The Warriors found themselves back in Fife and will need a step up in performance from the showing last week against Cowdenbeath.
Swifty has shuffled the deck with Euan O’Reilly, James Lyon and Mikey Anderson coming into the starting 11.
Kelty Hearts started the match sharp and had the first good chance, inside 5 minutes with Ngwenya bursting into the box, but his cut back was cleared by Callum Yeats.
It wasn’t much long after for The Warriors to have their first attempt. A long ball forward by Nat Wedderburn bounced nicely for Tam Orr, but his left footed volley was struck over the bar. There then followed a penalty claim by Daz Christie, but the referee was having none of it.
Into 7 minutes and the away side pick up the games first corner. Euan O’Reilly floated the ball into the box but was well cleared by the home defence.
Stenhousemuir have definitely started strong and playing with a far higher temp and intensity than last week. Kelt always look dangerous though, especially when they’re given time on the ball. Adam Corbett almost opening the scoring inside 14 minutes, but a good save by Jamieson kept the score at 0-0 and the defence easily dealt with the following corner.
Thomas O’Ware picked up the games first yellow card for a cynical foul on Daz Christie as the midfielder was running through on goal.
As has become standard, The Warriors defence had held up strong with Kelty being restricted to long range shots. Thomas Reilly with the latest, on 19 minutes which drifted harmlessly over the bar.
Stenhousemuir started to sit back and let Kelty Hearts have the ball. A dangerous game as the home side are so good on the big pitch. But as strong as the home side are at keeping possession, Stenhousemuir are equal in their resolute defence.
Mikey Anderson did have a shot on goal after 36 minutes after some nice build up play by The Warriors. His shot was very high and well over the bar.
HALF TIME: KELTY HEARTS 0-0 STENHOUSEMUIR
SUBSTITUTION: Tam Orr picked up a painful knock in the first half and won’t be out for the second. He’s replaced by Robert Thomson
Into the 2nd half and Kelty almost took the lead through a breakaway attack. But Peter Urminsky stayed tall though and made a good save.
If the save was good, the one that followed a few seconds later was even better. Kelty took a quick free kick and the ball made it’s way to Cardle. His shot from outside the box was well saved by Urminsky. The following corner almost resulted in a goal, but big Nat was there to clear the ball off the line. Strong start by Kelty.
The Warriors almost took the lead when Thommo chased down a back pass. Jamieson’s clearance was straight at he big man, but unfortunately the players were too close and the bounced back into the keepers grateful arms.
Straight back up the other and Jo Cardle had loads of time at the edge of the box. He picked his spot and it looked to nestle in the back of the net, but big Peter Urminsky made an amazing save to keep the game level.
The home side burst forward on 56 minutes when Daz Christie drove forward. He tee’d up Thommo, but as the big striker cut onto his right foot, he drove his shot well over.
SUBSTITUTION: Euan O’Reilly makes way for Ross Lyon [61 minutes]
Another breakaway from Kelty and another good save by Urminsky. Agyeman this time getting on the end of a through ball by Cardle. The Big Keeper is having a great half.
Booking: Daz Christie manages to get booked for being fouled [67 minutes]
Booking: Nat also gets booked after being fouled, this time though, his reaction was the reason for the booking. [69 minutes]
Ross Lyon and Thommo both seemed to be fouled, but nothing from the referee. Kelty did pick up a free kick outside the box after a foul by Mikey Anderson. Higginbotham can’t find the target though with the shot.
GOAL: Kelty finally made the breakhrthough with 10 to play. Higginbotham whipped in a dangerous cross and Kucheriavyi headed into the top corner. [83 minutes]
SUBSTITUTION: Adam Brown and Ross Forbes come on for James Lyon and Daz Christie. [83 minutes]
SUBSTITUTION: Jordan Tapping comes on for Mikey Anderson . [86 minutes]
Swifty is throwing everything forward with Tapping and Crighton moving up top beside Thommo.
BOOKING: Nicky Jamieson picks up a booking for a late challenge. [88 minutes]
FULL TIME: KELTY HEARTS 1-0 STENHOUSEMUIR
21. Peter Urminsky 15. Adam Corbett 3. Callum Yeats 5. Sean Crighton 25. Nicky Jamieson 17. Mikey Anderson 6. Nat Wedderburn 12. James Lyon 14. Daz Christie 9. Tam Orr 16. Euan O’Reilly
7. Ross Forbes 19. Cammy Graham 2. Ross Lyon 23. Spencer Moreland 4. Jordan Tapping 11. Adam Brown 10. Robert Thomson 20. David Wilson 8. Declan Hughes