East Fife head north to McDiarmid Park tomorrow to take on St Johnstone in the opening game of the season in the Betfred Cup. It goes without saying that this will be an extremely tough challenge for the Fifers, with the Perth Saints now an established Premiership side under the stewardship of Tommy Wright, who has retained the core of his playing staff, bringing in Drey Wright from Colchester United and former Celtic player Tony Watt. There are also several familiar faces in the Saints squad in Jason Kerr, Mark Hurst and Greg Hurst, who all spent time at Bayview recently in loan spells.
Having completed four friendly fixtures against St Andrews United, Dunfermline Athletic, Queen of the South and Lochee United, Manager Darren Young expressed satisfaction at his side’s preparation for the season ahead. Several new faces have arrived at Bayview, including experienced campaigners Scott Agnew, Liam Watt, Ross Dunlop, Ross Davidson, Scott McBride and Daryll Meggatt. Goalkeepers Brett Long and Craig McDowall have also put pen to paper, in addition to young strikers Jonathan Court and Anton Dowds.
The Methil men are likely to be without the services of Scott Linton and Mark Docherty, who remain sidelined through injury, while midfielder Scott Agnew is also unavailable for selection.
You have to go back to 2006 to find the last time the two sides faced each other, with St Johnstone emerging 3-1 winners at McDiarmid Park, also in a League Cup tie. After a goalless first half, Jason Scotland found the target for the home side, hitting a double, with Martin Hardie also finding the net. Jonathan Smart scored his first goal in East Fife colours with ten minutes left on the clock.