East Fife continued their Premier Sports Cup action with a visit to the Indodrill stadium to face Alloa Athletic. East Fife only made change to the starting eleven that lost to Dunfermline Athletic in the previous game with Lucas Williamson, making his first starting appearance for the club replacing Alan Trouten. Alloa’s line-up consisted of a few notable names, with the likes of Connor Sammon, Stefan Scougall and ex-East Fife player Daniel Church staring for the Wasps.
Alloa started very brightly, East Fife however had the first chance of the game when Liam Newton drove forward from his half into the final third and played the ball to Ryan Schiavone on the edge of the box who took a shot but the curling effort was well wide and over.
Alloa took the lead on the 12th minute after Scougall whipped in a good cross to the danger area of the box where Aaron Steele, attempting to clear the ball, could only turn it into his own net putting the Wasps 1-0 up.
Alloa dictated most of the possession for the rest of the half, yet it was East Fife who were growing into the game considerably towards the end of the half, with a few good chances. In the 43rd minute Brogan Walls sent a delightful low cross towards the centre of the box which was met by an unmarked Newton but his shot was straight into Jay Hogarth’s hands. To the disappointment of the away fans, the half time whistle went shortly after, curtailing the East Fife momentum.
The teams came out for the second half and the ref got the game going again with East Fife needing a result to keep alive our hopes in the competition.
The visitors came out all guns blazing, with clear intentions that they were looking for a victory. After 3 minutes East Fife created a good chance with Williamson, after playing a very good 1-2 with Scott Shepard, drove into the box, rolling the ball along the face of goal, the Walls just failed to get a touch on as the keeper collects comfortably.
Cameron O’Donnell was the first to go into the referee’s book after a challenge on Aaron Steele that he was perhaps fortunate to see only a yellow card.
With 20 minutes to go excitement began to brew in the away end as Scott Mercer was over a free kick in a dangerous position on the edge of the box. He took the free kick very well with the ball bouncing back off the post into the path of Shepard who calmly scored into an open net, levelling the game at one each.
Both teams were keen to net a winner to avoid the nervy nature of penalty kicks with the play flowing end-to-end but nothing really challenged either goalkeeper. After 3 minutes of added time the ref blew up for full time and penalty kicks would decide who would take home a bonus point.
East Fife started the shoot-out well with Mercer, Mikey Cunningham and Jack Healy all scoring their penalties, putting us into a 3-2 lead heading into Alloa’s third penalty, taken by Andy Graham which was well saved by Fleming at the centre right of the goal. East Fife seemed to be in a good position before Stewart Murdoch hit the cross bar with his spot kick, levelling the shootout at 3-3. Newton and Walls then slotted home their respectively penalties nicely. The shootout was into sudden death and level at 5-5 when Pat Slattery’s spot kick was saved by Hogarth, giving Alloa a golden chance to win the shootout which they duly took as George Stanger slotted home to claim the bonus point for the Alloa Athletic.
The shootout result wasn’t what we wanted, but a good performance by the team against a squad in a league higher, gave the Fife faithful a good deal of optimism heading into the final two cup games before the league campaign begins.