East Fife are back on the road this weekend as we make the trip to the west coast to face Ayr United.
The Fifers are on a good run of form at the moment with back-to-back wins against Airdrieonians and Forfar Athletic who were comfortably dispatched last time out. Kyle Wilkie, Mark Lamont and Paul Willis are in line for a return to the squad for this weekend after missing the last match with captain Kevin Smith the only player unavailable to manager Darren Young. Ayr United got back to winning ways last weekend with 2-0 victory over Queen’s Park after 4 defeats on the bounce.
Recent meeting between the sides don’t make for easy reading for the Fifers. The last meeting between the sides was on the final day of the 2013/2014 season at Somerset Park. East Fife were sitting second bottom of League 1 going into the match, one point ahead of 10th placed Arbroath, and to match their result to avoid automatic relegation. Things didn’t go to plan with Ayr running out 4-1 winners thanks to a hattrick from Craig Malcolm and a 75 minutes strike from Brian Gilmour with Liam Buchanan grabbing a late consolation for the visitors. East Fife were saved from automatic relegation on this occasion as Arbroath failed to take anything from their match with Airdrieonians.
Our last win over Ayr United was back in December 2012 when, after being 2-0 down at the break, a tremendous second half comeback saw us claim a 3-2 victory at Somerset Park curtesy of a double from Scott McBride and a last-minute winner from centre-half David White.
The hosts are holding their annual armed forced day tomorrow and invite service personnel to the game for free on production of a valid ID and if they are in uniform.
Our award-winning match day programme, The Bayview, will be interviewing supporters for our returning feature “Meet The Fans”. Up next is Niall Anderson from Windygates. Nialll’s article originally featured in the Forfar programme on the 23rd of September.
How long have you been an East Fife supporter and what was your first game?
I’ve supported East Fife for about 20 years. I can’t quite remember my first home game, but my first away game was against Brechin City at Glebe Park in 2001. I had begged my Dad to take me to an away game for ages and when the chance finally came we got beat 6-0!
Most memorable moment following East Fife?
There’s quite a few – winning the League at East Stirling (I was first on the pitch that day!!!), Kenny Deuchar’s last minute goal vs Queen’s Park, “Away you go Charlston ya haddy!”, Buchanan’s looping drive, Willie McCulloch’s penalty saves at Stark’s Park and watching a Rovers ball boy running the length of the pitch twice to watch his team miss a penalty…twice!! I think beating Aberdeen in the League Cup on penalties just beats them all though. Cheeseburger/pie-gate at Gretna is also a highlight!
Least favourite moment following East Fife?
There’s quite a few… Relegation at Stenhousemuir in 2004, Kenny Deuchar scoring against us for Gretna. However, the absolute drubbing against Raith Rovers a couple of weeks ago will keep me awake at night!
Favourite player (present)?
Jonathan Page. Out and out leader. I’ve called a few young centre-halfs “young Colin Hendrys” but he stands head and shoulders above them all.
Favourite player (all-time)?
Again, there’s a few. Stevie Campbell, Div Muir, Tweedy, Willie McCulloch, Scott Fox, Mark Ridgers, Kenny Deuchar, this list goes on…
Best East Fife goal you’ve seen?
There’s a theme running here! Fash’s v Motherwell, Buchanan’s looping drive, Kevin Fotheringham’s at Stark’s Park. All-time favourite however is Paul Stewart’s in either a friendly or Fife Cup tie. Can’t remember who against but I remember it being at the Sea End and it was a half-volley from the corner of the box into the opposite tap bin! The Klinsman celebration after it also sticks out. Scott Thomson’s volley too.
Favourite Goal Celebration?
Either of Paul McManus’ at East Stirling the day we won the League. Also, Jonny Smart’s knee-slide against Arbroath.
Pick your all-time East Fife 11
Here we go… (5-3-2)
Mark Ridgers, Greig McDoanld, Steven Tweed, Jonny Smart, Jonathan Page, Gary Naysmith, Kyle Wilkie, Bobby Linn (before arguing with the fans), Div Muir, King Kenny and Nathan Austin.
Favourite Scotland game?
I have three. Scotland vs Spain where we go beat 3-2. We had done so well to get it back to 2-2 and Hampden was absolutely rocking. If it weren’t for that diddy McManus then that would have been the favourite. 2-1 vs Lichtenstein when Kenny Miller scored an absolute stonker before Steven McManus headed home in the 97th minute. That game was also noted for me winding my pal Kieran with a right jab to the chest after we scored.
Favourite Scotland player (all-time)?
James McFadden. Hands down. Greatest player to have never played at a World Cup by a country mile.
When do you think Scotland will next qualify for a major tournament?
Give it 10 years. Belgium used to be a team on nobodies but now they’ve got arguably one of the best teams in the world. Robertson and Tierney will guide us to international stardom.
Ronaldo or Messi?
If I had to choose, I think it would be Ronaldo. I don’t buy into the hype though.
Favourite away ground?
If you could change one football rule what would it be?
Not necessarily a rule but I wish referees would stop trying to even up games.
The latest Goldmine Jackpot Winner, Barry Wilson, received his cheque for £2,050.00 on Saturday, 23rd September 2017 at the match against Forfar Athletic. The ticket agent was Mr Mechanics of Buckhaven. Ken Henderson, Commercial Director, of East Fife FC presented the cheque.
Ladbrokes League 1
Saturday 23rdSeptember 2017
East Fife 3 (Duggan 4’, Docherty 21’(P), 62’(P))
Forfar Athletic 0
East Fife XI: M Hurst, Dunsmore, Page, Watson, Linton (Mutch 76’), Docherty (Kane 72’), Slattery, G Hurst (Wilson 63’), Millar, Flanagan, Duggan
Subs: Goodfellow, Reilly
Forfar Athletic XI: McCallum, Bain, Kennedy, Whyte, Mensing (Travis 32’), Millar, Cregg (Lister 45’), Malone, Scott, Cox, Peters (Quigley 66’)
Subs: See, Easton, Aitken, King
Booked: Kennedy, Millar, Malone
Referee: David Lowe
East Fife welcomed Forfar Athletic to Bayview yesterday with the home side running out comfortable 3-0 winners. Manager Darren Young made one change to the side that overcame Airdrieonians last time out with Pat Slattery replacing Kyle Wilkie who missed out through illness.
Newly-promoted Forfar have found life difficult following their promotion last season with the side sitting bottom of League 1 with only 3 points, picked up in an opening day defeat of Airdrieonians, and lost Manager Gary Bollan earlier in the week after a run of six straight defeats.
The game was only 4 minutes old when Chris Duggan latched onto a long ball from Aaron Dunsmore to slot past Loon’s ‘keeper Marc McCallum for his third goal of the season. Forfar then had two great opportunities to draw level and were unlucky not to score when first David Cox rattled the crossbar from 12-yards before Josh Peters saw his drive saved by Mark Hurst and his follow-up blocked by Mark Docherty on 11 minutes. Docherty almost extended the home side’s lead at the other end with a volley from 30-yards that McCallum was forced to tip over the bar.
East Fife did double their lead from the penalty spot with 20 minutes on the clock when a quick break saw Dunsmore bundled over inside the area by Darren Whyte. Docherty stepped up and sent McCallum the wrong way for his second in as many games. In the build up to the penalty being awarded, Mark Hurst pulled off a terrific save to deny Eddie Malone who had been afforded a free header at the back post.
The rest of the opening 45 minutes was all East Fife with Nathan Flanagan in particular causing all sorts of problems on the right-hand side. Good play by the winger saw the ball eventually fall for Docherty at the back post forcing McCallum into a save from a tight angle. Kieran Millar was next to go close for the home side only to see his drive from 20-yards come back off the post with McCallum beaten. Duggan got in behind the Forfar defence again just before the half hour mark but was unable to get the ball out of his feet allowing McCallum to collect.
Michael Kennedy then picked up the first booking of the game for a pull of Flanagan. East Fife had a couple of opportunities to add to their lead before the break when first Greg Hurst hit the side-netting from close range before a long-throw by Scott Linton saw Duggan head narrowly over.
A difficult task got even harder for the visitor shortly after the re-start when Kennedy picked up his second yellow for a foul on Flanagan. In a rare venture into the East Fife half, Jim Lister sent a header wide of the target for the visitors on 56 minutes. East Fife added a deserved third goal on 61 minutes from the penalty sport after a hand-ball by Cox; Docherty giving McCallum no change a he converted his second of the game.
A terrific run by Flanagan with 20 minutes to go saw his leave at least 3 Forfar players in his wake but was unable to find the target when he got his shot away. Substitute Ross Mutch was unlucky not to get his name on the score sheet with 5 minutes to go when he got on the end of a cross from Craig Watson but McCallum – easily the visitors man of the match – managed to turn his strike behind for a corner. McCallum was on hand again a couple of minutes later, this time denying Flanagan from close range.
A well-deserved victory for the home side with impressive performances across the park.
Forfar Athletic are the visitors to Bayview Stadium tomorrow as East Fife look to build on last week’s win against Airdrieonians.
The Fifers were buoyed last week by the return of talisman Jonathan Page who made his first start in six months following an injury picked up during a 1-0 win over Livingston back in March and Manager Darren Young should have the same squad to pick from this weekend with only Captain Kevin Smith missing as he continues his recovery.
The visitors have not had the best start to their league campaign following promotion via the play-offs last season with their only points coming from a 2-1 win against Airdrieonians on the opening day of the season. However, they will be looking to bounce back from last weekend’s painful 5-0 defeat at the hands of local rivals Arbroath – a result that spelled the end for Manager Gary Bollan.
The last league meeting between the sides was back in March 2014 when goals from Liam Buchanan and Nathan Austin fired East Fife to a 2-1 win at Station Park, current Fifer Chris Duggan netting for the home side. The game will be remembered, however, for an impressive solo run from Kevin Smith when he picked up the ball on the edge of his own box and left three Loon’s defenders in his wake on route to setting up Austin for the winner.
The Fifers triumphed by the same scoring in the last meeting at Bayview in January 2014 when Marc McKenzie (with more than a little deflection off Forfar defender Darren Dodds) and Stephen O’Neill both scored on their debut.
Supporters of both clubs are reminded that they are welcome to enjoy refreshments in the stadium bars before and after the game.