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Fifers lose in tight game at Alloa

22 August 2016

Ladbrokes League 1, Indodrill Stadium, Saturday 20th August 2016

 

Alloa Athletic 2 (Flannigan 36’, Spence 40’)

East Fife 1 (O’Hara 90’)

 

East Fife XI: Muir, Mercer, Kane (Wallace 75’), Page, Kerr, Brown (Lamont 63’), Smith, Wilkie, Robinson, Naysmith, McManus (O’Hara 63’)

Subs Not Used: Goodfellow, Mutch

Booked: None

 

Alloa XI: Parry, Taggart, Waters, Graham, Marr, Goodwin, Flannigan (Hetherington 80’), Holmes (Layne 76’), Spence (Hoggan 86’), Crawley, Kirkpatrick

Subs Not Used: McDowall, Wilson, Scullion, Hynd

Booked: Crawley

 

Referee: David Lowe

Attendance: 652

 

East Fife went down 2-1 in a hard fought encounter against Alloa Athletic who have a 100% record in both league and cup competitions this season. East Fife made four changes to the team that beat Arbroath on Wednesday with Ryan Goodfellow, Mark Lamont, Tony Wallace and Kevin O’Hara making way for Wullie Muir, Gary Naysmith, Scott Robinson and Paul McManus.

 

Almost immediately after the kick off, East Fife had a penalty claimed waved away after Jason Kerr’s shot hit the arm of Calum Waters. Initially a penalty would have been harsh but replays show that Waters’ arm was well away from his body. Both sides were looking lively with Alloa’s best chance of the opening 20 minutes falling to Greg Spence whose ambitious overhead kick narrowly cleared the bar. Kevin Crawley then picked up the only booking of the game for a late challenge on Scott Robinson.

 

Alloa were awarded a controversial free kick 10 minutes before the interval when Scott Robinson was adjudged to have handled the ball. Again replays show that in this instance Robinson had little chance to avoid the ball. Iain Flannigan stepped up to take the free kick and found the back of the net with the aid of a deflection. Alloa grabbed a second after East Fife failed to clear and Greg Spence pounced to tap home the loose ball. Again this goal was shrouded in controversy as the Assistant Referee appeared to flag for a hand ball by Spence as he charged down Page’s clearance

 

East Fife introduced Mark Lamont and Kevin O’Hara for the last half hour as they looked to claw their way back into the match and were twice unlucky when first Kevin Smith’s left-footed shot came back off the post with Neil Parry well beaten before the ‘keeper was alert to save O’Hara’s shot. East Fife were looking the likeliest to score and were finally reward for their effort when Kevin O’Hara reacted quickest to tap home Jonathan Page’s header. The goal was not only O’Hara’s first in an East Fife shirt but also the first senior goal of his career.

 

East Fife continued to press but were unable to find an opening. Alloa are most people’s tips to go on to win the league this season so East Fife can great take encouragement from running them so close.

 

After the match Manager Gary Naysmith spoke to East Fife TV:

“I think up until the first goal Alloa had a lot of the ball without really hurting us which was fine, we had set up for that and I can’t really remember them having a chance and the frustrating thing for me is the referee. You’ve got to watch what you say but how he can give a foul for a shot hitting our player’s hand when clear as day 10 minutes into the game we hit a shot, in the box, hits their player and we don’t get a penalty. Whatever you say, you can set up game plans, you say this and that about our players but a poor decision from the referee has changed the course of that game. Obviously the second goal wasn’t great from our point of view and at 2-0 down you give yourself a mountain to climb, so it’s stick or twist then.”

“We decided to really have a go for it and I honestly believe we rode our luck a couple of times in the second half, I’m not going to deny that, but I honestly believe that if that had went 10 more minutes I think we would’ve scored again. So for my players, the effort they gave me, bearing in mind we played 120 minutes of Wednesday, and I though we finished the stronger team. I don’t have any complaints with the player’s effort but what we have to do if defend better in games.”

Extra time needed to progress in Irn Bru Cup

19 August 2016

Irn Bru Cup 2nd Round, Gayfield, Wednesday 17th August 2016

 

Arbroath 2 (Little 34’, Hester 83’)

East Fife 3 (Page 62’, Smith 87’, McManus 113’)

 

East Fife XI: Goodfellow, Mercer, Kane, Page, Kerr, Lamont, Brown (Naysmith 45’), Smith, Wilkie, Wallace (Robinson 45’), O’Hara (McManus 61’)

Subs Not Used: Muir, Slattery, Mutch

Booked: Mercer, Smith, Wilkie

 

Arbroath XI: Mutch, Little, Philips, Sukar, Hamilton, Scott (McCord 45’), Gold (Linn 64’), Whatley, Doris, Hester (Dunlop 84’), Callaghan

Subs Not Used: Prunty, Thomson, Gomes

Booked: Philips, Sukar, Little

 

Referee: Gavin Duncan

Attendance: 335

 

East Fife travelled to Arbroath for the second round of the Irn Bru Cup battled to a 3-2 extra time victory. East Fife made three changes to the team that comfortably beat Peterhead the previous  Saturday with Wullie Muir, Paul McManus and Scott Robinson making way for Ryan Goodfellow, Tony Wallace and Kevin O’Hara.

 

Both teams started the game well with some good early play but neither did enough to trouble either goalkeeper. The first real chance of the match fell to Kevin Smith but his shot was easily saved by Mutch in the Arbroath goal. The home side grew and went close when Mark Whatley’s cut back evaded everyone in the 6-yard box eventually creeping past the post. Arbroath took a deserved lead 10 minutes before half-time when Ricky Little beat Chris Kane at the back post to head home Liam Callaghan’s corner.

 

East Fife started the second half on the front foot and eventually found an equaliser just after the hour mark. Mark Lamont’s free kick took a heavy deflection forcing Robbie Mutch into an excellent save onto the bar. Kevin Smith kept the ball alive at the back post and picked out Jonathan Page who rifled the ball home.

 

The goal sparked life into Arbroath with Bobby Linn and Mark Whatley forcing good saves out of Ryan Goodfellow however the ‘keeper should have done better with Kane Hester’s strike which slipped through his hands to give Arbroath the lead with 7 minutes left to play. Hester was withdrawn immediately after scoring and replaced by Michael Dunlop with Lichties boss Dick Campbell looking to shore up the defence. This allowed East Fife time on the ball with Jonathan Page breaking out of defence to pick out Kevin Smith whose right-footed shot found the back of the net to level the tie once more.

 

With no further scoring the tie moved to extra time. Both sides pressed for a winner with first Kevin Smith going close for East Fife before Steven Doris hit the post and a Ryan McCord free kick forced Goodfellow into a save. East Fife were awarded a penalty 10 minutes from time when Jassem Sukar brought down Paul McManus in the box. McManus took the penalty himself and made no mistake from the spot to score his third goal of the season.

 

The last chance of the match fell to Steven Doris but he dragged his shot wide with only Goodfellow to beat. Not the best performance from East Fife but enough to see them into the hat for the third round.

 

After the match Assistant Manager Dougie Anderson spoke to East Fife TV:

“We were disappointed with the first half, we never really got going if I’m being honest, we made a couple of changes, I don’t know if that influenced it or not but as a group we didn’t play well. Our game is based on high tempo pressure and we were a yard off it. We made the decision to bring the Gaffer on, he was always going to play some of the game, but we felt we needed to change things, and we brought Scott Robinson on. I think the changes definitely helped. I thought Scott Robinson really drove the midfield and the second half was better and extra time is extra time, it’s difficult. Paul McManus made a difference as well, he deserved his penalty and he took it well. Overall the objective was to get into the next round, we didn’t quite do it the way we wanted but we’re into the next round and that’s all that matters”

 

 

ARBROATH MATCH PHOTOS

18 August 2016

Jim Corstorphine's photos from the 3-2 Challenge Cup victory at Gayfield last night are now available by clicking HERE or by clicking the link on the left of this page.

Match report to follow.

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Last Match

Ladbrokes SPFL Division One

Saturday, 27th August 2016

East Fife 1-2 Brechin City

Next Match

Irn Bru Cup Third Round 

Alloa Athletic v East Fife

Saturday, 3rd September at 3pm

SPFL League 1

SPFL League 1

 TeamPldGDPts
1 Alloa Athletic 4 12 12
2 Brechin City 4 4 10
3 Livingston 4 8 9
4 Airdrieonians 4 1 7
5 Queen's Park 4 0 7
6 East Fife 4 1 4
7 Stranraer 4 -7 3
8 Albion Rovers 4 -6 2
9 Stenhousemuir 4 -5 1
10 Peterhead 4 -8 1

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