Ladbrokes League 1
Saturday 25th November 2017
East Fife 6 (Wilkie 25’, 51’, Duggan 29’, Lamont 39’, Kane 58’, Hurst 79’)
Airdrieonians 1 (Stewart 1’)
East Fife XI: M Hurst, Dunsmore, Kane, Page, Piggott, Docherty (Watson 76’), Lamont, Smith (Flanagan 65’), Wilkie (G Hurst 70’), Millar, Duggan
Subs: Goodfellow, Wilson, Reilly, Willis
Airdrieonians XI: Mason, McIntosh, MacDonald, McGregor, Cairns, Watt, Stewart, Conroy, Hastie (Brown 68’), Furtado, Fry (Russell 46’)
Subs: Edwards, Alan, Ferguson, Higgins, Truesdale
Referee: Gavin Duncan
Airdrieonians were the visitors to Bayview but left empty-handed as East Fife put in their most completed performance of the season as they ran out comfortable 6-1 winners in a game that they completely dominated. Manager Darren Young made two changes to the side the beat Clyde last time out with Mark Hurst and Jordan Piggott, both missing at the request of their parent clubs last week, returned in place of Ryan Goodfellow and Kyle Wilson.
East Fife didn’t get off to the best of starts, however, as the visitors grabbed a goal inside the opening minute. Ryan Conroy’s corner from the far side was met by Scott Stewart in the centre of the goal who flicked the ball into the net. Not the ideal start for the home side but that was to be the one and only time they were troubled.
East Fife had the chance to draw level on 4 minutes when good foot-work for Mark Lamont down the right and cut inside before feeding Chris Duggan 6-yards from goal. Duggan’s shot was pushed away by Diamond’s ‘keeper Kelby Mason but only as far as Kyle Wilkie but he couldn’t get enough power behind his strike and Mason was able to collect. An equaliser was coming and it duly arrived on 25 minutes. Terrific build-up play saw Duggan get in behind the Airdrie defence and latch onto a ball from Mark Docherty; his initial shot was blocked but the rebound fell to Wilkie who composed himself before slotting past Mason from 6-yards.
East Fife were in front minutes later when Duggan was put through by Kevin Smith. Mason was out quickly to block but the ball spun back up over the ‘keeper into the net. Smith was inches away from adding his name to the score sheet on 32 minutes when he sent a volley narrowly wide of the right-hand post. The home side had their tails up and could have added to their lead when first a penalty shot was waved away by referee Gavin Duncan after Duggan looked to have been bundled over inside the area before the visitors were saved, somewhat questionably, by the referee’s whistle after Mason had spilled a corner.
The game was over before the break when great link up between Duggan and Piggott saw the latter play in Lamont who gave Mason no chance with a strike from 20-yards into the bottom left-hand corner for his second goal of the season. East Fife had one final opportunity before half-time when Lamont worked some space for himself on the right before firing on a cross which Kieran Millar managed to get on the end of but his header was straight at Mason.
A completely dominant first half for the home side who were looking very dangerous every time they had the ball.
East Fife continued their dominance at the start of the second half and extended their lead on 51 minutes. Docherty’s free kick from 10-yards inside the Airdrieonians half was cleared by Cairns but only as far as Duggan who lifted the ball back into the danger area and Wilkie was on hand to claim his second, and East Fife’s 4th, of the afternoon. Duggan was unlucky not to double his tally for the match when he was fractions away from dispossessing Mason who had delayed in clearing a pass back.
In a rare venture into the East Fife half, Jake Hastie tried his luck from 20-yards but the ball flew past the outside of the post. The home side made it 5-1 shortly before the hour mark when following another set piece. Docherty’s free kick wasn’t properly dealt with by the Airdrieonians defence and the ball fell to Wilkie 20-yards from goal. His effort took a deflection on its way through to Mason but Chris Kane was on hand to steer the ball into the net with a back heel that wrong-footed the ‘keeper.
With 10 minutes left to play, substitute Greg Hurst added a 6th from close range when he got on the end of a cross from Nathan Flanagan. Hurst was agonisingly close to adding a 7th a few minutes from time when his volley from 25-yards just curled away at the last moment for what would have been the pick of the goals.
East Fife have now won their last 4 home matches scoring 17 goals in the process. Up next is a trip to the National Stadium to face League 1’s bottom side Queen’s Park who have been a bit of a bogey team for East Fife of the last few year but they go into the match full of confidence after a resounding win.