Scottish Football League 1
Saturday 11th March 2017
The Tony Macaroni Arena
East Fife 1 (Kerr 85’)
Man of the Match: Mark Hurst
Referee: Grant Irvine
East Fife travelled to the Tony Macaroni Area to face Livingston in Ladbrokes League 1 and left with all 3 points curtesy of an 85th minute winner from Jason Kerr. Manager Barry smith named an unchanged team to the side that beat Albion Rovers the previous week with new signing Alex Cooper taking his place on the bench.
Livingston signalled their intent as early as the first minute when Scott Pittman fired in a shot that crashed off the crossbar before Rafa De Vita sent the follow-up into the stands. The visitors had ‘keeper Mark Hurst to thank for keeping the score line level when he pulled off a spectacular double save to twice deny Josh Mullin on 9 minutes.
East Fife were struggling to gain a foot-hold in the game with their best chance of the opening 45 minutes falling to Chris Kane whose header from a Nicki Paterson free kick was easily dealt with by the Livingston defence. Nickolay Todorov was causing the visiting defence all sorts of problems with his height and strength, and headed narrowly over on 30 minutes from Mullin’s free kick. Todorov thought he’d opened the scoring 7 minutes before the break when he lifted the ball over Hurst only for Jason Kerr to spoil the celebrations with an excellent clearance on the line.
The home side carried on where they’d left off after the break with some nice play between Danny Mullen and De Vita see the latter shoot narrowly over on 47 minutes. East Fife were growing into the game and had their first chance of the second half on 53 minutes when former Fifer Liam Kelly failed to hold Paterson’s free kick from the touch line however the home defence were able to clear the danger.
Chris Duggan went close for the visitor on 57 minutes when he volleyed narrowly over from a well-worked free kick. At the other end Mullin played a free kick along the 6-yard box on 61 minutes but was able to find a taker when the smallest of touches would have taken the ball past Hurst. Livingston continued to press with Declan Gallagher unfortunate to see his header rebound off the crossbar then have his follow-up was blocked on the line.
It was the visitors who were looking more dangerous as the clock ticked past 70 minutes with Duggan having a couple of chances to get his name of the score sheet when first he worked some space for himself at the back post but couldn’t divert his header on target before he cut inside and was unlucky to see his shot deflected for a corner when it looked headed for the top corner.
The deadlock was finally broken 5 minutes from time when Kelly could only palm down Paterson’s free kick for Kerr to knock the ball in at the front post for his 6th goal of the season. Livingston continued to pile forward but the East Fife defence held firm to record their 8th victory in 13 League games.
After the match Manager Barry Smith spoke to East Fife TV:
“The boys showed so much commitment, the work-rate was unbelievable and it’s a great three points coming from the league leaders. We take confidence from it yet again and built on it. There’s nine games left of the season we just look at the next one and we just look at the next one, that’s the most important, against Alloa. It’s a great three points for the lads. Based on their attitude, for me, they deserved it in terms of their attitude, their discipline and the positioning.”