William Hill Scottish Cup 3rd Round
Saturday 18th November 2017
East Fife 2 (Smith 32’, Page 67’)
Clyde XI: Currie, Home, Breslin (Wright 68’), McNiff, Stewart, Duffie, Nicoll (Ramsay 75’), Cuddihy, Lowdon, Gormley (Osadolor 67’), Goodwillie
Subs: Wilson, Brown, Lamont, Craig
Booked: Breslin, Nicoll
East Fife XI: Goodfellow, Dunsmore, Kane, Page, Wilson, Wilkie (Reilly 82’), Docherty, Lamont (Watson 75’), Millar, Smith (Mutch 75’), Duggan
Subs: Willis, Cordery
Booked: Page, Dunsmore
Referee: David Munro
East Fife progressed to the 4th round of the William Hill Scottish Cup curtesy of a 2-0 win against Clyde at Broadwood, although the game was a lot closer than the score line suggested. Manager Darren Young made four changes to the side that lost to Forfar Athletic last time out with Ben Reilly making way for fit-again Captain Kevin Smith and Ryan Goodfellow, Chris Kane and Kyle Wilkie replacing Mark Hurst, Jordan Piggott and Nathan Flanagan who were denied permission to play by their parent clubs.
East Fife were unlucky not to be ahead inside 3 minutes when Mark Lamont whipped in a free kick from the touchline which was met by Smith with a diving header at the near post but Clyde ‘keeper Blair Currie got down well to his left to stop the ball on the line. The home side’s first chance of the game fell to former Fifer Kieran Duffie on 13 minutes when a quickly taken free kick made its way to him on the right-hand side of the box and forced Goodfellow into a smart save low to his left. Clyde should have taken the lead 5 minutes later when David Goodwillie picked up the ball on the half-way line and raced in on goal only to drag his shot wide of the right-hand post with only the goalkeeper to beat.
Chris Duggan fired in a cross from the left on 29 minutes that was cleared by the Clyde defence but only as far as Mark Docherty but he couldn’t find the target with a volley from 20-yards. Goodwillie forced Goodfellow into a save from a tight angle just before the half-hour mark before East Fife took the lead. Chris Kane’s cross from the right was headed down by Duggan into the path of Smith who volleyed past Currie for his first goal of the season on 32 minutes. Clyde had a half-claim for a penalty on 33 minutes when David Gormley went down inside the area but referee David Munro was uninterested.
Clyde came out fighting after the break; a long-throw making its way to Barry Cuddihy on the edge of the box but his shot was straight at Goodfellow. Smith should have doubled the visitor’s lead on 53 minutes; Docherty got in behind the Clyde defence, his initial shot was blocked before laying the rebound off for Smith but he was unable to find the target from 10-yards.
Clyde’s best chance of an equaliser came on 59 minutes. Duffie fired in a cross from the right that Goodfellow did enough to push the ball away from Goodwillie but only as far as Gormley who could only lift the ball over the bar from 8-yards. Aaron Dunsmore then pulled off a superb last ditch blocked to deny Gormley on 64 minutes before East Fife put the game to bed on 67 minutes. Smith was fouled by Jamie Breslin on edge of the box, 5-yards from the by-line. Docherty whipped in the free kick from the right-hand side of the goal and Jonathan Page rose highest to head the ball past Currie.
As the game drew to a close, the home side had a couple of opportunities to pull a goal back. First, Goodwillie fired high and wide from 12-yards before Goodfellow was on-hand to punch away a long-range effort from Cuddihy. In between that, Martin McNiff was dismissed for the home side for a miss-timed challenge on Ben Reilly. The decision looked harsh at the time and replays showed that although McNiff didn’t play the ball, the challenge was neither malicious or dangerous.
East Fife have played better and lost this season but a win’s a win and, more importantly, we’re into the 4th round where we have been drawn a home tie against Highland League side Brora Rangers.
Ladbrokes League 1
Saturday 11th November 2017
Forfar Athletic 1 (Malone 59’, Travis 67’))
East Fife 0
Forfar Athletic XI: McCallum, Bain, Kennedy, Whyte, Travis, Malone, Aitken, MacKintosh, Lochhead, Cox (Peters 87’), Easton (See 83’)
Subs: Cregg, Suthie, McBride, Quigley, Adam
Booked: Bain, Whyte, Easton
East Fife XI: M Hurst, Dunsmore, Docherty (Kane 86’), Page, Piggott, Lamont, Wilson, Millar, Flanagan (Willis 79’), Reilly (Smith 65’), Duggan
Subs: Goodfellow, Mutch
Booked: Dunsmore, Docherty, Wilson
Referee: Alan Muir
East Fife were left to rue missed chances as the went down 2-0 to Forfar Athletic at Station Park. Manager Darren Young made two changes to the side that narrowly lost to Raith Rovers last time out with Nathan Flanagan and Kyle Wilson replacing Pat Slattery, who missed out through injury, and Paul Willis.
The home side were afforded an early sight of goal when Scott Lochhead found space down the right and managed to get a shot away that ‘keeper Mark Hurst was forces to turn behind for a corner. Forfar had another opportunity on 6 minutes with a free kick from 35-yards. The ball was laid-off for Dylan Easton but his strike was never going to trouble Hurst.
The visitors had been slow to settle into the game but were starting to threaten the Forfar goal with Nathan Flanagan forcing Loons ‘keeper Marc McCallum to tip his left-footed strike over the bar. East Fife had another opportunity shortly after when Mark Lamont corner was spilled by McCallum into the path of Kyle Wilson but he was unable to keep hit shot down.
East Fife enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in the first half and were unlucky not to open the scoring on 20 minutes when a good break upfield by Aaron Dunsmore saw him pick out Flanagan level with the 6-yard box. Flanagan fired in a cross from the right that narrowly failed to find Kieran Millar in the centre of the goal. Moments later, Lamont played a free kick on the edge of the box along the ground that almost deflected into the net but the Forfar defence were able to scramble clear.
When Forfar did venture into the East Fife half during the first period they failed to test Hurst; David Cox with their best chance 24 minutes but he strike from 15-yards was never going to trouble the East Fife stopper. At the other end, Flanagan’s blocked shot fell into the path of Mark Docherty 20-yards from goal who had McCallum scrambling backwards to collect at the second attempt. East Fife had one final chance before the break when Millar got on the end of a free kick from the left-hand touchline but was unable to steer his header towards goal.
East Fife started the way they finished after the break with Jonathan Page heading down a free kick into the path of Chris Duggan who just failed to connect at the back post. Excellent work by Ben Reilly near the corner flag saw him steal the ball from Michael Kennedy and fire in a cross from the right-hand side that only needed the faintest of touches but no one was able to connect.
Forfar took the lead against the run of play on 59 minutes when Eddie Malone rose highest to head a Matthew Aitken cross past Hurst. The opening goal failed to dent the visitor’s confidence and they were agonisingly close to levelling the match 5 minutes later. Substitute Kevin Smith got on the end of a Lamont cross at the back post only to see his header cleared off the line before McCallum was able to clear. Forfar put the game to bed when a Michael Travis’ volley found the back of the net on 68 minutes.
The visitors had a couple of chances as the game drew to a close with Smith sending a free kick over the bar on 72 minutes before Page saw his header saved by McCallum with 8 minutes left to play.
A game where East Fife had plenty of the ball and created plenty of chances but were just lacking in the final 3rd.
Arbroath make the relatively short trip to Methil tomorrow as East Fife hope to bounce back from last Saturday's disappointing defeat to Alloa Athletic at the Indodrill Stadium. The task of returning to winning ways will certainly not be an easy one as the Angus men have recorded some fine victories this season, including a terrific 7-1 success against Airdrieonians last week.
Bayview boss Darren Young was left frustrated at the loss of avoidable goals at Alloa, particularly after getting off to a good start, taking an early lead after a fine strike from midfielder Kyle Wilkie. He will however be heartened by the availability of influencial defender Jonathan Page, after serving a two match suspension. Injuries to Craig Watson and Chris Kane necessitated a last gasp search for another central defender, with 18 year old Jordan Piggot's signature on loan from Dundee being secured just hours before kick-off last Saturday. The young West Midlander was one of the positives for the Fifers from the outing, turning in an impressive performance on his senior debut.
East Fife's recent record against the men from Gayfield is encouraging, having won their last four meetings between the sides, including a 3-2 victory in an incident packed encounter in the Angus town earlier in the season, but the Methil men will be only too aware that they will need to be at the top of their game tomorrow to earn the points.
Supporters of both clubs are reminded that they are welcome to enjoy refreshments at the stadium bars before and after the game.