William Hill Scottish Cup 4th Round, Tony Macaroni Stadium, Saturday 21st January 2017
East Fife 1 (Paterson 27’)
Man of the Match: Nicki Paterson
Livingston XI: Kelly, Lithgow, Crighton, Byrne, Pittman, Buchanan, Mullen, Cadden (Carrick 83’), De Vita (Mullin 65’), Halkett, Gallagher
Subs Not Used: Maley, Longridge, Sinclair, Sampson, Ogilvie
East Fife XI: Goodfellow, Slattery, Kane, Page, Kerr, Brown (Lamont 76’), Smith, Robinson, Insall (Duggan 82’), Penrice, Paterson
Subs Not Used: Cordery, Austin, Mutch
Booked: Brown, Kane, Slattery, Robinson
Referee: Colin Steven
East Fife are through to the 5th round of the William Hill Scottish Cup following a 1-0 win over fellow League 1 side Livingston. Manager Barry Smith made two changes to the side that drew with Airdrieonians the previous week with Mark Hurst and Mark Lamont making way for Ryan Goodfellow and Kevin Smith.
Livingston should have taken the lead on 8 minutes when Nicky Cadden fired a great cross into the box but Rafa De vita could only lift the ball over the bar from a couple of yards. The home side had another couple of chances in the first 20 minutes first when Liam Buchanan forced Goodfellow to turn his header behind for a corner before Alan Lithgow headed over at the back post from Cadden’s cross. East Fife’s first real effort in front of goal came on 18 minutes when Livi keeper Liam Kelly managed to tip Jamie Insall’s header over the bar. East Fife were growing into the game had had another good opportunity to go ahead on 26 minutes when Insall’s overhead kick went narrowly wide after Jonathan Page had headed on Paterson’s corner.
East Fife took the lead on 27 minutes in spectacular fashion when Paterson found the back of the net with a volley from 25-yards. Goodfellow was forced to tip a free kick from Cadden over the bar on 34 minutes before Paterson had the chance to double East Fife’s lead 10 minutes before half-time but this time his strike was narrowly wide.
After the break there were chances aplenty for both sides. A header by Jason Kerr was easily saved by formed Fifer Kelly and Insall headed wide for the visitors. Goodfellow was called into action on 62 minutes when he pulled off an excellent save from Rada de Vita’s deflected strike and gain on 75 minutes to deny Scott Pittman. Pittman was involved again 5 minutes later but he pulled his shot wide after good work by substitute Josh Mullin.
Substitute Lamont should have put the tie to bed 10 minutes from time when he was played in by Smith but Kelly was out quickly to block. Livingston pressed for an equaliser and were piling forward at every opportunity. Liam Buchanan saw his close range shot saved by Goodfellow before Dale Carrick’s follow-up rebounded off the bar. The home side has one last chance to force a replay into injury time but Danny Mullen’s header was cleared off the line by Jonathan Page.
After the match Manager Barry Smith spoke to East Fife TV:
“I’m delighted for the boys, the effort they put into that game and a bit of quality wins it. They had to defend extremely well in the latter part of the game but Livingston were always going to throw everything at it, they were taking chances, they were gambling so they were going to get chances and we understand that. The boys defended brilliantly, threw themselves in front of things and as I say the one bit of quality in the game won it.”
“We knew what we were getting when Nicki [Paterson] came, I’m not sure if we’ll get strikes like that every week but that’s what he’s capable of and that’s why we brought him to the club. Goody [Ryan Goodfellow] has been out for a few weeks and to come in and plays as well as he did is credit to him. The whole team put in a tremendous performance to get into the next round and that was the important thing.”
Highlights of Saturday's drawn game at Airdrie are now available to view on EFtv
Ladbrokes League 1, Excelsior Stadium, Saturday 14th January 2017
Airdrieonians 2 (Ryan 26’, Leitch 89’)
East Fife 2 (Kerr 45’, Brown 74’)
Man of the Match: Jason Kerr
East Fife XI: Hurst, Slattery, Kane (Austin 90’), Page, Kerr, Lamont, Brown, Robinson, Insall (Duggan 84’), Penrice, Paterson
Subs Not Used: Mutch, Trialist
Airdrieonians XI: Ferguson, McIntosh, Boateng (McKay 78’), Gorman, MacDonald, Conroy, Stewart, Hutton, Ryan, Leitch, Brown (Russell 75’)
Subs Not Used: Cairns, Higgins, Louden, Thomson, Kerr
Referee: Alan Newlands
East Fife’s winning run came to an end but they still managed to pick up a hard-fought point following a 2-2 draw with Airdrieonians. East Fife made two changed to the side that beat Stenhosuemuir with Mark Lamont and new signing Nicki Paterson replacing the departed duo of Kevin O’Hara and Scott Mercer.
13 minutes in East Fife had their first chance of the match when Rohan Ferguson was unable to cleanly collect Lamont’s corner however Kerr was unable to connect cleanly and the ball trickled wide. Almost immediately the home side had their first opportunity in front of goal after good work by Scott Stewart down the right but Andy Ryan was off-balance and fired wide. Airdrieonians took the lead on 26 minutes when Stewart broke forward following an East Fife corner and two passes later Ryan had the ball in the back of the net. East Fife grabbed an equaliser on the stroke of half-time when Kerr rose highest to head home Lamont’s corner for his 5th goal of the season.
The home side enjoyed the majority of the possession and attempts in front of goal for the first 20 minutes of the second half. After a series of corners a strong drive from Adam Brown was turned round the post by Mark Hurst before Ryan curled the ball narrowly wide following another breakaway move. East Fife began to grow into the game in the final quarter a took the lead on 74 minutes when Ross Brown to get on the end of a cross from Kevin Smith and steer his header past Rohan Ferguson into the bottom corner
Airdrieonians were pressing for an equaliser and Kerr was on hand to block a goal-bound effort from Jack Leitch on 82 minutes. The home side scored a deserved equaliser with a minute left of normal time with Leitch got on the end of a cut-back by substitute Jack McKay. The visitors almost left with all three points in injury time but Ferguson was able to turn Nicki Paterson’s free kick behind for a corner.
A run of 6 straight wins came to an end but a point means East Fife are now only 4 points behind 2nd placed Alloa Athletic with a game in hand.
After the match Manager Barry Smith spoke to East Fife TV:
“The position we were in we’re disappointed. When you’re 2-1 up going into the last few minutes of the game but in terms of the game a draw was probably a fair result. It shows what that dressing room is like they are disappointed but they shouldn’t be because we’re on a good run at the moment and we remain unbeaten, I think its 6 or 7 games. They shouldn’t be downbeat they should be looking positively towards next week’s game.”
Post match interviews with manager Barry Smith and latest signing Nicki Paterson are now available to view on EFtv
Smith hails players after picking up award
East Fife boss is Ladbrokes League One Manager of the Month for December
East Fife manager Barry Smith insists his Ladbrokes Manager of the Month award for December belongs to his players rather than himself.
Smith was given the accolade despite only being appointed the Fifers’ manager on December 13, but five consecutive wins in Ladbrokes League One have set him apart from every other coach in the division.
And after conceding just one goal in four matches in December, Smith has lavished praise on his in-form squad.
Speaking exclusively to http://ladbrokes.com/spfl" href="http://ladbrokes.com/spfl">Ladbrokes News, he said: “It is nice to get a little bit of recognition, but having just come into the job, a lot of the credit has to go to the players.
“They’ve gave me everything in their performances since I’ve come in which has resulted in the run we’ve been on, so a lot of the credit must go down to them more than anybody else and I’m delighted with the way they’ve went about their business, more than myself.
“I knew some of the players and I knew a few of them had played at a higher level, but the work rate and work ethic is something that wins half the battle right away.
"Their attitude towards training and playing has been excellent since I come in.
“We don’t look any further ahead than Saturday’s game against Airdrie. I think it can be too easy to get ahead of yourself and pick up points before playing games. We’re simply always concentrating on the next game and we’ll do that throughout and see where it takes us. "
Smith took over at Bayview following a spell in English football with Aldershot Town and whilst the 42-year-old is fully focused on his current job, he admits a second spell down south isn’t out of the question.
He explained: “The reason I came back up was for family reasons. Due to family circumstances, we decided it was best to come back up the road.
"Would I like to go back down? Well, it’s dependant on whether my family would want to go down, because they’re the most important thing to me.
“But it was a good experience, and I keep in touch with the directors at Aldershot.
"They know what I did for the club when they were going through a sticky patch and the affect I had on the club and everything I did. Yes, I’d like to go back down, but at the moment I’m concentrating fully on what I’m doing at East Fife and it seems to be going well at the moment.
“I went to Dundee and went to Alloa and had success there, but do I want to get back into full-time management? Of course I do, but I’ll only do that if I’m successful here. All my thoughts are on doing well for East Fife.”
East Fife will look to make it six wins on the spin when they travel to take on Airdrie this weekend.
Page has no interest in a step up
East Fife defender is Ladbrokes League One Player of the Month for December
East Fife captain Jonathan Page insists he’d turn down a return to full-time football if it was offered to him after he was named the Ladbrokes League One Player of the Month.
The 26-year-old defender was a crucial cog in the Bayview side’s run of four consecutive wins in December, with the club managing to concede just one goal along the way.
Page’s form of late has certainly been eye-catching, but the former Hamilton and Motherwell player has no interest in a seeking a full-time club.
Speaking exclusively to http://ladbrokes.com/spfl" href="http://ladbrokes.com/spfl">Ladbrokes News, he said: “I enjoyed being a full-time footballer at the clubs I was at, but I didn’t feel it was for me.
"I’ve had a few experiences of part-time football – once at Stirling Albion a good few years ago, and obviously, the last couple of years with East Fife. I’ve found it much more enjoyable and that’s what I want to continue doing in the future.
“For me, I find myself looking forward to my football at East Fife more than I did when I was full-time. It might be because I’m playing a lot more regularly as a part-time player, and that might just go hand-in-hand with how much I’ve enjoyed it. All I can say is that my time at East Fife has been great.
“Enjoying your football is the most important thing. It’s a lot harder to play to your potential if you’re not enjoying it. I certainly want to make sure I enjoy it for the rest of my career.”
After scooping his Ladbrokes Player of the Month accolade, Page praised manager Barry Smith, who was also named Ladbrokes Manager of the Month for December, but insisted survival in Ladbrokes League One was still the club’s priority.
He added: “It’s always nice to get recognition. It’s not what we’re in it for, but it’s an indicator of the team doing well which is obviously the most important thing and this has come on the back of a few good results, so it’s definitely a positive thing.
“He’s only been in a short period, but from what I’ve seen I’ve been really impressed.
"We’ve been organised, the training has been fantastic and I know the other boys have been enjoying it. I’ve absolutely no doubt that if he gets the success here at East Fife, he’ll have bigger clubs coming in for him.
“We’ve started to get a little bit of luck that we didn’t have earlier in the season, but he’s instilled a confidence and obviously we’ve conceded just one goal in five games which shows the defensive improvement and how we’ve made ourselves harder to beat.
“I think it should also be said that he’s carried on the good work done by Gary Naysmith before him and he’s not tried to make too many drastic changes. I think he realised he had a hungry and hard-working team and he just wanted to build on that.
“It’d be a great achievement to get to the play-offs. Obviously, being a newly promoted team, the original goal at the start of the season was to make sure the club stays in the division and that obviously still is be the main priority, but anything we can get on top of that would be fantastic.”