Ladbrokes Scottish Football League 1
Saturday 18th March 2017
East Fife 0
Alloa Athletic 0
Man of the Match: James Penrice
East Fife XI: Hurst, Slattery, Kane, Kerr, Brown, Duggan, Smith (Cooper 79’), Curran, Robinson, Penrice, Paterson
Subs Not Used: Trialist, Insall, Reilly, Austin
Alloa Athletic XI: Parry, Taggart, Waters, McKeown, Graham, Holmes, Cawley (McCluskey 79’), Flannigan, Spence (Hetherington 68’), Kirkpatrick, Mackin (Longworth 86’)
Subs Not Used: McDowall, Marr, Robertson, Hynd
Referee: Colin Steven
East Fife welcomed Alloa Athletic to Bayview and gained a well-earned and potentially crucial point. Manager Barry Smith made one change to the side that beat Livingston the previous week with Pat Slattery returning from injury to replace Jonathan Page who missed out through suspension. Slattery slotted into midfield with Jesse Curran moving out to the right wing, Ross Brown filling in at right-back and Chris Kane moving into central defence.
East Fife had an early sight at goal when Scott Robinson forced Alloa ‘keeper Neil Parry to turn his low drive behind for a corner inside 5 minutes. A couple of minutes later Parry spilled a strike from James Penrice but no one was able to follow up and the keeper managed to collect at the second attempt. Alloa had their first sight of goal on 8 minutes when Callum Water’s free kick was headed towards goal but Mark Hurst was comfortably able to collect.
East Fife had a few other chances inside the opening half hour when first Chris Duggan found himself in space near the penalty spot following a corner but couldn’t direct his volley on target before Nicki Paterson and Jesse Penrice narrowly missed the target from 35 and 20-yards respectively. The best chance of the half fell to Alloa striker Greig Spence when he got in behind the East Fife defence but sent his shot well wide of the post when most in the stadium expected him to score.
Paterson had East Fife’s best chance of the match 3 minutes after the re-start when he got on the end of Robinson’s cross but sent his header wide of the target with Parry beaten. At the other end, Jordan Kirkpatrick sent in strike that just swerved wide of the post on 53 minutes before Frank McKeown headed narrowly over from Flannigan’s free kick with 20 minutes to play.
East Fife finished the stronger side and had two good opportunities to claim all three points inside the final 15 minutes when first Parry again spilled a strike by Robinson but managed to recover with Duggan closing in before last-week’s goal hero Jason Kerr beat Parry with a header but Andy Graham was perfectly positioned on the goal line to clear.
After the match Manager Barry Smith spoke to East Fife TV:
“I thought it was a good game of football and I though, in the first half, we played some good stuff and in the second we kept it even. It’s a good point but when you look at it we’ve played the top two and taken four out of 6 we’ve got to be pleased with that. I think the effort, some of the passages of play and the football we played in the first half was excellent today. The boys deserve a lot of credit for that again.”