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Civil Service Strollers visited Bayview on Tuesday night for the first friendly of the season and it was a good chance for the Bayview faithful to cast their eye over and for players to impress the management team ahead of the new season.

The starting line-up consisted of 8 first-team players, including new signings Sam Denham and Scott Shepherd, along with 3 trialists. East Fife began the game with a large amount of the ball but only creating a few half chances here and there. The first big opportunity came in the 20th minute when Scott Mercer’s header from a corner was blocked on the line. Then, in the 21st minute, Trialist’s (No 7) corner was met by the head of Aaron Steele who sent a cushioned header back into the 6-yard box, for Denham who narrowly nudging the ball over the bar.

Shortly after, Brogan Walls sent a beautifully lofted ball through to Liam Newton, but with the ball bouncing, his attempted lob landed on the roof of the net. Walls was next to try his luck, but his effort from distance was well off target. East Fife were continuing to grow into the game and looked more threatening just as the half time whistle went.

Half Time: East Fife 0 – 0 Civil Service Strollers

East Fife made nine substitutes at half time with mostly youngsters from the under 20s along with a few trialists. The young East Fife side showed good determination from the start of the second half. Strollers saw a lot more of the ball second half but struggled to get past the firm East Fife back line.

In the 59th minute, Strollers did manage to break through the East Fife defence, but the forward failed to get his shot away as Trialist, number 15, recovered excellently to make a terrific sliding challenge which went out for a corner. Directly after, 2 further changes to the East Fife team occurred with goalkeeper Allan Fleming, who previously played for the club 7 years ago, and Fraser Oag entering the field.

East Fife took the lead on the 64th minute after Bodhi Taylor whipped in a pinpoint accurate corner to Trialist number 15, who managed to ghost past his man and head the ball into the roof of the net. The majority of the last 25 minutes past uneventfully however, as the game reached the 88th minute, the first booking was dished out to Strollers number 10 who was adjudged to have tripped an East Fife attacker cynically.

Strollers won a penalty in the 89th minute after a clumsy challenge in the box. The spot kick was taken by Ross Young (no. 10) who neatly slotted it home, down the middle making the game 1-1 with little to no time left to play. The full-time whistle went seconds after ending a night full of intrigue for both the management team and fans.

Full Time: East Fife 1 – 1 Civil Service Strollers

Andrew Laing