Ladbrokes League 1
Saturday 5th August 2017
Stranraer 1 (Hamill 65’)
East Fife 0
Stranraer XI: Belford, Robertson, Dick, Barron, Neill, Bell, Anderson, Turner (Woods 66’), Hamill, Thomson (Agnew 66’), Wallace (Okoh 81’)
Subs: Lang, McGowan, Currie, Stoney
Booked: Bell, Barron
East Fife XI: Goodfellow, Dunsmore, Docherty, Watson, Gordon, Slattery (Wilkie 73’), Wilson (Hurst 66’), Millar, Flanagan, Duggan, Willis
Subs: Young, Reilly, Cordery
Referee: Kevin Graham
East Fife kicked off their League campaign with a trip Stranraer but left empty-handed following a 65th minute Jamie Hamill strike. Manager Darren Young made one change to the side that conquered Elgin City last time out with Ben Gordon returning from suspension to replace Ben Reilly.
The first chance of the match fell to the visitors when Nathan Flanagan was played in by Paul Willis but his left-footed strike was straight at goalkeeper Cameron Belford. A couple of minutes later, good play by Willis on the left presented Chris Duggan with a chance but his shot on the turn was well over. Flanagan had another opportunity from a free kick from 20-yards but couldn’t find the target.
The home side were creating a lot of the early running and had their first sight of goal on 12 minutes when Grant Anderson picked out former Fifer Ryan Wallace with a cross from the right but Ryan Goodfellow was able to turn his volley behind. Goodfellow was called into action again a couple of minutes later to deny Kyle Tuner from close range.
Wallace had two great opportunities to open the scoring within a couple of minutes when first he fired over from 20-yards with only Goodfellow to beat before he dragged his shot wide from a couple of yards as the clock ticked past the half hour. Pat Slattery should have put the visitors in from 10 minutes before the break when he latched onto a loose pass from Jamie Hamill and raced in on goal but put his shot wide of the target. Wallace saw his free kick from 25-yards rebound off the bar at one end before David Barron somehow managed to turn Aaron Dunsmore’s strike behind running backward towards his own goal on the stroke of half time. An eventful first half in which either side could have been a couple of goals up, all to play for at the break.
Goodfellow pushed away a powerful drive by Anderson just before the hour mark before Stranraer scored what proved to be the only goal of the match when Wallace broke upfield before playing in Hamill who fired passed Goodfellow from 12-yards. Substitute Paul Woods went close to adding a second on 70 minutes but found the side netting from a good position. East Fife had one final chance into injury time by Mark Docherty’s free kick from the edge of the box was blocked by the home defence.
A disappointing result for East Fife but there are positives to take into the rest of the season.