Dumbarton made the trip to Bayview in the 6th league game of the season with the Fifers taking on a Dumbarton side that is yet to drop a single point so far this season. However East Fife were aiming to change that and continue their own unbeaten run.
Two changes were made to the team that picked up a point away at Stranraer last weekend. Alan Trouten and Liam Newton both started as Ryan Schiavone and Taylor Steven were both handed places on the bench. Two ex-Fifers were named in the starting line-up for the Sons in Ryan Blair and Brett Long with another former player, Ryan Wallace, named on the bench.
East Fife got the game underway and in the first 5 minutes played some nice football that was pleasing to the eye of the Fife faithful. However, the first chance fell the way of Dumbarton as they were handed a free kick at the halfway line. The well taken set piece found the edge of the six-yard box however the ball evaded everyone inside the area and was eventually cleared.
In a nervy moment for the visitors, the ball was played back to the feet of Dumbarton ‘keeper Long but he struggled to get the ball under control but recovered well, under pressure from Scott Shepherd to the relief of the Dumbarton supporters and the ball was eventually cleared.
In the 25th minute, East fife had a very good chance to take the lead when a short corner to Joao Balde saw him fire in a cross to the onrushing Scott Mercer at the back post however, at full stretch, his ball back across the face of goal didn’t find a taker.
The first and only goal of the game went to Dumbarton. The Sons, on the counterattack, had Blair play a pass through to Declan Byrne who raced in behind the East Fife defence to slot into the far corner giving Dumbarton a 1-0 lead.
Directly after the goal, Byrne had a near identical chance, however this time the ball came back off the upright. The rest of the first half was mostly played out with Dumbarton holding shape and preserving their lead, which they did without too much trouble.
Half-Time: East Fife 0-1 Dumbarton
The second half got underway and started how the first ended with East Fife trying to break down the well held shape of Dumbarton. Dumbarton were the first to have an opening after the break when, in the 57th minute, the ball landed at the feet of Finlay Gray who cuts back inside to Byrne, but his shot flew high and wide.
On the hour mark East Fife made their first substitution of the match as Balde made way for the Taylor Steven. Directly after, Dumbarton had a good opportunity to double their lead with a well worked corner from David Wilson who picked out Blair, unmarked, in the centre of the box, however his scuffed effort was easily cleared by Stewart Murdoch.
Dumbarton’s next opening came via a lofted ball from Gregor Buchanan which split the Fife defence and found Ally Love, however his shot on the volley was over the bar.
As the game was coming to a close, the Methil men really piled on the pressure and Mercer saw his rifled shot dragged narrowly wide of the post from inside the box. A few minutes later, Schiavone dispossessed Carswell and played a short pass to Steven on the edge of the box, who was unlucky to see his left-footed effort come back off the bar.
With 3 minutes of injury time played the referee blew the full-time whistle, finishing the game 1-0 to the travelling team.
The loss was a first in four for the Fifers but next weekend the team have another home fixture against Stenhousemuir and Stevie Crawford will hope to get back to winning ways.
Full-Time: East Fife 0-1 Dumbarton
Report by Andrew Laing
East Fife Team: Fleming, Mercer, Steele, Denham, Murdoch, Balde (Steven 59’), Millar (Schiavone 81’), Ferguson, Newton (Healy 71’), Trouten (Walls 71’), Shepherd
Dumbarton Team: Long, Lynas, Buchanan, Carswell, McNiff, Blair, Wilson, Gray, Orsi (Gemmell 81’), Byrne (Wallace 68’), Love (Wylde 75’)
Referee: Daniel Graves