Ladbrokes League 1
Saturday 23rdSeptember 2017
East Fife 3 (Duggan 4’, Docherty 21’(P), 62’(P))
Forfar Athletic 0
East Fife XI: M Hurst, Dunsmore, Page, Watson, Linton (Mutch 76’), Docherty (Kane 72’), Slattery, G Hurst (Wilson 63’), Millar, Flanagan, Duggan
Subs: Goodfellow, Reilly
Forfar Athletic XI: McCallum, Bain, Kennedy, Whyte, Mensing (Travis 32’), Millar, Cregg (Lister 45’), Malone, Scott, Cox, Peters (Quigley 66’)
Subs: See, Easton, Aitken, King
Booked: Kennedy, Millar, Malone
Referee: David Lowe
East Fife welcomed Forfar Athletic to Bayview yesterday with the home side running out comfortable 3-0 winners. Manager Darren Young made one change to the side that overcame Airdrieonians last time out with Pat Slattery replacing Kyle Wilkie who missed out through illness.
Newly-promoted Forfar have found life difficult following their promotion last season with the side sitting bottom of League 1 with only 3 points, picked up in an opening day defeat of Airdrieonians, and lost Manager Gary Bollan earlier in the week after a run of six straight defeats.
The game was only 4 minutes old when Chris Duggan latched onto a long ball from Aaron Dunsmore to slot past Loon’s ‘keeper Marc McCallum for his third goal of the season. Forfar then had two great opportunities to draw level and were unlucky not to score when first David Cox rattled the crossbar from 12-yards before Josh Peters saw his drive saved by Mark Hurst and his follow-up blocked by Mark Docherty on 11 minutes. Docherty almost extended the home side’s lead at the other end with a volley from 30-yards that McCallum was forced to tip over the bar.
East Fife did double their lead from the penalty spot with 20 minutes on the clock when a quick break saw Dunsmore bundled over inside the area by Darren Whyte. Docherty stepped up and sent McCallum the wrong way for his second in as many games. In the build up to the penalty being awarded, Mark Hurst pulled off a terrific save to deny Eddie Malone who had been afforded a free header at the back post.
The rest of the opening 45 minutes was all East Fife with Nathan Flanagan in particular causing all sorts of problems on the right-hand side. Good play by the winger saw the ball eventually fall for Docherty at the back post forcing McCallum into a save from a tight angle. Kieran Millar was next to go close for the home side only to see his drive from 20-yards come back off the post with McCallum beaten. Duggan got in behind the Forfar defence again just before the half hour mark but was unable to get the ball out of his feet allowing McCallum to collect.
Michael Kennedy then picked up the first booking of the game for a pull of Flanagan. East Fife had a couple of opportunities to add to their lead before the break when first Greg Hurst hit the side-netting from close range before a long-throw by Scott Linton saw Duggan head narrowly over.
A difficult task got even harder for the visitor shortly after the re-start when Kennedy picked up his second yellow for a foul on Flanagan. In a rare venture into the East Fife half, Jim Lister sent a header wide of the target for the visitors on 56 minutes. East Fife added a deserved third goal on 61 minutes from the penalty sport after a hand-ball by Cox; Docherty giving McCallum no change a he converted his second of the game.
A terrific run by Flanagan with 20 minutes to go saw his leave at least 3 Forfar players in his wake but was unable to find the target when he got his shot away. Substitute Ross Mutch was unlucky not to get his name on the score sheet with 5 minutes to go when he got on the end of a cross from Craig Watson but McCallum – easily the visitors man of the match – managed to turn his strike behind for a corner. McCallum was on hand again a couple of minutes later, this time denying Flanagan from close range.
A well-deserved victory for the home side with impressive performances across the park.