It’s the first league game of the new season tomorrow as East Fife welcome Dumbarton to the Locality Hub Bayview Stadium. The Methil men can be reasonably satisfied with their performances in the Betfred League Cup, although will feel that the points total accumulated across the four games did not accurately reflect their efforts on the park.
Manager Darren Young added to his squad during the week with the acquisition of young striker Rory Currie in a loan deal with Heart of Midlothian until January next year.
Visitors Dumbarton had a similarly challenging Betfred group, winning against Queen’s Park, drawing with Spartans and losing out to Premiership outfits Kilmarnock and St Mirren. Sons boss Steve Aitken will be hoping for a quick return to the Championship after losing out by the narrowest of margins to Alloa Athletic after extra-time in the play-offs final in May. There are several ex-Dumbarton men in the East Fife ranks, including Mark Docherty, Scott Linton, Scott Agnew and Kevin Smith, while new Sons of the Rock signing Bobby Barr turned out for the Fifers in 2012-13.
The last meeting of the sides was two years ago when East Fife emerged 2-0 winners in the Betfred Cup at the then named Cheaper Insurance Direct Stadium. Kevin Smith and Paul McManus were the goalscorers in an impressive performance in sweltering conditions.
Mark Docherty, Scott Linton and Craig McDowall look set to miss out once again through injury for the Fifers, with new signing Rory Currie added to the squad that went down narrowly to Falkirk last Saturday.
Supporters of both clubs are reminded that they are welcome to enjoy refreshments at the stadium bars before and after the game.
With only 2 days to go until the start of our 2018/2019 League 1 campaign, we asked some of our season ticket holders for their thoughts ahead of the new season
We welcome Falkirk to The Locality Hub Bayview Stadium on Saturday for our final Group B match in the Betfred Cup. Admission prices for this match are as follows
Under 16s £5
The Jeek Flaming Suite and Jimmy’s Bar will be open to both sets of supporters from 12.30 pm.
East Fife are on their travels again this evening as they head to Angus to take on a Montrose side who have been rejuvenated in the last 12 months, winning the SPFL division two championship last season. Stewart Petrie’s team are also off to a flying start in the Betfred Cup, recording an impressive 1-0 victory in Falkirk on Saturday, thanks to an early goal from Martin Rennie.
Bayview boss Darren Young was also a happy man following his side’s goalless draw with St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park at the weekend. Despite missing out on a bonus point following the penalty shoot-out, there were many positives to take from a very encouraging performance, as the Fifers restricted their Premiership opponents to only a few goalscoring opportunities with a well-organised display and some resolute defending, particularly at set-piece situations.
In terms of personnel, East Fife should be along the same lines, with goalkeeper Craig McDowall, Scott Linton and Mark Docherty still sidelined through injury. Midfielder Scott Agnew is expected to be available for selection for Sunday’s game against Forfar Athletic at Locality Hub Bayview Stadium.
There are several familiar faces in the Montrose squad, including ex-Fifers Allan Fleming, Ross Campbell and Jordan Millar. The Gable Endies have also recruited Josh Skelly and Patrick Cregg from Arbroath and Forfar Athletic respectively during the summer.
East Fife’s record in recent years against Montrose has been decent, but they will be aware that the Angus side’s form has been excellent and can boast an unbeaten run at Links Park, stretching back to January. An interesting contest awaits.
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.