THE SLOAN ARRANGER
Written by Jim Corstorphine
East Fife 4 Forfar Athletic 0, 18 February 2012
Match Report by Alan Henderson
Pictures (via link at top of page) by Jim Corstorphine
Robert Sloan scored the first two and made the fourth as the Fifers comprehensively beat the Loons at a bright but very windy Bayview, to keep play-off hopes very much alive. Whilst the Fifers could not be said to dominate proceedings, they did what mattered - scored goals, and kept the opposition out.
After a fright on 4 mins when local boy Byers found room to stab a shot which Brown did well to knock round the post, the Fifers settled and took control. Three corners in a row saw Muir cause problems for the Forfar defence -, his first effort being kicked off the line; the third on 11 mins saw a defender grapple him to the ground - penalty! Sloan made no mistake from the spot for number one. Number two came four minutes later, and what a beauty. A Linn free kick was partially cleared to Sloan 25 yards out, where he sent a low curved shot through a ruck of players into the corner of the net.
Looking a bit shell-shocked, Forfar nevertheless responded with a Templeman header which was off-target, and a free kick which Brown easily held. On 37 mins, Hislop was sent clear on the keeper, but fired the shot off McCallum's legs, only for Cook to pick the clearance up out wide, and send a great cross over for the big centre forward to fire a header into the bottom corner of the net, despite the close attentions of two defenders - three up!
Into the second half, and having the wind behind them, the visitors did some pressing without looking like getting back into the game - Hilson received a diagonal ball, only to send his effort dribbling past the post; whilst a dangerous free kick bounced inches past the upright. A great home move on 68 mins led to Wallace breaking into the box, only for his effort to be blocked by McCallum - but he would get his rewards for another good display up front two minutes later - Sloan sent over a wicked free kick from the left, and the top scorer dived all his length to head the ball powerfully into the net. Number four; game over.
There were a few chances at either end during the final twenty minutes - a Dalziel shot was blocked, and a great Sloan effort was deflected wide; whilst Brown tipped a Low corner over the bar, and easily held a late Templeman shot. It was very comfortable in the end, however; three important points, and goal difference improved.
East Fife: Brown, Durie, Cook, Campbell, White, Muir, Linn, Janczyk, Hislop [Dalziel 70], Wallace [McQuade 78], Sloan. Subs not used: McCormack, Smith, Collier.
Forfar Athletic: McCallum, Wilson, McCulloch, Sellars [Coyne 60], Shaughnessy, I Campbell, Fotheringham [R Campbell 60], Byers [Mowatt 60], Templeman, Hilson, Low. Subs not used: Ross, Paterson.
Referee: C Charleston
Booked: Wallace, Cook [EF] Low, R Campbell [FA]
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