Ladbrokes League 1
Saturday 16th September
East Fife 1 (Docherty 45’ (P))
Airdrieonians XI: Ferguson, Stewart, MacDonald, Brownlie, McGregor, Conroy (McIntosh 80’), Hastie, Watt, Fry (Allan 67’), Furtado, Tierney (Thomson 68’)
Subs: Cairns, Edwards, Russell, Kerr
Booked: Hastie, Watt
East Fife XI: M Hurst, Dunsmore, Page, Watson, Linton, Docherty, Wilkie (Reilly 70’), G Hurst, Millar, Flanagan (Slattery 45’), Duggan (Kane 82’)
Subs: Goodfellow, Lamont, Wilson, Willis
Booked: Dunsmore, Linton, Wilkie
Referee: Greg Aitken
East Fife travelled to the Excelsior Stadium to face Airdrieonians looking to get their season back on track after back-to-back home defeats and succeeded by claimed all three points thanks to a Mark Docherty penalty on the stroke of half-time. Manager Darren Young made two changes to the side that lost to Queen’s Park last time out with Ben Gordon and Paul Willis making way for Kieran Millar and Jonathan Page, who made his first start in 6 months following a long injury lay-off.
The visitors had a let-off inside the first minute when Jake Hastie broke down the right but his shot flashed across the face of the goal. Minutes later a long-throw saw the ball eventually fall for Kyle Wilkie who, after worked some space for himself inside the area, forced Diamond’s ‘keeper Rohan Ferguson to turn his strike behind for a corner. East Fife had the ball in the back of the net from the resulting corner however, the whistle had rightly gone for a push on Airdrieonians defender Jordan McGregor.
Ryan Tierney tried his luck with a free kick from 25-yards for the home side but the ball was comfortably collected by Mark Hurst in the East Fife goal. A nice bit of play by Wilkie and Nathan Flanagan down the right teed up Greg Hurst but his strike from 15-yards was just off-target. Hurst had another opportunity a couple of minutes later when Ferguson failed to deal with a corner from Wilkie but the ball just wouldn’t sit up for him at the back post.
Former Stenhousemuir striker Willis Furtado wasted a good opportunity for the home side on 27 minutes when he fired high and wide from a promising position. At the other end, Ferguson did well to turn Hurst drive, from a tight angle, behind for a corner. Aidrieonians were looking dangerous on the break but lacked composure in front of goal; Hastie unable to find the target from the edge of the area on this occasion.
The visitors were awarded a penalty shortly before the break when Aaron Dunsmore was taken out inside the area by former Fifer Luke Watt. Referee Greg Aitken was perfectly positioned and showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Mark Docherty stepped up and gave the visitors a deserved lead with a Penenka style spot-kick.
David Brownlie should have levelled the match shortly after the re-start when Ryan Conroy’s corner was knocked down into his path but Brownlie just failed to connect at the front post. Tom Fry went close again for the home side on 54 minutes when he curled a volley narrowly wide of Hurst’s left-hand post. Chris Duggan was unlucky not to double the visitor’s lead on 58 minutes when he got the better of his man down the left and cut inside only to see Diamond’s keeper Ferguson stop his goal-bound shot with his legs.
Jake Hastie ruined any chance of a come-back from the home side when he was foolishly sent for an early shower by referee Greg Aitken after picking up two bookings within the space of a minute; the first for a blatant dive on the edge of the area, the second for his continued protests at the decision. The visitors tried to take advantage of the extra man with Hurst unfortunate not to find the net with a left-footed volley from 8-yards.
Conroy went close to finding an equaliser for the home side when he got on the end of a cross from Watt but was denied by a fine stop from Hurst. A mix-up in the home defence gave Duggan the chance to extends the visitors lead but he couldn’t find the target from 12-yards. Goalkeeper Hurst was called into action again with a minute left on the clock producing a fine save under pressure to clear Watt’s free kick.
A great three-points for East Fife with some terrific performance across the park.
Goalkeeper Thomas Cordery is with Cumbernauld Colts on a short term loan, we hope you do well Thomas.
Ben Gordon has left the Club at his own request as per an agreement between the club and player. We would like to thank Ben and wish him every success for his future.
East Fife head west to Lanarkshire tomorrow, where they face Airdrieonians at the Excelsior Stadium. The Diamonds are a point better off than the men from Methil, having hit a fine patch of form recently, despite the loss of striker Andy Ryan to Dunfermline Athletic, winning two games on the bounce before losing out to Stranraer at Stair Park last Saturday.
The Airdrie squad has been bolstered by several new signings, notably striker Willis Furtado, who caught the eye with Stenhousemuir last season, and former Fifer Luke Watt on loan from Motherwell.
Darren Young’s men can consider themselves unfortunate not to have taken any points from last week’s encounter against Queen’s Park at Bayview, but the gaffer will know that his side need to be more clinical in front of goal after passing up a number of opportunities before going down 1-0 against well-organised opponents. One of the positives from the game was the appearance from the bench of defender Jonathan Page after several months sidelined by injury. With Chris Kane also making a return to the squad there are now options available in every department, a far cry from the situation earlier in the campaign.
It would be fair to say that Airdrieonians have had the better of recent meetings with the Fifers, ending last season undefeated after two wins and two draws. The last time East Fife returned with all three points was December 2013 when goals from Lewis Barr, Ross Brown and Stephen Hughes earned a 3-1 win.
Barrie Moffat will forever have a place in Bayview folklore as he was he first ever player to score at the new stadium when it opened its doors on Saturday 15th November 1998. On that day, East fife hosted their first match in their home against Forfar Athletic. The Fifers won the second division match 1-0 and Moffat scored the winning goal in front of 1,422 fans.
In total, Barrie Moffat scored 43 times in 141 appearances for the club. The Bayview recently caught up with Barrie to reflect on his time with East Fife.
What are your memories of signing for East Fife?
The club were in the First Division at that time (what is the “Championship” now) and were getting beat most weeks. Jimmy Bone signed me and I have to admit I found the step wip from playing with Alloa tough as I was now playing full-time teams like Dundee and St. Johnstone. East Fife really struggled that year, although one highlight for the club was the team drawing Rangers in the Scottish Cup at Ibrox. Sadly, I was cup-tied for that match and I had to miss out which I was gutted about.
How did you find playing for Jimmy Bone?
Jimmy Bone was very strict – it was either his way or no way.
After Jimmy Bone, the club appointed East Fife legend Stevie Kirk. How would you rate him as a manager?
Quite simply he was the best manager that I ever played under – the best by a mile! He was first class in every way. The training was brilliant and he was a joy to work with. Perhaps in hindsight, I should have left when he left to be honest. I don’t think he was treated very well by the club in the end. I was scunnered when he went. After that, new manager Rab Shannon tried to move me on a few times and then I had a few run-ins with Davie Clarke when he was the gaffer.
How did you leaving the club come about?
Basically, I had previously had an injury problem, although it was cleared up by the time it came to talk about renewing contracts. Davie Clarke offered me a “pay as you play” deal which I didn’t feel was fair as I was back to full fitness. I then moved to Forfar although I never really enjoyed my time up there. The gaffer there was Neal Cooper. I won’t say anymore other than I did not enjoy playing for him in the slightest.
The major highlight during your time at East Fife must have been when you made history scoring the first goal in the new stadium?
Definitely. That was a special moment.
Any other highlights?
Well the best ever goal I scored for East Fife was a volley against Cowdenbeath. We got beat 3-2 that day but the goal I scored was a beauty. By the way, the worst ground I ever played at was Central Park. I hated going there – same with Cliftonhill. They were awful places to visit.
How did you feel when the club moved to the new stadium?
It was positive because the facilities were excellent. The pitch was first class, better than Old Bayview where there was a bit of a slope. However, in terms of atmosphere, you can’t compare them. It would have been great to play at the old ground when there were big crowds. It would have been a really special place.
Who was the best East Fife player you played alongside?
That would have to be Dave Beaton. He was such a strong, hard defender. Away from East Fife, the best player I played alongside was Willie Irvine.
What about the great Arnold Dwarika?!
No, I’m afraid not. Don’t get me wrong – he had fantastic ability and loads of skills; however, he was a very lazy player who didn’t like to put a shift in.
Who was the best player you ever played against?
I was lucky to play against Celtic and Rangers when I was with Alloa. The Celtic team had the likes of Di Canio, Cadette, Van Hoojodonk etc. Being a Rangers fan it was great to play against Ally McCoist, However, in terms of ability, Di Canio was the nest player I ever played against.
Are you still involved in football?
No, not at all. Maybe at some time in the future but having a young family keeps me very busy. I still look out for East Fife and Alloa results. To be honest I have fallen out of love a bit with football – particularly at the highest level where you see the huge amounts of money involved, especially for pretty average footballers. It would be good to come back over to Bayview again soon though and see how the team are doing these days.
To finish with, pick your best East Fife team – based on players you’ve played alongside
Goalkeeper – Willie McCulloch
Defenders – John Cusick, Dave Beaton, Innes Ritchie and Dickie Gibb
Midfielders – Gilbert Allan, Robert Prytz, Stevie ‘Spider’ Ramsay
Forwards – Matt Dyer, Stevie Kirk and Barrie Moffat (of course!)
Questions asked by Liam Thomson
Our award-winning matchday programme The Bayview will be interviewing supporters for our returning feature "Meet The Fans". Up next on Meet The Fans is club volunteer Tiffani Easton from Leven.
How long have you been an East Fife supporter and what was your first game?
This is going to be my 10th season. My first game was the first match of the 2007/2008 season against East Strilingshire.
Most memorable moment following East Fife?
The trophy presentation in 2007/2008, being able to meet footballers, get photos with them and have it signed by them all.
Least favourite moment following East Fife?
The league winning day at Clyde with Gary Naysmith! I was working at a match day with Leeds United, thinking that the League wouldn’t be decided until the next game. Everyone at my work knew but never told me….so that season doesn’t count! Haha!
Favourite player (present)?
Kyle Wilkie! He’s off his block sometimes but will always give what he can. It’s good to see him back from injury
Favourite player (all-time)?
Big Jay Smart. Fife man at heart, first player that caught my eye during my first match.
Best East Fife goal you’ve seen?
Can I say mine in the last of the grass game??? If not, Bobby Linn scoring direct from a corner at Stenhousemuir.
Favourite Goal Celebration?
Bobby and Jay’s at Stenhousemuir, Jay lifting Bobby onto his shoulders, unbelievable!
Pick your all-time East Fife 11
Mark Ridgers, Gary Naysmith, Jay Smart, Jonathan Page, Stevie Campbell, Ross Brown, Shaun Fagen, Kyle Wilkie, Div Muir, Nathan Austin and Paul McManus.
Favourite Scotland game?
Scotland v France, James McFadden scoring the only goal.
Favourite Scotland player (all-time)?
Scott Brown – the passion he has is unbelievable!
When do you think Scotland will next qualify for a major tournament?
Ronaldo or Messi?
Favourite away ground?
Arbroath because it’s quite old style and it was the first away game I went to.
If you could change one football rule what would it be?
If you get a red card in a cup game, the ban is only for the remainder of that game. You can play in the next game the team plays