McDonald’s men took the trip to Reigart Stadium to face 9th placed Albion Rovers. The Fifers were off the back of an excellent performance against high flying Stirling Albion last weekend and the team were aiming to pick up the maximum points against a struggling Albion Rovers side. This was the third time the two teams have faced each other this season, the first ended in a 1-0 win for the Methil men away at Albion, and the second was a 3-2 home loss after a last-minute penalty winner for the Rovers.
No changes were made to the team that drew against Stirling Albion as Millar, Murdoch and Steven all remained side-lined. Trouten retained the captain’s armband and Pat Slattery kept his place in the starting squad after an impressive performance last weekend.
After only five minutes, East Fife had an early lead when Alex Ferguson managed to battle his way through the whole midfield and found himself in a position to thread a pass through to Schiavone whose first time effort beat Leighfield at his neat post.
East Fife went in search of a second when Denholm’s drilled a corner was cleared back to him on the left to cut the ball back across goal towards Healy, however his effort lacked power and was easily blocked by the Albion defence.
Towards the end of the first half, a few half chances were passed up by the travelling side. The first came from some good work by Slattery in midfield to find Schiavone who laid the ball off from Trouten however his effort is fired over the bar with the aid of a deflection. From the resulting corner, Denholm lofts the ball in toward Quinn whose header is guided just wide of the post.
HALF TIME: Albion Rovers 0-1 East Fife
After an uneventful first 15-minute of the second half, Albion were pressing for an equaliser which saw Reilly charge his way into the box and cut the ball back across the face of the goal however no takers from the Albion side and the ball rolled out for a goal kick.
In the 66th minute, East Fife had a chance to extend their lead through a short corner when Denholm spotted Healy in space, but his first-time curling shot however was comfortably held by Leighfield.
Towards the end of the game, East Fife were handed a chance to seal the three points when Connor McManus, making his first appearance in over a year, sent a lofted ball over the top of the Albion defence for Shepherd who reached the ball slightly ahead of Fagan only to be clattered into by the defender and the referee pointed to the penalty spot.
With regular penalty taken Trouten already off the pitch, Shepherd stepped up to take the spot kick but unfortunately for him, Leighfield guessed right and got down well to his left to deny the East Fife man.
The last chance of the game fell to the rovers when a long throw from Fagan is cleared by the East Fife back line but only as far as Duncan whose long-range effort was held by Fleming ensuring East Fife picked up maximum points on the road.
FULL TIME: Albion Rovers 0-1 East Fife
A much needed and very valuable three points was taken back to Methil and the win moves East Fife up to 6th in the league, only a point behind 5th and a point ahead of 7th. Next up is a home fixture against top of the league Dumbarton. The Fifers are yet to score against the Sons so far this season, so hopefully this time the team can get a result and pick up some points at Bayview.
Albion Rovers: Leighfield, Fernie (Fagen 79’), Sonkur, Graham, E Wilson, Leslie (Duncan 69’), Fleming (Roberts 62’), Malcolm, C Wilson, Bevan (Wright 61’), Reilly
East Fife: Fleming, Steele, Quinn, Denham, Newton, Trouten (McManus 86’), Slattery, Ferguson, Denholm (Walls 69’), Schiavone (Shepherd 68’), Healy (Page 90+5’)
Referee: Scott Lambie
Report by Andrew Laing