Blackburn United 1 (Hutton 43mins)
Hill of Beath Hawthorn 1 (Reid 81mins)
Fourteen days after the visitors had sent United tumbling from the Scottish FA Cup the two teams met again on league business at a sunny Purdie Worldwide Community Stadium and the Haws were first to test the others ‘keeper, Elder trying his luck from distance only to find Jonny Clements alert enough to tip his shot over the top. Ninety seconds later Donaldson in the Hill of Beath goal was tested too, holding onto Craig Young’s twenty yard free-kick. Midway through the half David Howe then set Andy McQuillan free of the visiting defence on an angled run but Donaldson narrowed down his options and the strikers resultant shot was blocked before, moments later, a Stewart Devine free-kick was saved by Donaldson and booted clear by Leishman. However, United did eventually find a way past Donaldson two minutes from the interval when Young picked out Richie HUTTON on the left and he forced his way past Leishman on the edge of the area before jinking past the Haws ‘keeper and rolling the ball into the waiting net for the opener.
A quick free-kick by Stuart MacLeod inside the first five minutes of the second period set-up McQuillan on the right of the box but his shot was too high and so too was Kellichan’s effort at the other end when he was put in just beyond the hour mark. Three minutes later strong penalty appeals were waived aside by referee Mr. Snedden when Hutton’s delivery from the right appeared to strike Kellichan on the hand. Lucky on this occasion, the full-back wasn’t quite so lucky a short time later when he found himself looking at a red card for an unsavoury display of violent conduct. There was little in the way of protest as the player made his way off the pitch. Thirteen minutes from time MacLeod gathered a Clements clearance to drive goalwards but his shot was touched away by the busy Donaldson. The visitors, though, showed they were made of stern stuff and, despite being a man short, hauled themselves back on level terms just four minutes later, REID powering home a header from the edge of the six yard box to give Clements no chance of stopping. Right on ninety minutes Kinninmonth flashed a shot just wide for the Haws but it was United who came closest to taking all three points in added time, first when Devine charged forward to thump a twenty yarder just too high and then when Young hit a Jackson Cowan cut back over. Incredibly, a third chance in as many added minutes arrived for Blackburn but when Cowan wriggled into space to meet a left to right delivery on the back post he could only scoop it into Donaldson’s arms.
Blackburn United line-up: Clements, Welsh, S.Devine, Mildren, Browne (Bonnar 76), Howe (Mackay 84), Hutton, Young, McQuillan, Kane, MacLeod (Cowan 81) Subs (not-used): Robertson, Ferris, McIntosh, Mitchell
Hill of Beath Hawthorn line-up: Donaldson, Leishman, Kellichan, Wright, M.Watt, Harrower, Kinninmonth, Reid, Payne, Elder, Lumsden Subs: Mitchell, Kirby, Adamson, D.Watt, Dair
Referee: Mr. I.Snedden
Assistants: Mr. J.Taylor & Mr. C.Ashley