Bellshill have boosted their promotion bid with three vital Central League First Division victories in the space of six days.
Brian McGinty’s men secured a crucial win away to promotion rivals Lesmahagow last Wednesday night.
They followed that up on Saturday with a 2-0 win away to St Anthony’s and then hit Ashfield for six at Fullarton Park on Monday night.
The Lesmahagow win was probably the most important of the three and an excellent, hard fought encounter was settled by a single goal just a minute before the break.
CRAIG HOLMES was the hero, firing a Chris Dolan cross past the Lesmahagow ’keeper Derek Barnes to break the deadlock.
Earlier both Jason McKay and Andy Selkirk had the ball in the home net only for their efforts to be chalked off and a Selkirk header from a Dolan cross struck the bar.
After the break Bellshill ’keeper James Donnelly pulled off a magnificent save to keep out a Coffrey volley.
Bellshill were reduced to 10 men in the 80th minute when Jason McKay received a second caution but they held on to take the three points.
Against St Anthony’s Bellshill drove forward from the kick-off and were rewarded with the opener after just three minutes.
McKay sent HOLMES clear and he finished with a powerful low drive from 12 yards.
Both sides had chances but the score remained 1-0 at the break.
However Bellshill doubled their lead in the 46th minute when SELKIRK gathered a Max McKee cross and chipped the ball over the advancing ‘keeper.
Home ‘keeper Duncan came to his side’s rescue when he saved a close range Selkirk header from a Dolan free-kick in the 54th minute and 10 minutes later pushed a Lee Nichol free-kick behind.
At the other end Donnelly saved from McDonald, Cumming and Paterson as the Ants enjoyed a brief spell on top but there was no further scoring.
Bellshill again started brightly against Ashfield on Monday and DOLAN fired home an 11th minute opener after being sent clear by Gary McGrath.
Five minutes later LEE NICOL fired a David Shaw cross into the net for the second goal and STEVEN TART got the third in 21 minutes, powerfully heading home a Dolan cross.
MARK McCARRY replaced Selkirk at the break and took just four minutes to find the net from a Ryan Connelly cross.
Ashfield pulled a goal back in 54 minutes when McKENNA fired a 25-yard shot past Donnelly but Bellshill were soon back on the attack.
A Connelly shot hit the post before DOLAN scored from 30 yards in the 62nd minute following a Nicol corner.
A minute later a Connelly shot was blocked but McCARRY fired the rebound into the net.
In the closing stages McKay twice had shots kicked off the line but there was no further scoring.