Hearts on top of Cupar derby.

Saturday 2nd March 2019.

Kingdom of Fife League.

It was local derby day as Cupar Hearts welcomed top of the table AM Soccer to a rain drenched Duffus Park last Saturday. It was pride as well as points that the two sides were competing for in front of a large support.

An injury for Steven Pennington forced Hearts into an early substitution with Connor Murdoch joining the action and he certainly left his mark on the game going on to score the winner.

The opening half hour saw two straight red cards. The first for Cupar’s captain Sean Murdoch when he brought down the advancing forward. Then the referee even the sides in an identical incident with Barry Sibanda brought down when he was through on goal and the AM Man was given his marching orders.

The resultant free kick looked certain to go in after Barry Sibanda’s fierce effort but Dale Wotherspoon in the visiting goal somehow got a fingertip to it and it came back off the bar and cleared.

Wotherspoon was called into action again when a quick free kick by Lee Sibanda found Connor Murdoch who flicked it onto Jakub Dobes and his first time volley was superbly saved.

Hearts opened the score dead on half time when Lee Sibanda rolled a free kick down the side of the defensive wall and Connor Murdoch’s low cross was headed in by Barry Sibanda.

On the hour mark ‘keeper James Robson pulled off two outstanding saves in quick succession. First came from a close range Jamie Leslie shot then a quality Richie Lawson effort after a corner kick.

Back at the other end Barry Sibanda found himself one on one with the goalie but Dale Wotherspoon once again managed to palm the ball away. Jakub Dobes picked up the loose ball and crossed for Connor Murdoch who’s shot skimmed the post.

Murdoch would get his reward though on 80 minutes when he sealed the victory for Hearts. He collected a through ball by Jakub Dobes and fired home.

Cupar missed a hatful of chances in the dying minutes with Barry Sibanda and Jakub Dobes both going close. AM’s goalie Dale Wotherspoon with a sensational performance undeniable kept the score line down.

The last chance of the game fell to substitute Aaron Leadbetter with seconds remaining. Connor Murdoch skinned his defender only to see his shot once again saved. The ball fell to Leadbetter unmarked at the back post and he fired the ball over the bar from two yards out. Nonetheless it was a well deserved victory with the bragging rights this time going to Hearts.

Cupar Hearts: Robson, Anderson, S. Murdoch (C), McColm, B. Woods, Dobes, Wainwright, Gray, Pennington, L. Sibanda and B. Sibanda. Subs: C. Murdoch, Wells, Watson, M. Woods and Leadbetter.