Ladbrokes League 1, Bayview Stadium, Saturday 15th April 2017
East Fife 1 (Kerr 31’)
Peterhead 2 (Redman 25’, Reid 55’)
Man of the Match: Jason Kerr
East Fife XI: Hurst, Cooper (Austin 75’), Slattery, Kerr, Lamont (Smith 62’), Brown, Duggan, Curran, Penrice, Duffie, Paterson
Subs Not Used: Gordon, Reilly
Peterhead XI: Hobday, Reid, Strachan, Ross, Comrie, Redman, S Brown, Riley (Anderson 57’), Ferry, Stevenson (J Brown 90’), McAllister (A Smith 90+3’)
Subs Not Used: McIntosh, McMullin, Noble, G Smith
Booked: S Brown, Reid
Referee: Mat Northcroft
Peterhead were the visitors to Bayview and inflicted East Fife’s first home league defeat since November and the first of Barry Smith’s reign. East Fife made three changes to the side that went down to Stenhousemuir last time out with Kevin Smith, Chris Kane and Scott Robinson making way for Alex Cooper, Mark Lamont and James Penrice.
The first chance of the match fell to the home side on 5 minutes however Nicki Paterson’s free kick from the stand side touchline just evaded Kieran Duffie at the back post. Duffie was involved again 10 minutes later when he knocked down Paterson’s corner into the path of Alex Cooper but he coud only send his shot sailing over the bar. Peterhead’s first opportunity of the match came on 17 minutes when a Jamie Stevenson’s corner could only be cleared as far as Ryan Strachan on the edge of the box but his tame shot was easily held by Mark Hurst.
The visitors took the lead on 25 minutes when Rory McAllister held the ball up inside the box before laying the ball off for Stevenson who picked out Jamie Redman in the centre of the goal to tap home. The goal sparked life into the home side and Paterson was unlucky to see his 25-yard free kick saved by Fraser Hobday when it looked destined for the top corner. From the resulting corner, Paterson whipped in an excellent ball which Jason Kerr headed past Hobday for his 7th goal of the season on 31 minutes.
East Fife continued to press with James Penrice picking out Chris Duggan with a cross from the left but the striker sent his header wide. Mark Lamont sent a looping cross from the right that deceived Hobday in the air but Duggan was unable to direct his header on target. At the other end, Hurst got down well to his left to keep out McAllister’s strike on 38 minutes. McAllister was denied again by Hurst a couple of minutes before the break, this time from a free kick from 25-yards.
After the interval, Craig Reid should have put the visitors back ahead on 48 minutes but put the ball wide from 5-yards. McAllister was sent through with only Hurst to beat on 54 minutes but the ‘keeper was out quickly to block. Peterhead grabbed a second goal on 55 minutes when a Stevenson corner found Reid who headed the ball home off the inside of the post. Hurst denied McAllister 4th time on 67 minutes before Jesse Curran’s cross just evaded Cooper at the other end on 70 minutes.
Kerr put in an important tackle to take the ball away from Scott Brown on 76 minutes after the midfielder broke down the left. East Fife’s best chance of an equaliser came 4 minutes from time when Paterson headed agonisingly wide after Duggan’s initial cross was cleared. It didn’t quite work for East Fife; a long season and mounting injury list is finally catching up.
After the match, Manager Barry Smith spoke to East Fife TV:
“We are where we are at the moment. The run that we’re on hasn’t been made any easier and I don’t think any team could’ve coped with the injuries we’ve got at the moment; Jonathan Page, Scott Robinson and Kyle Wilkie. These guys are important players for us and that’s no disrespect to the guys that are playing in the team because they are all due their place in the team.”
“I don’t think we started the game particularly well but once we got a grip of it, just after they scored, we looked the team with momentum. We didn’t start the second half well enough which is disappointing we tend to do that and we never today which gave them something to hold onto and they did. I don’t think we tested their ‘keeper enough, we had to open up, we ended up with three strikers on, one of which we’re asking to play when he really shouldn’t be playing. Kevin (Smith) is putting himself on the line when realistically he shouldn’t even be involved.”
The Club is putting the League 2 Trophy on display for the last time this season at Bayview before it is returned to the SPFL Glasgow.This is the last chance supporters will have to get their photos taken with the trophy - so bring your phone cameras and the Bairns. The trophy will be round and about the stadium for everyone to have this last opportunity.
Ladbrokes Scottish Football League 1, Saturday 08th April 2017, Ochilview Park
Stenhousemuir 3 (Furtado 44’ 79’, McMenamin 62’(P))
East Fife 1 (Kane 56’)
Man of the Match: Chris Kane
Stenhousemuir XI: Bowman, Robertson, Duthie, Marsh, Kerr, Berry, Furtado (Manzana 88’), Millar, McMenamin, Gilhaney (Meechan 69’), Cook (Shaw 77’)
Subs Not Used: Crawford, Summers, Grant, Roy
East Fife XI: Hurst, Cooper, Kane, Kerr, Brown, Duggan, Smith (Lamont 76’), Curran, Robinson (Austin 45’), Duffie, Paterson
Subs Not Used: Reilly, Gordon, Slattery
Referee: John McKendrick
East Fife travelled to Ochilview Park to face League 1’s bottom side Stenhousemuir but left empty-handed after a 3-1 defeat. East Fife made 2 changes to the side that drew with Queen’s Park the previous week with Alex Cooper and Kieran Duffie replacing James Penrice and Pat Slattery who both pick up knocks last time out.
The first chance of the match fell to the home side when a Willis Furtado corner found Alan Cook at the back post but his shot from close range was blocked by Nicki Paterson on 8 minutes. East Fife began to grow into the game and Chris Duggan got in behind the Warrior’s defence twice in a couple of minutes; first when he latched onto a long ball from Mark Hurst but the ball skipped away from him sending his shot high and wide before David Marsh managed to get a vital touch on the ball to take it away from the striker.
A good run up field by defender Fraser Kerr and forced Hurst to turn his shot behind for a corner on 18 minutes. At the other end, the visitors had their first shout for a penalty turned on 20 minutes when Duggan was sent flying in the box following a corner only for referee McKendrick to wave play on. A defence splitting pass from Ross Brown sent Kieran Duffie clear down the right who sent an inviting cross into the box on 24 minutes however Warrior’s ‘keeper Graham Bowman just got to the ball before Duggan.
Stenhousemuir should have been a head on 27 minutes when Furtado picked out Colin McMenamin, unmarked, with a cross from the left but the striker sent his header from 12-yards well wide under no pressure. At the other end Bowman pulled off a good save from Duggan after seeing his shot late. The home side took the lead just before half time when Furtado capitalised on a fortunate break of the ball to beat Hurst from a couple of yards.
After the break, good pressure from Jordan Austin down the right hand side gave Duggan a sight of goal on 50 minutes but Bowman was more than equal to his shot. East Fife grabbed an equaliser on 56 minutes following a succession of corners when Chris Kane was able to bundle the ball home for his 4th goal of the season. A few minutes later Duggan was sent clear again by Kevin Smith but was off balance when he took his shot and Bowman was comfortably able to collect. Hurst had to be alert on 60 minutes to turn Connor Duthie’s 40-yard strike behind. From the resulting corner, Austin brought down Marsh while attempting to clear and referee McKendrick had little option but to point to the spot. Hurst got his hand to McMemamin’s spot kick but ball spun back around the ‘keeper and into the net.
The visitor’s has every right to feel aggrieved on 75 minutes as they were denied a stonewall penalty when Jesse Curran was impeded as he went take his shot but again referee McKendrick again waved play on. The decision turned the game as the home side began to exert their authority on the game and scored a third goal on 79 minutes. The visitors were unable to clear their line and Furtado picked up the ball unmarked to find the back on the net from 20-yards. The final chance of the match fell to Alex Cooper but his free kick from 25-yards was comfortably taken by Bowman.
Ladbrokes League 1, Bayview Stadium, Saturday 1st April 2017
East Fife 0
Queen’s Park 0
Man of the Match: Jesse Curran
East Fife XI: Hurst, Slattery, Kane, Kerr, Brown, Duggan, Smith, Curran, Robinson, Penrice, Paterson
Subs Not Used: Gordon, Austin, Reilly
Queen’s Park XI: Muir, Millen, Foy, McKernon, McGeever, Cummings, McVey, Brady, Zanatta, Galt, Burns
Subs Not Used: Docherty, Brown, Wharton, McIlduff, Mitchell, Mortimer, McPherson
Booked: McGeever, Gault
Referee: David Lowe
East Fife welcomed fellow play-off chasers Queen’s Park to Bayview and played out a 0-0 draw in changeable conditions. Barry Smith made one change to the side that lost to Albion Rovers in midweek with Alex Cooper making way for fit-again Captain Kevin Smith.
East Fife had their first sight of goal on 4 minutes when Scott Robinson pounced on a mistake from Sean Burns but sent his effort from the right-hand side of the box narrowly wide. At the other end, Ryan McGeever sent his shot wide of the front post from a Jamie McKernon corner on 8 minutes. By this time the heavens had opened and put paid to any free-flowing passing football with the wet surface forcing both sides into miss-passes and mistakes.
Just before the half-hour mark Chris Duggan did well to hit the by-line but his cut back evaded everyone and the danger was cleared. Good build-up play by Jesse Curran gave Ross Brown the first real chance of the match but his left-footed shot was straight into the arms of Queen’s Park ‘keeper Willie Muir. 10 minutes before the interval Duggan out-muscled Adam Cummings to lay the ball off for Nicki Paterson but his effort was well blocked by McKernon.
After the break East Fife ‘keeper Mark Hurst had to be alert to tip a goal-bound effort from Sean Burns clear. Hurst was called into action again on the hour mark, this time turning an effort by Anton Brady behind for a corner. Queen’s Park had their Muir to thank for keeping the game goalless on 65 minutes when he pulled off a spectacular double saved first to block a shot from Kevin Smith before denying Alex Cooper from point-blank range. From the resulting corner, Jason Kerr saw his header held by Muir.
With 15 minutes to go, Hurst raced out of his goals to save at the feet of Dario Zanatta before Zanatta was involved again a couple of minutes later when he turned his man but saw his shot blocked by Kerr as the visitors pressed forward. The last chance of the match fell to Conor McVey a two minutes from time but couldn’t find the target from a couple of yards.
A draw was definitely a fair result with neither sider doing enough to win, however it may turn out to be a valuable point come the end of the season.
After the match Manager Barry Smith spoke to East Fife TV:
“It’s a point gained, it keeps us in the same position where we were with a game less. It wasn’t a great game by any stretch of the imagination but at this stage of the season there won’t be many. We have to make sure that we stick with it. Our boys know we can play better but there will be games like that where there’s not much in it and it’s not a great game.”
“It’s quite strange because out boys have been brilliant to get to the position we’re in but we don’t want to peter out now, we want to push on but given where we are in the league we should still be playing with confidence. It did look a wee bit nervy at times but credit to them, they stuck to the task, it’s a clean sheet but I think we could do a wee bit more when we had the ball.”
Interest in the above game has been very good with the first fans XI already fully booked. Please be sure to reserve your place as soon as possible as once they're gone, they're gone!
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We have had some enquiries regarding watching the game. Everyone is welcome to attend with admission being with a 'pay what you want' donation on the evening.