William Hill Scottish Cup 3rd Round
Saturday 18th November 2017
East Fife 2 (Smith 32’, Page 67’)
Clyde XI: Currie, Home, Breslin (Wright 68’), McNiff, Stewart, Duffie, Nicoll (Ramsay 75’), Cuddihy, Lowdon, Gormley (Osadolor 67’), Goodwillie
Subs: Wilson, Brown, Lamont, Craig
Booked: Breslin, Nicoll
East Fife XI: Goodfellow, Dunsmore, Kane, Page, Wilson, Wilkie (Reilly 82’), Docherty, Lamont (Watson 75’), Millar, Smith (Mutch 75’), Duggan
Subs: Willis, Cordery
Booked: Page, Dunsmore
Referee: David Munro
East Fife progressed to the 4th round of the William Hill Scottish Cup curtesy of a 2-0 win against Clyde at Broadwood, although the game was a lot closer than the score line suggested. Manager Darren Young made four changes to the side that lost to Forfar Athletic last time out with Ben Reilly making way for fit-again Captain Kevin Smith and Ryan Goodfellow, Chris Kane and Kyle Wilkie replacing Mark Hurst, Jordan Piggott and Nathan Flanagan who were denied permission to play by their parent clubs.
East Fife were unlucky not to be ahead inside 3 minutes when Mark Lamont whipped in a free kick from the touchline which was met by Smith with a diving header at the near post but Clyde ‘keeper Blair Currie got down well to his left to stop the ball on the line. The home side’s first chance of the game fell to former Fifer Kieran Duffie on 13 minutes when a quickly taken free kick made its way to him on the right-hand side of the box and forced Goodfellow into a smart save low to his left. Clyde should have taken the lead 5 minutes later when David Goodwillie picked up the ball on the half-way line and raced in on goal only to drag his shot wide of the right-hand post with only the goalkeeper to beat.
Chris Duggan fired in a cross from the left on 29 minutes that was cleared by the Clyde defence but only as far as Mark Docherty but he couldn’t find the target with a volley from 20-yards. Goodwillie forced Goodfellow into a save from a tight angle just before the half-hour mark before East Fife took the lead. Chris Kane’s cross from the right was headed down by Duggan into the path of Smith who volleyed past Currie for his first goal of the season on 32 minutes. Clyde had a half-claim for a penalty on 33 minutes when David Gormley went down inside the area but referee David Munro was uninterested.
Clyde came out fighting after the break; a long-throw making its way to Barry Cuddihy on the edge of the box but his shot was straight at Goodfellow. Smith should have doubled the visitor’s lead on 53 minutes; Docherty got in behind the Clyde defence, his initial shot was blocked before laying the rebound off for Smith but he was unable to find the target from 10-yards.
Clyde’s best chance of an equaliser came on 59 minutes. Duffie fired in a cross from the right that Goodfellow did enough to push the ball away from Goodwillie but only as far as Gormley who could only lift the ball over the bar from 8-yards. Aaron Dunsmore then pulled off a superb last ditch blocked to deny Gormley on 64 minutes before East Fife put the game to bed on 67 minutes. Smith was fouled by Jamie Breslin on edge of the box, 5-yards from the by-line. Docherty whipped in the free kick from the right-hand side of the goal and Jonathan Page rose highest to head the ball past Currie.
As the game drew to a close, the home side had a couple of opportunities to pull a goal back. First, Goodwillie fired high and wide from 12-yards before Goodfellow was on-hand to punch away a long-range effort from Cuddihy. In between that, Martin McNiff was dismissed for the home side for a miss-timed challenge on Ben Reilly. The decision looked harsh at the time and replays showed that although McNiff didn’t play the ball, the challenge was neither malicious or dangerous.
East Fife have played better and lost this season but a win’s a win and, more importantly, we’re into the 4th round where we have been drawn a home tie against Highland League side Brora Rangers.