William Hill Scottish Cup 5th Round, Bayview Stadium, Saturday 11th February 2017
East Fife 2 (Duggan 54’(P) 90+3’(P))
St. Mirren 3 (Smith 34’, Morgan 69’ 84’)
Man of the Match: Chris Duggan
East Fife XI: Goodfellow, Watt (Kane 12’), Slattery, Page, Kerr, Brown (Insall 75’), Duggan, Smith (Lamont 66’), Robinson, Penrice, Paterson
Subs Not Used: Flockhart, Austin
St. Mirren XI: O’Brien, Megannis, Davis, MacKenzie, Eckersley, Demetriou, Storie (Morgan 66’), McGinn, Mallan, Smith (Fjelde 90+1’), Loy (Sutton 57’)
Subs Not Used: Langfield, Baird, Irvine, Clarkson
Booked: Storie, Davis
Referee: Don Robertson
East Fife welcomed St. Mirren to Bayview in the 5th round of the William Hill Scottish Cup and lost by the odd goal in 5 after an entertaining cup tie played out in challenging conditions. East Fife named an unchanged team to the side that drew 2-2 with Queen’s Park last weekend. Prior to kick off Ryan Goodfellow and Jonathan Page were presented with trophies to mark their club record 603 minutes without conceding and 100th appearance respectively.
East Fife were forced into a change on 12 minutes when last-week’s Man of the Match Luke Watt limped off to be replace by Chris Kane. The first chance of the match fell to the home side when Kane narrowly headed over at the near post from Nicki Paterson’s cross. East Fife had the ball in the back of the net on 29 minutes however the whistle had blown for a foul on St. Mirren ‘keeper Billy O’Brien by Scott Robinson. St. Mirren took the lead with their first shot at goal on 34 minutes when East Fife were unable to clear their box before the ball fell to Cameron Smith who fired past Goodfellow. The visitors had the chance to go into the break two ahead but Gary MacKenzie headed narrowly wide at the back post.
After the interval Chris Duggan fired in a shot from 25-yards but it flew narrowly past O’Brien’s left-hand post. At the other end a combination of Goodfellow and Jason Kerr were able to deny Kyle Megannis on 50 minutes. East Fife thought they had equalised on 51 minutes when Robinson’s chip looked to be heading into the bottom corner however excellent defending by Harry Davis saw him clear off the line before Ross Brown’s follow-up was saved by O’Brien. East Fife weren’t to be denied for long and got a deserved equaliser on 54 minutes when Duggan scored from the spot after Brown was bundled over in the box by Davis.
John Sutton replaced Rory Loy for the visitors on 57 minutes and almost had an immediate impact but he headed just wide at the near post moments after coming on. The visitors were back in front on 69 minutes after a breakaway move saw substitute Lewis Morgan finish from a tight angle. Duggan headed just over from a Mark Lamont cross on 75 minutes before Stephen Mallan tried his luck from distance but his shot sailed way over. St. Mirren added a third goal 6 minutes from time when Morgan curled an excellent strike into the bottom corner from 25-yards. The visitors almost added a 4th with a couple of minutes left when Mallan’s corner almost creeped directly in but for a good save by Goodfellow.
East Fife saw out the match with 10 men when Robinson went off injured with a minute of normal time remaining with East Fife having used all three of their subs. The home side were awarded a second penalty which Duggan again converted with the last kick of the game after the Jamie Insall was impeded in the box by Davis. The goal put a fairer reflection on the game but East Fife’s winning run and Scottish Cup campaign came to an end in a game that the home side were unlucky to lose.
After the match Barry Smith spoke to East Fife TV:
“I think we put enough into the game that we certainly could have taken it to a replay. The second half there was large spells of the game where we were on top, a couple of opportunities that were cleared off the line. They boys gave me everything and that’s all we can ask when you’re playing a team from a higher division but they certainly acquitted themselves. We just asked for them to take a wee bit more responsibility than what they did in the first half and they certainly did that in the second half. We’re disappointed but looking at the positives how they played and how they competed against a team from a higher division we will certainly take that.”
“We came back from 2-0 down last week and we’ve come back from 1-0 but if you’re being critical we don’t really want to be chasing the game. We want to start and get our noses in front first but I think that would be over critical they way the players responded and what they actually gave us throughout the game. The second half we played some good stuff and created some good opportunities.”