A HAT TRICK from Mark Smith and a goal from Ross Kavanagh ensured Sauchie ended the year on a high as they beat Luncarty 4-2.

The Reds hosted the league strugglers at Beechwood on Saturday, December 23 for their last game of the year, hoping to build some momentum before a massive second half to the season.

Sauchie came out firing, with Mark Smith building on his two goals the week before to send the hosts in front inside eight minutes.

Ross Kavanagh added a second for Sauchie, with Smith popping up again just two minutes later to give the Reds a three-goal cushion going into half time.

Luncarty managed to claw two goals back in the second half, but Smith completed his hat trick to keep Sauchie comfortable and see out a 4-2 victory.

Assistant manager Darren Cummings was delighted with the team’s performance despite challenging conditions.

“Good way to end the year,” Cummings said. “The conditions were horrible and it seemed touch and go for a wee while but the park held up.

“We were excellent, we knocked the ball about well and kept it down. We took the lead from a great cross from Sam Davidson into big Mark Smith, he’s put the first one in.

“Ross Kavanagh’s scored a delightful goal after that then big Mark’s scored another to put us 3-0 at half time.

“It was a great day at the office, especially the first half, really good performance and a good way to end the year.”

Mark Smith has proven a highlight of recent games, picking up two goals against Glenrothes last week and now three against Luncarty.

Cummings praised the striker, who he had said had been lacking confidence in front of goal ahead of Glenrothes.

Cummings added: “We’ve said to Mark to just keep his head down and keep doing the things he was doing, he was working ever so hard.

“He just had to keep showing that desire and he never stops working. We felt he was doing the work in all the wrong areas, so we put him closer into the box and closer to goal and it’ll happen for him.

“That’s what happened, he got himself in the box, the winger’s got the ball to him and he’s scored three.

“I’m absolutely delighted for him because he’s a great big guy, first class attitude and he was beginning to doubt himself and he was buzzing to score.

“That’s five in two games now so he’s getting his rewards now.”

Sauchie now face a huge second half to the season as they look to make some ground back on the top of the table.

The Reds sit in fourth place in the league table, just seven points behind league leaders Broxburn, albeit having played two more games than them ahead of this weekend's fixtures.