found substitute Scott Roberts, whose effort went just over the bar, before Jamie Leslie was denied from close range by Jamieson who had to make himself big to deny Rovers what would have been a famous win.

Teams

Albion Rovers: Stone, Fernie, McGowan (C), Fagan, L Wilson, C Wilson (81′ for Malcolm), Leslie, D Wilson, Reilly, Doherty, Jack (73′ for Roberts) Substitutes: Binnie, Leighton, Robinson, Wright, Roberts (73′ for Jack), Lynas, Malcolm (81′ for C Wilson)

Kelty Hearts: Jamieson (booked 53′), Ngwenya (sent off 58′), O’Ware, Philp, Finlayson, Barjonas, Kucheriavyi (70′ for Austin), Tidser (C), Cardle (59′ for McNab), Higginbotham, Agyeman (79′ for Biabi) Substitutes: Donaldson, Peggie, Hill, Reilly, Austin (70′ for Kucheriavyi), McNab (59′ for Cardle), Biabi (79′ for Agyeman)

Referee: Lloyd Wilson

Attendance: 277

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