ROVERS ROAR BACK
Written by Jim Corstorphine
Albion Rovers 1 East Fife 1, Cliftonhill, 11 February 2012
Match Report by Alan Henderson
Photos (via link at top of page) by Jim Corstorphine
This was an entertaining encounter, in which the Fifers took the lead early in the second half, only for the home side to raise their game and put real pressure on the visitors, scoring a deserved equaliser late on.
The first half was characterised by the Fifers having the advantage on possession and pressure; but with Rovers always dangerous on the break. Wallace and Durie had early efforts before Janczyk cleared after a stramash in the Fife box, and Brown saved well from a free kick. At the other end, McStay cleared a Wallace stab off the line, then Brown twice stopped efforts while on the ground after being impeded.
On 57 mins, the Fifers made the breakthrough. A Janczyk free kick arrived at the back post, where Wallace had space to drill the ball low into the corner of the net. Within a minute, Chaplain made the miss of the season - a Durie back header stuck in the Coatbridge mud, leaving Brown in no-mans-land and Chaplain free with the ball in front of goal, but he somehow managed to mis-hit the ball wide.
Nevertheless, this was the start of the Rover's fightback; Russell fired over the bar; Brown did well to hold a strong volley; then Halsman cracked the crossbar with a superb shot on 69 mins. At the other end, Hislop hit the side netting after good work; Dalziel made a good couple of attacks with no end product; whilst a Wallace free kick hit post and keeper.
The pressure was building on the Fifers, however, and the equaliser came on 83 mins, Halsman cleverly firing home after a move down the left exposed the visitor's defence. The final seven minutes were frenetic; the game became very open; there were chances at both ends - but both teams had to settle for a point.
Albion Rovers: Gaston, Reid, Russell [Fahey 80], McStay, O'Byrne, Donnelly, Werndly [Love 74], Canning, McKay, Chaplain, Halsman. Subs not used: Marriott, Ferry, Cross.
East Fife: Brown, Durie, Cook, Campbell, White, Muir, Linn [Smith 79], Janczyk, Hislop [Dalziel 71], Wallace, Sloan [Johntone 71]. Subs not used; Ovenstone, Collier.
Referee: A Muir
Booked: O'Byrne, Canning [AR] Campbell, Cook [EF]
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