Ladbrokes League 1, Bayview Stadium, Saturday 1st April 2017
East Fife 0
Queen’s Park 0
Man of the Match: Jesse Curran
East Fife XI: Hurst, Slattery, Kane, Kerr, Brown, Duggan, Smith, Curran, Robinson, Penrice, Paterson
Subs Not Used: Gordon, Austin, Reilly
Queen’s Park XI: Muir, Millen, Foy, McKernon, McGeever, Cummings, McVey, Brady, Zanatta, Galt, Burns
Subs Not Used: Docherty, Brown, Wharton, McIlduff, Mitchell, Mortimer, McPherson
Booked: McGeever, Gault
Referee: David Lowe
East Fife welcomed fellow play-off chasers Queen’s Park to Bayview and played out a 0-0 draw in changeable conditions. Barry Smith made one change to the side that lost to Albion Rovers in midweek with Alex Cooper making way for fit-again Captain Kevin Smith.
East Fife had their first sight of goal on 4 minutes when Scott Robinson pounced on a mistake from Sean Burns but sent his effort from the right-hand side of the box narrowly wide. At the other end, Ryan McGeever sent his shot wide of the front post from a Jamie McKernon corner on 8 minutes. By this time the heavens had opened and put paid to any free-flowing passing football with the wet surface forcing both sides into miss-passes and mistakes.
Just before the half-hour mark Chris Duggan did well to hit the by-line but his cut back evaded everyone and the danger was cleared. Good build-up play by Jesse Curran gave Ross Brown the first real chance of the match but his left-footed shot was straight into the arms of Queen’s Park ‘keeper Willie Muir. 10 minutes before the interval Duggan out-muscled Adam Cummings to lay the ball off for Nicki Paterson but his effort was well blocked by McKernon.
After the break East Fife ‘keeper Mark Hurst had to be alert to tip a goal-bound effort from Sean Burns clear. Hurst was called into action again on the hour mark, this time turning an effort by Anton Brady behind for a corner. Queen’s Park had their Muir to thank for keeping the game goalless on 65 minutes when he pulled off a spectacular double saved first to block a shot from Kevin Smith before denying Alex Cooper from point-blank range. From the resulting corner, Jason Kerr saw his header held by Muir.
With 15 minutes to go, Hurst raced out of his goals to save at the feet of Dario Zanatta before Zanatta was involved again a couple of minutes later when he turned his man but saw his shot blocked by Kerr as the visitors pressed forward. The last chance of the match fell to Conor McVey a two minutes from time but couldn’t find the target from a couple of yards.
A draw was definitely a fair result with neither sider doing enough to win, however it may turn out to be a valuable point come the end of the season.
After the match Manager Barry Smith spoke to East Fife TV:
“It’s a point gained, it keeps us in the same position where we were with a game less. It wasn’t a great game by any stretch of the imagination but at this stage of the season there won’t be many. We have to make sure that we stick with it. Our boys know we can play better but there will be games like that where there’s not much in it and it’s not a great game.”
“It’s quite strange because out boys have been brilliant to get to the position we’re in but we don’t want to peter out now, we want to push on but given where we are in the league we should still be playing with confidence. It did look a wee bit nervy at times but credit to them, they stuck to the task, it’s a clean sheet but I think we could do a wee bit more when we had the ball.”