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Elgin City 1-0 East Fife, Saturday 3rd February 2024

Borough Briggs, cinch League Two

Defeat at Borough Briggs spelled our second in succession as we fell 1-0 to Elgin City on Saturday afternoon in a game which marked the end of Greig McDonald’s tenure as East Fife manager.

It was a disappointing display where we struggled with our build up play, and only recorded one shot on target, sadly there was only one team who looked like winning it, and it wasn’t the Methil Milan.

Changes had to be made before the match even started, as Sean Docherty replaced skipper Stuart Murdoch, who suffered an injury in the warmup on Saturday. We wish le capitaine a swift recovery.

Kick off came, and it was a slow start from the Fifers, and they were under the kosh early doors. Conor McManus did expertly well to get in the way of Brian Cameron’s volley, turning the ball out for a corner.

Chances were hard to come by for the Fifers, though they were like London buses. Nathan Austin first flashed a ball across goal, having done remarkably well to keep it in play. Five minutes later, Kieran Millar had a chance, though his 20 yarder was well off target.

A flurry of chances then came in the favour of Elgin, before the end of the first half. Allan Fleming did well to dispose of Mitchell Taylor’s free kick, but sadly City did not stop there. They eventually bagged their goal in the 44th minute, with the aforementioned Brian Cameron being first to react to a loose ball which had just come back off the post.

Much to our dismay, the second half started no differently to how the first half finished, and Elgin were on the attack again after 53 minutes. Fortunately for us Rob Jones’ attempt was fired well over the bar and the score-line remained 1-0.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the 56-minute mark saw changes be made, including the quick Jack Healy, whose job was clearly to break the Elgin back line down. Disappointingly, it was not the local lad’s day, and the Elgin full backs done their job well in nullifying Healy.

Brilliant goalkeeping was required by Fleming soon after the substitutions were made, as Golding had a great chance. Fleming was on top form though, and he tipped the effort over the bar.

Elgin looked incredibly comfortable in the contest, though McHale was eventually called into action, as he stopped a diving header from Nathan Austin that looked destined to find the back of the net. An Allan Fleming save in the 93rd minute was the last piece of action of the 90, with all three points sadly staying in the Highlands.

Luckily for ourselves, we weren’t the only team at the blunt end of the table to drop points as 10th placed Clyde conceded a 95th minute penalty against Peterhead. We remain 10 points clear of the drop zone as a result.

Looking forward to the weekend, we are set to host league leaders Stenhousemuir in what will be a challenging game. The Warriors were able to boast an unbeaten run in the league stretching back to August prior to a fortnight ago, when they were toppled by Peterhead.

Report by Oli Anderson

Elgin City – McHale, Cooper (Cairns 42’) Booth, Dolzanski, Draper, Gallagher, Dingwall, Cameron, Golding, Jones (Bray 90+1’), Taylor (Dangana 82’). Subs not used: Mackenzie, Jamieson, Kelly, MacLemon, Ewan, Duncan

East Fife – Fleming, Newton, Docherty (Page 55’), Easton, Millar, McManus, Hamilton, Walls (Shepherd 69’), Schiavone (Healy 56’), Trouten (Nicol 73’), Austin. Subs not used: Cunningham, Murray, Beveridge.

Referee – Alex Shepherd

Attendance - 605