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Oli Anderson previews tomorrow's match against Albion Rovers.

The Standings

East Fife currently find ourselves in seventh in the cinch League Two table boasting 27 points after 23 games played. Albion Rovers are hot on our tail however, as they sit in ninth, on 24 points, with a game in hand. We are also only 4 points shy of the playoff places, so there is every chance that a promotion push is on, should we string together some good performances and results.

In Albion’s last 6, they have recorded 7 points to East Fife’s 5. This run has saw them string together back-to-back 4-0 victories, firstly against Bonnyrigg Rose and then the following week against Stranraer.

Despite a much-improved performance against Stirling Albion, we were unable to come away with the win, and now have only 1 win in the last 11 games.

Last Week

The Hosts

Albion Rovers made the trek up north to Elgin last weekend, where they played out a 1-1 draw at Borough Briggs. It was the man in form who opened the scoring, when Charlie Reilly put the Rovers 1-0 up after 22 minutes of action. The game was then back and forth, no side doing any damage, until the 73rd minute when Reilly went from Hero to Zero, dragging Angus Mailer down inside the box. Russell Dingwall converted from the spot, ensuring that the game finished as a draw.

The Fife

East Fife played incredibly well last week but were unable to grab all 3 points against 10 man Stirling Albion.

Greig MacDonald made a whole host of changes, which came up trumps, as Ryan Schiavone and Pat Slattery both returned to the starting line-up, with the latter putting in perhaps one of the performances of the season so far.

The first half had a real lack of any chances, and apart from a fantastic Allan Fleming save at the East Fife end, and new signing Aidan Denholm being denied a stonewall penalty, there was no action to report.

The second half, however, was quite the opposite. The opening goal of the game came just two minutes after the start of the second period. Ex-Fifer Greig Spence hit his free kick, which took an enormous deflection, dumbfounding the keeper as it bounced goalward.

This never stopped East Fife though, as it had in previous weeks, as they pushed for the equaliser. Youngster Alex Ferguson bombed at the backline just four minutes later, and was brought down by Binos’ full back Cammy Clark, who was sent to the stand after picking up his second yellow for the challenge.

Fife were incredibly unlucky from the resulting free kick, as Healy stood over it, and cannoned his shot off the post, there was a stramash in the box for the second ball, but no Fife player could convert.

The Black and Gold capitalised on their man advantage well, as they penned in Stirling, and they were eventually well rewarded, when after 66 minutes, Jack Healy done what Jack Healy does, rocketing a magnificent, curled effort from almost 30 yards out, adding another wonder goal to his tally for the season.

With 15 minutes on the clock, Stirling Albion were incredibly fortunate to still be level, a lovely passage of play saw East Fife have the ball in the 6-yard box, but no one could get any decent connection on the ball, and it was eventually gathered up by the Stirling ‘keeper.

All credit has to go to Stirling who valiantly held on for the last 10 minutes, at times even looking like they may have gone on to nick a winner. With 5 minutes to go, loanee Aiden Quinn dunted his back pass into the ground, forcing Fleming to win a foot race against former Fifer Aaron Dunsmore, which he did.

Speaking with manager MacDonald after the game, he said: “We’ve had a couple of body blows the last couple of weeks, against Stranraer and Annan, and today we could’ve gone under, instead when we went a goal down, we got the ball went up the park and created another chance. When we eventually got the goal, we kept going as well. It’s a hard thing to do, to play with intensity from the first to the final whistle, but the boys managed today, and this is the benchmark for our performances for the rest of the season.”

Squad News

Skipper Stewart Murdoch and Taylor Steven both remain out this week due to muscular injuries. Kieran Millar is also still unavailable as he is serving the second match of his suspension following his red card at Annan two weeks ago.

Previous Encounter

The last time the two sides met, it was an absolute goal fest at Bayview, however the Fife walked away empty handed, due to a last-minute penalty costing the Fifers any points. The game was end to end, and both sides went at it from minute one.

The game was not without controversy however, as on the 6th minute mark, referee Chris Fordyce sent Aaron Steele off, accusing him of kicking the Albion attacker in the face, while lunging for the ball.

Despite being a man down, the Black and Gold went a goal up, thanks to a touch of class from Hibs loanee Joao Balde. The Portuguese maestro played an excellent diagonal pass to Mercer from the halfway line to the edge of the penalty area, before making a bursting run into the penalty area to nod home the captain’s cross. A fantastic way to open his East Fife scoring account.

Charlie Reilly equalised for the visitors soon after when Healy’s scuffed pass was intercepted. The forward drove the ball up the park and weaved through the defence, firing a shot which beat Fleming at his near post.

East Fife started to go again, creating a few half chances, and looking like the better team, but it was the Rovers who went into the break with a lead after Blair Malcolm slid the ball over the line, making it 2-1 to the visitors’ minutes before the interval.

East Fife fought valiantly in the second half, playing with fire in their bellies and a spring in their step. They were fast on the attack; with Healy redeeming himself causing the Albion full back many an issue.

The Methil side were creating lots of chances, but just didn’t have anyone who was able to use their end product. Up stepped man of the moment Joao Balde, whose goals were only comparable to London Buses as two came at once, firing home from another cross, as confidence oozed from him.

There were still twenty-five minutes on the clock and 3 minutes after equalising Fife were handed a golden opportunity to take the lead for the second time in the match. The Albion Rovers’ ‘keeper Jack Leighfield wiped out Shepherd in the box. However, since he made a play for the ball, the ‘double jeopardy’ rule was enforced, and the stopper only saw a yellow. Balde stepped up, but failed to convert, keeping the score level at 2-2.

The game looked destined to finish in favour of East Fife who played excellently, particularly in the 2nd half, but it was not to be, as Newton committed a foul in the box, giving Albion a penalty of their own. Charlie Reilly stepped up, firing at Fleming, who parried it into the net. Albion nicked a win with the last kick of the ball.

Team Colours

East Fife will be clad in their white and green away kit for the game this weekend, accompanied by the matching white socks and shorts. The man in between the sticks will don the turquoise goalkeeper kit.

Albion Rovers will be in all black for the affair, with the keeper in yellow.

Match Tickets

Admission will be PATG for the game this weekend. Cash and Card are both accepted at the turnstiles.

Prices below:

General Admission: £14

Concession: £10

Under 14s: £3

Carers go Free.

Live Stream

Unfortunately for our fans in the UK and Ireland there will be no Livestream for the clash this weekend. However, for our global audience, the game can be watched on EFTV with a monthly or Season pass.


Scott Lambie will be the on-park official. His assistants running the lines will be Graham Chambers and Paul McAvinue.