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East Fife made the long trip up north to face Elgin City in the first game of the league season. East Fife have a poor recent history when it comes to opening games, having not won an opening league game since 2009 when Stevie Crawford was last in charge of the Fifers. 

Stevie Crawford made 2 changes to 7-0 defeat to Ross County with Allan Fleming returning to the starting line-up ahead of Jude Smith and new loan signing Alex Ferguson making his debut for the club. Stewart Murdoch was given the captains armband.

Kieran Millar kicked off the 2022/23 season for East Fife, who were wearing traditional colours of black and gold. In the 15th minute, East Fife had a good chance to take the lead, when Ryan Schiavone had the ball on the by-line before playing a pass across the face of goal which is met by an onrushing Ferguson, however he struggled to get good contact on the ball and the ball flew well wide. Elgin’s best chance of the half fell to the hands of Matheus Machado, who was played through by Kane Hester, splitting the East Fife defence, however Fleming was able to beat.

East Fife took the lead on the 27th minute when Brogan Walls plays a one-two with Schiavone, before sending in a magnificent cross, which is met by an outstretched Scott Shepherd who got enough on it to guide the ball into the bottom corner, past the reaching Hoban, giving East Fife their first goal of the league season and the lead of the game. 

Five minutes to go of the half saw Shepherd double his tally and cushioning the lead for East Fife. Millar plays a well lofted ball over the top of the Elgin City defence for Shepherd who beat the Elgin defenders and keeper to the ball and, with the ball on the bounce, his audacious lob managed to find the back of the net, giving East Fife a comfortable 2-0 lead heading into halftime. 

Elgin had the first chance of the second half when Hester tried to replicate Shepherd’s first half lob, however his effort was just wide of the goal, to the relief of the travelling fans. 

East Fife scored a third on the hour mark when a well-constructed corner by Walls met the feet of Scott Mercer, who’s deflected shot managed to evade the Elgin keeper and found its way into the back of the net. Elgin pulled one back in the 71st minute when Dingwall’s corner was met by Darryl McHardy at the back post, who headed home from 5-yards. 

East Fife has the opportunity to wrap up the points 10 minutes from time when Shepherd sent a glancing header just wide. With 8 minutes to go East Fife had made two substitutions with Schiavone and Shepherd making way for Mikey Cunningham and Pat Slattery. Iain Sneddon blew up for full time ending an afternoon full of glee and joy for the Fife faithful. 

Andrew Laing