East Fife head for the Tony Macaroni Arena for the third time this season tomorrow, hoping to build on an impressive showing last week against Albion Rovers.
Speaking earlier today Bayview boss Barry Smith looked ahead to the clash against a side currently occupying pole position in the table.
"The boys are looking forward to the game and are going into it with a bit of confidence after a good performance and result last Saturday. We are however aware that we are up against a very good Livingston team and know that we will have to be at our best to get a result."
Smith also provided an update on the injury situation at the club, with Pat Slattery a doubt and wide midfielder Mark Lamont set to miss out. There could also be a new signing in the travelling party if international clearance can be obtained in time.
The sides are no strangers to each other this season, having met four times already, with the Fifers winning both meetings at Bayview and a win apiece in the games at Livingston. It promises to be yet another intriguing encounter.
East Fife 2 (Duggan 53’, 59’)
Albion Rovers 0
Man of the Match: Chris Duggan
East Fife XI: Hurst, Kane, Page, Kerr, Brown, Duggan, Smith, Curran (Reilly 80’), Robinson, Penrice, Paterson
Subs Not Used: Goodfellow, Lamont, Insall, Austin, Mutch
Albion Rovers XI: Stewart, Gilmour (Sheilds 69’), R Dunlop, M Dunlop, Fisher (Turnbull 69’), Davidson, Stewart, Ferguson (Smith 45’), Wallace, Archibald
Subs Not Used: Potts, McCann, Ferry, Willis
Booked: M Dunlop
Referee: David Lowe
East Fife welcomed Albion Rovers to Bayview for the second time this season and ran out comfortable 2-0 winners thanks to a second half brace from Chris Duggan. East Fife made four changes to the side that lost to Alloa Athletic midweek with Mark Hurst, Chris Duggan, Kevin Smith and Nicki Paterson coming in for Ryan Goodfellow, Jordan Austin, Jamie Insall and Ben Reilly.
The visitors should have taken the lead in the second minutes when they stole the ball in midfield and broke up the park with a two man advantage however Ross Stewart’s shot was straight at Mark Hurst. After the early scare East Fife began to exert their authority in the game with an excellent display of passing football. Good play down the right-hand right saw Scott Robinson square the ball along the 6–yard box but it was just behind Kevin Smith who would have been left with a tap in at the back post. Smith had another chance on 24 minutes when he got on the end of Chris Kane’s cross but his header was straight at Rovers ‘keeper Ross Stewart.
James Penrice showed some good footwork to turn his marker and whip in a cross that just evaded Chris Duggan before ‘keeper Stewart had to be alert to turn Duggan drive from distance behind for a corner. At the other end Mark Hurst bravely saved at the feet of striker Stewart in what proved to be the visitor’s best chance of the game. East Fife had been impressive in the first half but the best was still to come.
A quick East Fife break saw Robinson play in Smith but his shot was deflected into the side netting on 52 minutes. Nicki Paterson’s corner was cleared by Mick Dunlop but only as far as Curran who whipped the ball back in for Duggan who scored with a superb volley on the turn; a definite contender for goal of the season. Duggan added a second 5 minutes later when a mix-up between Ross Dunlop and ‘keeper Stewart saw Duggan celebrate before passing the ball into the empty net.
East Fife were in cruise control for the remainder of the match with the a shot by Ross Davidson which was straight at Hurst the closest Albion Rovers came to troubling the score sheet. A thoroughly deserved and comfortable victory which saw East Fife jump to 3rd place in Ladbrokes League 1.
After the match Manager Barry Smith spoke to East Fife TV:
“We asked for a reaction and I knew I would get one because of the group of boys that I’ve got in that dressing room, a great set of boys. They won the game through a lot of hard work and a lot of good football. Chris (Duggan) showed what he’s capable of for his first goal and just being a striker for his second.”
“The boys are capable of that and it’s probably as good as they’ve been passing the ball today but the more pleasing thing for me is responding in the right manner from Tuesday night and I knew they would.”
THE ACADEMY DINNER
Saturday 18th March 2017 (7.30pm to 12am)
Rothes Halls - Glenrothes
Tickets are £40 (including £10 donation to Fife Elite Football Academy)
Plus Auction and Raffle for Academy Funds
Fifers for the Community (FFTC), the charity group that will be running the community facility at Bayview starting later this year, are holding a fundraising race night on Saturday night (4th March).
The event is being held at the Greig Institute, Windygates starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced at £5 with stovies provided during the evening.
Please go along and show your support.
Ladbrokes League One, Indodrill Stadium, Tuesday 28th February 2017
Alloa Athletic 3 (Spence 11’, Cawley 38’, Longworth 80’)
East Fife 0 ()
Man of the Match: Jason Kerr
Alloa Athletic XI: McDowall, Taggart, Waters, McKeown, Graham, Hetherington, Cawley (Robertson 69’), Flannigan, Spence (Holmes 77’), Kirkpatrick, Mackin (Longworth 61’)
Subs Not Used: Holmes, Marr, Hoggan, Hynd, Wilson
East Fife XI: Goodfellow, Kane, Page, Kerr, Brown, Curran, Robinson, Insall, Penrice, Austin (Duggan 67’), Reilly (Lamont 67’)
Subs Not Used: Mutch, Hurst
Booked: Austin, Brown, Page
Referee: Barry Cook
East Fife’s unbeaten run came to an end after a 3-0 defeat by Alloa Athletic at the Indodrill Stadium. Manager Barry Smith made four changes to the side that drew with Peterhead at the weekend with Pat Slattery, Mark Lamont, Chris Duggan and Kevin Smith making way for Ben Reilly, Jordan Austin, Jamie Insall and new loan-signing Jesse Curran.
East Fife started the game well however it was the home side who took the lead on 11 minutes when Greig Spence got in between the East Fife defence to head home Dylan Mackin’s cross. New signing Jesse Curran burst through the middle of the park on 15 minutes but his shot could only find the side-netting before Jamie Insall headed Ben Reilly’s cross narrowly wide at the back post a minute later.
The home side were growing into the game and a combination of Ryan Goodfellow and Jason Kerr did enough to deny Jordan Kirkpatrick before Iain Flannigan’s free kick was headed headed just over by Mackin on 36 minutes. Alloa doubled their lead a couple of minutes later when Kevin Cawley picked up a lose pass in midfield and raced towards goal before firing past Goodfellow.
After the break Andy Graham tried his luck from 35-yards, forcing Goodfellow into an excellent save after taking a deflection on its way through. At the other end Craig McDowall was unable to hold Reilly’s strike from the right but gathered at the second attempt before substitute Chris Duggan tried to curl the ball into the top corner but missed by a couple of yards. Goodfellow was forced into another fine save on 78 minutes, this time to deny Jon Robertson.
The home side sealed the win and all three points 10 minutes from time when Jamie Longworth lost his marker at a set piece to send a glancing header into the net from 10-yards. East Fife almost grabbed a consolation goal with four minutes remaining but McDowall reacted well to keep out Duggan’s header.
East Fife were beaten by the better team on the night and will attempt to get back to winning ways against Albion Rovers on Saturday.
After the match Manager Barry Smith spoke to East Fife TV:
“We’re running with a tight squad and we’ve brought young Jesse Curran in who I thought actually did very well in the game. We don’t make excuses we got punished for making mistakes tonight but I don’t think we should forget how well they boys have done since I came here. They’ve been excellent so we’re not going to be over critical. We know that we can do better and that’s on Saturday.”
The Club would like to thank our Supporters who came to our aid last night when our Minibus broke down. Thank you, your help was very much appreciated.