Ladbrokes League 1
Saturday 14th October 2017
East Fife 5 (Duggan 4’, Docherty 42’ (P), G Hurst 80’, 90+3’, Linton 90+1’)
Albion Rovers 4 (Marr 8’, Reid 54’, Vitoria 68’, Trouten 78’)
East Fife XI: M Hurst, Dunsmore, Watson (Wilkie 26’), Kane, Linton, Millar, Slattery, Docherty, Flanagan, Duggan (Smith 71’), G Hurst
Subs: Willis, Wilson, Reilly, Goodfellow, Lamont
Albion Rovers XI: Bowman, Reid, Marr, Perry, McLaughlin, Fisher, Holmes, Davidson, Higgins (McMullin 84’), Shields (Vitoria 68’), Trouten
Subs: Guthrie, Potts, Lightbody, McLeish, Watters
Referee: Craig Charleston
Where to start?
On-form Albion Rovers were the visitors to Bayview on Saturday but it was the home side who claimed all three points following a nine-goal thriller. Manager Darren Young made one change to the side that lost to Ayr United last time out with Greg Hurst replacing Jonathan Page who was suspended following his red card two weeks ago. There was also a welcome return for club captain Kevin Smith who took his place on the bench after missing the start of the season through injury.
The visitors were unbeaten away from home this season coming into the match and having beaten league leaders Raith Rovers last time out, the Fifers knew this would be a tough encounter. Both sides showed their support for Show Racism the Red Card’s annual fortnight of action prior to kick off.
Alan Trouten should have given the visitors the lead inside the first minute when he beat the offside trap but couldn’t direct his header on target. Rovers were left to rue that miss when Chris Duggan latched onto a long ball from Mark Docherty to lob ‘keeper Graeme Bowman from 20-yards to give East Fife the lead. East Fife ‘keeper Mark Hurst pulled off a good save to deny former Fifer Gary Fisher moments later but the lead didn’t last long with Jason Marr levelling the match minutes later when he got on the end of Chris Higgin’s corner to head past Hurst on 8 minutes.
Duggan had a couple of opportunities to add to the scoring when first some good footwork saw him skip past Ross Davidson and cut inside only to see his shot blocked from close range by the Rover’s defence before he headed narrowly wide after getting on the end of Aaron Dunsmore’s cross from the right. East Fife weren’t having things all their own way, however, with Davidson’s chip clearing the bar following a short corner.
The home side should have extended their lead minutes before the break when Nathan Flanagan got to the by-line and lifted in a cross the was only partially cleared but Scott Linton blasted over from 8-yards with the goal at his mercy. Duggan was continuing to cause problem for the Rover’s defence down the right with a nice turn taking Marr out of the game before being body checked by Alan Reid inside the area giving referee Craig Charleston no option but to point to the spot. Docherty stepped up and sent Bowman the wrong way to score his 5th goal of the season.
A cracking first half but few could have predicted what was to come in the next 45!
The match was level once again on 53 minutes when Reid rose highest to turn Higgin’s free kick past Hurst and into the net. Kyle Wilkie went close to restoring East Fife’s lead on 56 minutes with a snap shot from the edge of the area that just cleared the bar. Joao Victoria was introduced for the visitors just after the hour mark and it proved to be an inspired substitution when he gave Albion Rovers the lead for the first time in the match following a mix up in the home defence. Victoria almost added his second of the match moments later but was denied by a goal line clearance from Docherty
Victoria turned provider next when he laid the ball off for Alan Trouten to pass the ball into an unguarded net to give the visitors a 2-goal lead with 12 minutes to play. Few would believe what was about to unfold!
East Fife pulled one goal back shortly after the re-start when Docherty’s free kick was poorly cleared by the Albion Rovers defence and Greg Hurst was on hand to tap home from 5-yards. The visitors were hanging on while East Fife continued to press for an equaliser and it duly came as the clock ticked past 90 minutes. Aaron Dunsmore was bundled over by McLaughlin 20-yards from goal and up stepped Scott Linton to curl a near-perfect free kick over the wall into the top right-hand corner to level the match.
East Fife had recused a point but they weren’t done yet! Greg Hurst was denied by some last-ditch defence by Marr after a complete mix-up between the defender and his goalkeeper. What happened next will go down in East Fife folklore. Dunsmore won the ball on the half-way line, laid the ball off for Docherty the pick up again on the right-hand touchline following a nice flick-on from Flanagan before hitting the by-line and squaring the ball across the face of goal. Smith kept the ball alive at the back post before Hurst bundled the ball over the line with the last kick of the ball to spark mass celebrations in the home end.
A fantastic game that will be remember for years to come.