Ladbrokes League 1
Saturday 19th August 2017
Arbroath 2 (Doris 16’, Denholm 58’)
East Fife 3 (O’Brien (OG) 3’, Flanagan 26’, Duggan 39’)
Arbroath XI: Hutton, Whatley, Hamilton, Little (Prunty 87’), O’Brien, Yule, Linn (Hester 80’), McCord, Denholm, Doris, Swankie (Kader 80’)
Subs: Gold, Henry, Skelly, Gomes
Booked: O’Brien, Hamilton
East Fife XI: Goodfellow, Dunsmore, Docherty, Watson, Gordon, Wilkie, Millar, Flanagan (Slattery 71’), Willis, Duggan (Linton 83’), Hurst (Wilson 90+2’)
Subs: Lamont, Mutch, Reilly, Cordery
Booked: Watson, Millar, Duggan
Referee: Steven Reid
East Fife travelled to face Arborath on matchday 3 of the 2017/2018 Ladbrokes League 1 campaign and left victorious following a 5-goal thriller. Manager Darren Young made one change to the side that conquered Alloa Athletic last week with Kyle Wilkie replacing Pat Slattery.
East Fife took the lead with only a couple of minutes on the clock when Greg Hurst hit the by-line and fired in a cross from the left that Arbroath defender Thomas O’Brien could only turn into his own net. Chris Duggan had the chance to double the visitors lead inside 5 minutes but his shot from the edge of the box was straight at goalkeeper David Hutton.
The home side, playing against the wind in the first half, began to find their feet a were almost level on 7 minutes following a scramble inside the East Fife box but Gavin Swankie could only fire over when the ball eventually broke to him near the penalty spot. Arbroath did find an equaliser on 16 minutes when a miscommunication between Ryan Goodfellow and Ben Gordon allowed Steven Doris to sneak in between the pair and lob Goodfellow from 10-yards.
East Fife were proving to be the better side in the opening 45 minutes; Hutton forced to turn a Paul Willis strike behind for a corner on 22 minutes beofre the visitors regained their lead in spectacular fashion 4 minutes later. Nathan Flanagan picked up the ball wide on the right before cutting inside and unleashing a shot from 30-yards that flew past Hutton for his first goal in East Fife colours. Duggan should have added a 3rd moments later when he found himself unmarked inside the ball but sent his shot well over.
East Fife weren’t having it their own way, however, Goodfellow producing a fine save low to his left to keep out a Ryan McCord free kick on 31 minutes. The visitors added a third goal on 39 minutes in bizarre circumstances when Hutton failed to control a routine ball on the edge of his box allowing Duggan to pass the ball into an empty net. East Fife then had a strong penalty shout waved away by referee Steven Reid on 43 minutes when Flanagan was bundled over inside the area.
East Fife were up against the wind second half and the home side took full advantage of the conditions; a goal line clearance by Gordon denying McCord on 54 minutes before Goodfellow had to be at his best to stop a deflected free kick from sneaking into the top corner on 56 minutes. Arbroath continued to press and pulled a goal back on 58 minutes when East Fife to clear their lines allowing Danny Denholm to slot home from close range.
With the condition easing, East Fife were able to get the ball down and play once again only smart goal keeping from Hutton preventing Duggan from grabbing his second of the match on 62 minutes. Denholm was unlucky to see his looping header rebound off the crossbar for the home side on 80 minutes before a combination of Goodfellow and the post denied McCord 2 minutes from time as Arbroath pushed for an equaliser but the visitor’s defence held on.
East Fife are up to 3rd in the table with the Fife derby to come on Saturday.