East Fife were Back at Bayview, this time to host ex-manager Darren Young and his Stirling Albion team. Stirling were on good form and sitting in second in the table prior to kick off whilst East Fife were on a poor run and sitting in 7th. The two sides had met twice previously this season, both ending in Stirling wins, 3-1 at Forthbank and 2-1 at Bayview. Last weekend, East Fife suffered a devastating 3-0 defeat to Annan Athletic at Galabank.
Greig McDonald made two changes to the team that were humbled against Annan last weekend as Pat Slattery and loan singing Aiden Denholm replaced Scott Shepherd and Kieran Millar, who was serving his suspension after his red card last weekend. Stewart Murdoch and Taylor Steven missed out completely carrying knocks.
East Fife got the game underway, however it was Stirling Albion who had the first chance of the game in the 18th minute when Copper lifts a pass over the East Fife defence for former Fifer Greig Spence, but his effort was well saved by Fleming who was off his line quickly.
On the half hour mark, Healy had a golden chance to put East Fife into a deserved lead. Newton laid the ball for Ferguson in acres of space, who lined up to shoot but, fooling the Binos defence, played a clever pass through to Healy inside the area but his effort is skyed well over the bar.
Shortly after Healy’s attempt, the Methil men had another chance when Trouten played an incredible ball through to new signing Denholm, a 1-on-1 with Currie, but Clark just did enough to usher him off the ball under heavy protests for a penalty from those in the home end.
With four minutes remaining of the first half, the away side had a chance go in front when Leitch effortlessly finds Cooper with a toe poke however his effort is well saved by the diving Fleming who comfortably gathered.
HALF TIME: East Fife 0-0 Stirling Albion
Two minutes into the second half Stirling won a free kick right on the edge of the box when Ferguson tripped up Leitch. Spence stepped up to hit a clever free kick, low under the wall, which was deflected out of the reach of Fleming and into the back of the net, putting Stirling Albion 1-0 up early in the second half.
Only four minutes after taking the lead, the Binos were made to pay for an error at the back when Ferguson’s touch took him through the middle of McLean and Clark and was sandwiched between the two and Clark, already on a booking, was sent off after receiving a second yellow for the challenge. Healy stepped up to take the resulting free kick and hit an outstanding attempt that rattled off the post and back into play however none of the East Fife men can get a foot on the ball and Stirling Albion clear for a corner.
From the resulting corner, Denholm sent in a looping cross, finding Steele inches in front of the goal whose header was on target but blocked and on to the crossbar before the whistle goes for a foul on the keeper.
With 25 minutes left, East Fife were eager to get a goal and is duly came when Healy stepped up to perform his usual magic. Newton, on the left side, played a short pass to Healy who took a touch inside and, with everyone anticipating the spectacular, he curls yet another screamer into the top corner of net before running the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of his home fans.
With the game into the final twenty minutes, East Fife were heavily pressuring the Binos goal and carved out another opportunity with a free kick on the edge of the box that reached Quinn, but he could only direct his header off target.
With little time left, Stirling had a massive chance to steal the three points when Dunsmore latched onto a short pass back from Quinn but once again Fleming was off his line very quickly to make the block.
FULL TIME: East Fife 1-1 Stirling Albion
After a sensational performance against high flying Stirling Albion, East Fife had to settle for a point despite deserving all three. The Methil men currently sit in 7th and next up is an away fixture against 9th placed Albion Rovers at the Reigart Stadium. Hopefully the team can pick up that first win in 11 games.
East Fife: Fleming, Steele (Walls 77’), Denham, Quinn, Slattery (Shepherd 86’), Healy, Newton, Denholm, Ferguson, Schiavone, Trouten
Stirling Albion: Currie, McGeachie, Clark, McLean, Banner, Davidson, Leitch, Denholm (Dunsmore 70’), Cooper (Moore 70’), Spence (Duffy 53’), Thomson (McGregor 87’)
Referee: Ross Hardie
Report by Andrew Laing