William Hill Scottish Cup
Saturday 20th January 2018
East Fife 0
Brora Rangers 1 (Williamson 11’)
East Fife XI: Goodfellow, Dunsmore, Kane, Page, Linton, Millar (Thomson 45’), Slattery, Lamont (Wilson 81’), Wilkie, Smith, Duggan
Subs: Watson, Mutch, Cordery, Willis
Brora Rangers XI: Malin, Pickles, Duff, Williamson (Ross 82’), MacDonald, Graham, MacLean, Morrison, Nicolson, MacKay (Pickles 76’), Sutherland (Brindle 83’)
Subs: MacLeod, Lisle, Campbell, Hoban
Booked: Pickles, MacDonald, Graham, Brindle
Referee: David Munro
East Fife crashed out of the Scottish Cup following a 1-0 defeat at home to Highland League side Brora Rangers. Manager Darren Young made one change to the side that conquered Alloa Athletic last time out with Kevin Smith replacing the injured Mark Docherty in the starting line-up.
As with the previous game, the home side were slow to get into the game, with the visitors looking the sharper side in the early stages and almost opened the scoring on the 7th minute when good build up play saw the ball fall to Mark Nicolson on the edge of the area but he could only drag his shot wide of target. The warning signs had been there for East Fife and they found themselves behind with 11 minutes played when Colin Williamson was allowed to head home unchallenged from Gavin Morrison’s corner. Steven MacKay had the chance to double the lead on 23 minutes when he got on the end of a free kick but his header was straight at Ryan Goodfellow in the East Fife goal.
East Fife had their first real opportunity on 36 minutes when Scott Linton won the ball in the middle of the park, laid the ball off for Pat Slattery who picked out Chris Duggan with a cross from the left but his shot was well blocked by the Brora defence. Linton sent a free kick wide of the post from 25-yards on 37 minutes in the only other action of note in the first half.
East Fife introduced new signing Craig Thomson from the bench at the start of the second half and almost and an immediate impact when he twice broke through the Brora defence but found he cross deflected behind for a corner on both occasions. The home side had certainly started the second half better than the first and had their first chance of an equaliser on 53 minutes when Kevin Smith knocked down Mark Lamont cross into the path of Slattery but his right-footed effort was wide of the right-hand post.
Ally MacDonald went close for the visitors on 54 minutes when he narrowly failed to turn Scott Graham’s cross into the net before East Fife should have equalised a minutes later. Duggan took advantage of a poor pass back from MacKay to take the ball round Brora ‘keeper Joe Malin but just missed the target from a tight angle. East Fife were agonisingly close to an equaliser again on 57 minutes when Linton just clipped the outside of the post with a free kick from the edge of the box.
Smith made a good break forward on 73 minutes and played in Thomson down the right who cut inside but his right-footed effort flashed past the post as East Fife continued to press. Chris Kane had one final opportunity to force a replay when he got on the end of Thomson’s cross from the right but his downward header was wide of target.
We are delighted to announce that Craig Thomson has agreed a deal to join East Fife making him Darren Young’s first signing of the transfer window. He goes straight into the squad for today’s game.
22-year-old Craig started his career at local side Kennoway United before joining to St. Johnstone youth academy in 2008, turning professional in 2011. He went on to make 27 first team appearances for the Perth side. Craig also completed two successful loan spells with, first, Elgin City in 2014/2015, and then with Stranraer last season.
Welcome to Bayview Craig!
East Fife take a break from league action tomorrow afternoon when they take on Highland League side Brora Rangers in the fourth round of the William Hill Scottish Cup. Ross Tokely’s men make the long journey south from Sutherland hopeful that they can take another SPFL scalp, having disposed of Stranraer at Stair Park in the previous round thanks to a Steven Mackay strike deep into stoppage time to secure a 1-0 win.
Bayview boss Darren Young was delighted with his side’s 2-1 success at home to on-form Alloa Athletic last week. It was a good all round performance in all departments from the Fifers, topped off by two excellent goals by midfielders Mark Lamont and Mark Docherty. Visitors Brora were also in action for the first time in three weeks, earning a hard fought 2-2 draw at Buckie Thistle.
The two sides have previously faced each other on only one occasion in a competitive fixture. Back in August 2014 the Methil men had to come from behind twice to secure a 3-2 win in the Challenge Cup at Dudgeon Park. Nathan Austin scored a late winner in that midweek tie, with Jon McShane firing home a double. Steven Mackay and Zander Sutherland were the men on target for the Cattachs, with both players expected to feature tomorrow for the high scoring visitors.
East Fife’s injury woes took a turn for the better last week with club captain Kevin Smith making an appearance as substitute and manager Darren Young is hopeful that defender Craig Watson is not too far away from a welcome return to the squad.
Supporters of both clubs are reminded that they are welcome to enjoy refreshments at the stadium bars before and after the game.
Signed from Perthshire side Balbeggie Amateurs on 9th October 1948, twenty-year-old Ian Gardiner established himself in the reserves during season 1948/49 and the first half of season 1949/50 before being handed a starting place in the East Fife team that defeated Raith Rovers 3-0 in front of Bayview’s record attendance of 22,515 on 2nd January 1950. The right-winger kept his place in the side for the following day’s trip to Dumfries, where manager Scot Symon’s faith in the player was rewarded when Ian scored a “spectacular” third goal in an emphatic five-nil victory over Queen of the South. Competition for a regular place in the side was fierce during the early 1950’s, however, and Ian was unable to establish himself at his recognised position of outside-right, with East Fife stalwart Bobby Black firmly established in that position.
When the club eventually replaced Black with future legend Jackie Stewart, signed from Dunfermline Athletic, the decision was made to try Ian at centre-forward, and East Fife’s faith in the player was rewarded when, during season 1951/52, he netted twenty-six competitive goals as the Methil men achieved a final top-flight league position of third. When the player repeated his goal-scoring prowess during the following campaign, the international selectors decided to have a look at the Methil “goal-machine”, and Ian Gardiner was duly selected for the newly-formed Scotland ‘B’ side to face France in Toulouse on Tuesday 11th November 1952. The purpose of the ‘B’ international matches was to give promising players who had the potential to eventually turn out for the full international side experience and games in an international set-up in order to fully assess their abilities. Also included in the party selected to travel to France in November 1952 were future Scotland internationalists Tommy Docherty (Preston North End), Willie Ormond (Hibs), Doug Cowie (Dundee), Jimmy Davidson (Partick Thistle), Ian McMillan (Airdrieonians) and Tom Gemmell (St. Mirren). Please note that the last named player is NOT the former Celtic, Notts Forest and Dundee player of the same name!
With the match being played in almost incessant drizzle, both sides started nervously, but Ian Gardiner nearly broke the deadlock during the opening exchanges when he almost beat French ‘keeper Remetter in a race for the ball. Scotland eventually gained control of the game, and the home ‘keeper was called into action on two further occasions to deny Gardiner. Unfortunately, Ian failed to find the net in what ended up a no-scoring draw, during which Hibs’ Willie Ormond sent a penalty high over the cross-bar during the second half much to the vociferous delight of the 25,000 home crowd! Ian failed to keep his place in the ‘B’ international side for their following fixture against England at Easter Road four months later, but continued to impress in the East Fife side and, on 24th October 1953, scored the opening goal in the League Cup Final victory over Partick Thistle at Hampden as the Methil men won that trophy for a record third time.
Ian Gardiner pulled on the dark blue of Scotland for the second time as an East Fife player when he was selected to play for the Scottish League side to face the Irish League on Wednesday 15th September 1954 at Windsor Park in Belfast. Although the match report which appeared in the following edition of the Dundee Courier claimed that Gardiner “had an unfortunate night”, the East Fife man played a huge part in the build up to the first two goals before heading home the third! Just over a year later, Ian Gardiner signed for Motherwell, and during his time with the Fir Park side the player was finally selected to play for the full Scotland international side; a 1-1 draw with Wales at Hampden in November 1957. As a Motherwell player, he had earlier won a second ‘B’ international cap against England in February 1957. After his Motherwell days were over, Ian returned to Bayview for a second spell following a very brief period with Raith Rovers, but remained at Bayview for less than a season before moving on to St Johnstone and eventually Montrose.