Ladbrokes League 1
Saturday 6th January 2018
East Fife 0
Airdrieonians XI: Ferguson, Brownlie, MacDonald, McGregor (Leighton 88’), Watt, Edwards (Russell 77’), Stewart, McIntosh, Hastie (Brown 68’), Furtado, Fry
Subs: Higgins, Kerr, Truesdale, Cowie
East Fife XI: Goodfellow, Dunsmore, Docherty, Kane, Page, Lamont (Slattery 71’), Millar, Linton, Duggan, Wilkie (Mutch 83’), Flanagan
Subs: Reilly, Willis, M Hurst
Referee: David Lowe
East Fife travelled to the Excelsior Stadium to face Airdrieonians and left with a share of the points following un uneventful 0-0 draw. With Manager Darren Young absent, assistant Tony McMinn made one change to the side that narrowly lost to Raith Rovers last time out with Nathan Flanagan, playing his last game for East Fife, replacing the injured Greg Hurst in the starting line-up.
The home sidestarted the brightest and had their first sight of goal in the first minute when Former Fifer Luke Watt curled in a free kick that East Fife ‘keeper Ryan Goodfellow was forced to tip over the bar. Airdrieonians were on the attack again moments later when Jake Hastie was sent clear down the left but dragged his shot wide from 20-yards. The visitor’s first attack of the game came following a nice interchange between Chris Duggan and Mark Lamont but Lamont was unable to find the target with his right-footed strike. Watt sent a long-range effort over the bar on 9 minutes before David Brownlie’s close range header was held by Goodfellow on 16 minutes.
Lamont stole the ball in midfield and raced in on goal on 18 minutes but his drive was deflected into the arms of Diamond’s ‘keeper Rohan Ferguson. Willis Furtado got on the end of a cross from the right but headed straight at Goodfellow and Hastie blasted well over as the home side failed to capitalise on their superior possession
East Fife grew into the half and Mark Docherty just cleared the crossbar with a volley from 20-yards just before the half hour mark after good play by Flanagan down the right before Watt, comfortably the host’s best player, dragged another shot wide in the last meaningful action of the half.
An improved East Fife side appeared after the interval and were unlucky not to take the lead shortly after the re-start when Docherty’s header was cleared off the line by Kieran MacDonald. Josh Edwards spurned a good opportunity for the home side on 52 minutes when he pulled Furtado’s cut-back wide of the near-post.
Wilkie was denied by a great save from Ferguson on 66 minutes in what proved to be the best chance either side had of getting on the score sheet on 66 minutes. Furtado should have done better on 72 minutes when he found himself in space but blasted high and wide from close range before Flanagan’s strike on the turn narrowly cleared the crossbar. There was little to write home about in the last 20 minutes however, substitute Ross Mutch almost grabbed the winner for the visitors in injury time when he latched on to a long ball by the Airdrieonians deference just did enough to put him off.
Not a game that will live long in the memory but a welcome clean sheet for East Fife who picked up points on the road for only the 4th time this season.