Ladbrokes League 1, Bayview Stadium, Saturday 15th April 2017
East Fife 1 (Kerr 31’)
Peterhead 2 (Redman 25’, Reid 55’)
Man of the Match: Jason Kerr
East Fife XI: Hurst, Cooper (Austin 75’), Slattery, Kerr, Lamont (Smith 62’), Brown, Duggan, Curran, Penrice, Duffie, Paterson
Subs Not Used: Gordon, Reilly
Peterhead XI: Hobday, Reid, Strachan, Ross, Comrie, Redman, S Brown, Riley (Anderson 57’), Ferry, Stevenson (J Brown 90’), McAllister (A Smith 90+3’)
Subs Not Used: McIntosh, McMullin, Noble, G Smith
Booked: S Brown, Reid
Referee: Mat Northcroft
Peterhead were the visitors to Bayview and inflicted East Fife’s first home league defeat since November and the first of Barry Smith’s reign. East Fife made three changes to the side that went down to Stenhousemuir last time out with Kevin Smith, Chris Kane and Scott Robinson making way for Alex Cooper, Mark Lamont and James Penrice.
The first chance of the match fell to the home side on 5 minutes however Nicki Paterson’s free kick from the stand side touchline just evaded Kieran Duffie at the back post. Duffie was involved again 10 minutes later when he knocked down Paterson’s corner into the path of Alex Cooper but he coud only send his shot sailing over the bar. Peterhead’s first opportunity of the match came on 17 minutes when a Jamie Stevenson’s corner could only be cleared as far as Ryan Strachan on the edge of the box but his tame shot was easily held by Mark Hurst.
The visitors took the lead on 25 minutes when Rory McAllister held the ball up inside the box before laying the ball off for Stevenson who picked out Jamie Redman in the centre of the goal to tap home. The goal sparked life into the home side and Paterson was unlucky to see his 25-yard free kick saved by Fraser Hobday when it looked destined for the top corner. From the resulting corner, Paterson whipped in an excellent ball which Jason Kerr headed past Hobday for his 7th goal of the season on 31 minutes.
East Fife continued to press with James Penrice picking out Chris Duggan with a cross from the left but the striker sent his header wide. Mark Lamont sent a looping cross from the right that deceived Hobday in the air but Duggan was unable to direct his header on target. At the other end, Hurst got down well to his left to keep out McAllister’s strike on 38 minutes. McAllister was denied again by Hurst a couple of minutes before the break, this time from a free kick from 25-yards.
After the interval, Craig Reid should have put the visitors back ahead on 48 minutes but put the ball wide from 5-yards. McAllister was sent through with only Hurst to beat on 54 minutes but the ‘keeper was out quickly to block. Peterhead grabbed a second goal on 55 minutes when a Stevenson corner found Reid who headed the ball home off the inside of the post. Hurst denied McAllister 4th time on 67 minutes before Jesse Curran’s cross just evaded Cooper at the other end on 70 minutes.
Kerr put in an important tackle to take the ball away from Scott Brown on 76 minutes after the midfielder broke down the left. East Fife’s best chance of an equaliser came 4 minutes from time when Paterson headed agonisingly wide after Duggan’s initial cross was cleared. It didn’t quite work for East Fife; a long season and mounting injury list is finally catching up.
After the match, Manager Barry Smith spoke to East Fife TV:
“We are where we are at the moment. The run that we’re on hasn’t been made any easier and I don’t think any team could’ve coped with the injuries we’ve got at the moment; Jonathan Page, Scott Robinson and Kyle Wilkie. These guys are important players for us and that’s no disrespect to the guys that are playing in the team because they are all due their place in the team.”
“I don’t think we started the game particularly well but once we got a grip of it, just after they scored, we looked the team with momentum. We didn’t start the second half well enough which is disappointing we tend to do that and we never today which gave them something to hold onto and they did. I don’t think we tested their ‘keeper enough, we had to open up, we ended up with three strikers on, one of which we’re asking to play when he really shouldn’t be playing. Kevin (Smith) is putting himself on the line when realistically he shouldn’t even be involved.”