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Friday, May 25, 2018

East Fife 2 (Duggan 53’, 59’)

Albion Rovers 0

Man of the Match: Chris Duggan

East Fife XI: Hurst, Kane, Page, Kerr, Brown, Duggan, Smith, Curran (Reilly 80’), Robinson, Penrice, Paterson

Subs Not Used: Goodfellow, Lamont, Insall, Austin, Mutch

Booked: Kane

Albion Rovers XI: Stewart, Gilmour (Sheilds 69’), R Dunlop, M Dunlop, Fisher (Turnbull 69’), Davidson, Stewart, Ferguson (Smith 45’), Wallace, Archibald

Subs Not Used: Potts, McCann, Ferry, Willis

Booked: M Dunlop

Referee: David Lowe

Attendance: 539

East Fife welcomed Albion Rovers to Bayview for the second time this season and ran out comfortable 2-0 winners thanks to a second half brace from Chris Duggan. East Fife made four changes to the side that lost to Alloa Athletic midweek with Mark Hurst, Chris Duggan, Kevin Smith and Nicki Paterson coming in for Ryan Goodfellow, Jordan Austin, Jamie Insall and Ben Reilly.

The visitors should have taken the lead in the second minutes when they stole the ball in midfield and broke up the park with a two man advantage however Ross Stewart’s shot was straight at Mark Hurst. After the early scare East Fife began to exert their authority in the game with an excellent display of passing football. Good play down the right-hand right saw Scott Robinson square the ball along the 6–yard box but it was just behind Kevin Smith who would have been left with a tap in at the back post. Smith had another chance on 24 minutes when he got on the end of Chris Kane’s cross but his header was straight at Rovers ‘keeper Ross Stewart.

James Penrice showed some good footwork to turn his marker and whip in a cross that just evaded Chris Duggan before ‘keeper Stewart had to be alert to turn Duggan drive from distance behind for a corner. At the other end Mark Hurst bravely saved at the feet of striker Stewart in what proved to be the visitor’s best chance of the game. East Fife had been impressive in the first half but the best was still to come.

A quick East Fife break saw Robinson play in Smith but his shot was deflected into the side netting on 52 minutes. Nicki Paterson’s corner was cleared by Mick Dunlop but only as far as Curran who whipped the ball back in for Duggan who scored with a superb volley on the turn; a definite contender for goal of the season. Duggan added a second 5 minutes later when a mix-up between Ross Dunlop and ‘keeper Stewart saw Duggan celebrate before passing the ball into the empty net.

East Fife were in cruise control for the remainder of the match with the a shot by Ross Davidson which was straight at Hurst the closest Albion Rovers came to troubling the score sheet. A thoroughly deserved and comfortable victory which saw East Fife jump to 3rd place in Ladbrokes League 1.

After the match Manager Barry Smith spoke to East Fife TV:

“We asked for a reaction and I knew I would get one because of the group of boys that I’ve got in that dressing room, a great set of boys. They won the game through a lot of hard work and a lot of good football. Chris (Duggan) showed what he’s capable of for his first goal and just being a striker for his second.”

“The boys are capable of that and it’s probably as good as they’ve been passing the ball today but the more pleasing thing for me is responding in the right manner from Tuesday night and I knew they would.”