Preston Athletic suffered a major setback in their bid to land promotion to the Lowland League at the first time of asking as they went down 4-1 to a strong Kelty Hearts side.
The East of Scotland League table-toppers raced into a 2-0 half-time lead at the Pennypit, Stuart Cargill twice on target for the reigning East Super League champions.
Errol Douglas made it three after the break and a sublime free kick from former Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale player Scott Taylor-Mackenzie sealed the points in style. Greig Binnie notched a consolation for the Panners with ten minutes remaining. The victory increases Kelty’s gap over Preston to eight points.
“It was a great effort from the players but individual errors cost us,” Preston joint-manager Paul Riley said. “The first goal was two yards offside but we had no linesmen which was really disappointing for such a big game.
“Myself and Jack [Lynch] are really happy with the progress we’ve made and Saturday’s result was a setback, but we’re over it and now look forward to Stirling University away this weekend.”
Meanwhile, Heriot-Watt University returned to winning ways with a 6-1 defeat of Eyemouth United at Oriam.
The students were beaten 5-2 by city rivals Leith Athletic last weekend, a performance that enraged Watt boss Banji Koya. However, a hat-trick from captain Anton Dowds and further efforts from Chris Lane, Mark McGovern and Ryan Higgins capped off a fine afternoon.