East Fife are on their travels again tomorrow as they head to the town of St Thomas of Canterbury to take on an Arbroath side who have recorded some impressive victories in the campaign so far. After three consecutive wins, Dick Campbell’s men suffered a narrow defeat in their last outing on Saturday, going down 2-1 to promotion challengers Raith Rovers at Gayfield.
Bayview boss Darren Young was not a happy man following last week’s 3-2 defeat against Albion Rovers at Cliftonhill Stadium. Despite a bright opening and a fine goal from Aaron Dunsmore the Fifers fell out of the game, with the Coatbridge side ending up deserving winners at the end of ninety minutes play. Gruelling conditions and a spate of illness in the build-up to the game might have been mitigating factors, but the Gaffer was adamant that the overall performance was not good enough from a side capable of so much better.
East Fife’s record in recent years against the Red Lichties has been decent, although every game has been fiercely contested, and the Bayview faithful will head north knowing that a return to the form that saw their favourites triumph 3-1 at Bayview back in October will be necessary to secure the points tomorrow.
Ladbrokes League 1
Saturday 23rd December 2017
Albion Rovers 3 (Shields 23’, Trouten 25’, McLaughlin 72’)
East Fife 2 (Dunsmore 6’, G Hurst 27’))
Albion Rovers XI: Potts, Lightbody, McLaughlin, Reid, Perry, Holmes, Fisher, Davidson, Shields, Trouten (Higgins 31’), Victoria (Watters 85’)
Subs: McMullin, McLeish, Guthrie, Trialist, Hopkins
East Fife XI: M Hurst, Dusnmore (Kane 38’), Docherty, Page, Piggott, Lamont (Reilly 65’), G Hurst, Millar, Linton, Duggan, Wilkie (Mutch 80’)
Subs: Wilson, Flanagan, Goodfellow
Referee: Barry Cook
Inconsistency again proved to be East Fife’s downfall as they slipped to their second successive defeat after a promising opening 45 minutes against Albion Rovers at Cliftonhill Stadium. Manager Darren Young made one change to the side that lost to Ayr United last time out with Greg Hurst replacing injured captain Kevin Smith in the starting line-up.
It was the visitors who started brightest with Kyle Wilkie having a sight of goal on 4 minutes after good play by Mark Lamont down the right but he dragged his shot wide of the left-hand post before East Fife took the lead a couple of minutes later. Jonathan Page picked out Aaron Dunsmore wide of the right who cut inside before sending a left-footed shot past Rovers’ ‘keeper Daniel Potts for his first senior goal.
The home side began to grow into the game and had their first chance on 18 minutes when Alan Trouten had an attempt on goal but his strike was never going to trouble Mark Hurst in the East Fife goal. Graeme Holmes was next to have a go but couldn’t find the target with a shot from 25-yards. Rovers levelled the game on 22 minutes when Hurst misjudged a shot from Conor Shields before Alan Touten put the home side in front a couple of minutes later when he finished off a quick break from Scott McLaughlin down the left.
They weren’t in front for long, however, when Greg Hurst capitalised on a poor clearance from Potts to pass the ball into an empty net on 27 minutes. Joao Victoria flashed a shot across goal for the home side on 31 minutes before Potts saved comfortable held a free kick from Lamont at the other end as half time approached.
Albion Rovers should have been back in front shortly after the re-start when Shield’s shot was well blocked by Hurst only for Victoria to head the rebound wide of target. By now the home side were in the ascendency and had another chance on 57 minutes when former Fifer Gary Fisher was unlucky to see his 25-yard drive rebound off the post. The visitors almost grabbed an equaliser in bizarre fashion when Holmes attempted clearance rebounded off Chris Duggan and looked headed for the bottom corner but Potts was alert to scramble the ball clear.
Lamont sent a shot over the bar on 62 minutes before the home side scored what proved to be the winner when McLaughlin found the bottom corner with a free kick from the edge of the box on 72 minutes.
East Fife faded badly in the second half after a promising opening 45 with the home side running out deserved winners in the end.
Home Support tickets for our match on Tuesday 2nd January (3pm kick off) are on sale now.
You can purchase over the phone, via our internet shop or in person at Bayview (office open on Friday 29th December 9am to 3pm & Tuesday 2nd January from 10am).
Adults - £15
Concessions (over 60) - £12
Under 16s - £5
Tomorrow East Fife bring the curtain down on the first half of the campaign with a visit to Cliftonhill Stadium to take on Albion Rovers. The Coatbridge men were back in action in midweek after two consecutive Saturday postponements, coming away with a creditable 2-2 draw against Stranraer at Stair Park. It came as no surprise that the man on target for Rovers was Alan Trouten, his double taking his tally for the season so far to a remarkable 21 goals.
Bayview boss Darren Young was left frustrated following last week’s defeat at Bayview Stadium to Ayr United. Despite finishing on the wrong end of a 4-1 scoreline, the Fifers dominated the first-half and were on top for periods after the break only to be punished by a combination of clinical finishing by the league leaders, aided by some poor defending from the home side.
It will be the first meeting of the sides since that astonishing encounter in October when the men from Methil overturned a 4-2 deficit to win 5-4 with three goals in the last ten minutes, including two in injury time. Last season, with the current East Fife management team of Darren Young and Tony McMinn in the home dugout at Cliftonhill saw a 1-0 win apiece in two games within four weeks. Former Fifer Ryan Wallace and Jason Kerr were the match winners for their respective clubs.
Albion Rovers will be hosting a special collection for the Coatbridge food bank and we would urge everyone to contribute what they can for this very worthy cause.
Supporters are advised that the stadium bar will be open from 12.45pm.
Will supporters please note that the Club Office and Shop will be open daily to 4.45pm this week till Thursday but will open from 9.30am on Friday 22nd December 2017 to 2pm only . Thereafter, we will be closed until Wednesday 27th December at 9am.
G McQueen Alex Donaldson
In spite of the result, all sponsors thoroughly enjoyed their hospitality and received their signed balls from Ken Henderson, Commercial Director, on Saturday past.
Thank you for supporting The Fife, gentlemen! Haste ye back!