Stenhousemuir 0 v 1 East Fife
Played at Ochilview Park on Saturday, 10th January 2009 at 15:00
The Scottish Cup
Stenhousemuir v East Fife at Ochilview Park , Stenhousemuir on 10.01.09
Homecoming Scottish Cup Round 4 Att – 784
Stenhousemuir 0 East Fife 1 [Linn 84]
Going into this match in the Homecoming Scottish Cup the Warriors suffered a blow when Scott Dalziel who had been the goalscoring hero the previous week had to call off through illness along with Chris McGroarty who had missed the last couple of games. The defence saw Willie Lyle move to the left back berth with John Ovenstone partnering Jordan Smith in the central defence and Gary Thom on the right. Up front Andy Brand was pushed to the unaccustomed forward role.
The game against East Fife was a good chance to see how the Warriors would do against a team that has strengthened its squad since they won the Third Division last season and the fact that their manager David Baikie had just won the manager of the month award meant that they were the form team in the league and therefore the home side were quite rightly regarded as underdogs for the encounter.
There was very little between the teams on the day in an even encounter that looked as if it would need a replay to separate the teams from early on in the proceedings. The game was played in dreadful conditions with driving wind and rain being the order of the day for almost all the match with only a five minute respite. In deed the conditions were that bad the assistant referee John Gilmour was seen by Steven Brown the Stenhousemuir club doctor as Mr Gilmour felt that he was possibly suffering the onset of hypothermia.
The Warriors though battling the elements started the game positively and a long range effort from Andy Shirra in 6 minutes curled just wide. A couple of minutes later a Kevin Motion freekick was not cleared properly and it took a timely hooked clearance by Dougie Cameron to deny Iain Thomson from opening the scoring. Motion came even closer to scoring in the 27th minute when a curling long range effort struck the outside of the post with Willie McCulloch beaten. The Fifers should have taken the lead in the 39th minute though when a Paul McManus freekick bounced awkwardly for Scott Bennett who fumbled the ball but just as if Chris Templeman would score from the rebound the ball was somehow cleared.
The Second Division side started the second half brightly and within a couple of minutes of the resumption Templeman had a powerful drive well saved by Bennett. East Fife almost took the lead in fortunate circumstances when an attempted clearance by Willie Lyle went just wide of his own goal.
Stenhousemuir were struggling to get an incisive edge to their game but in their best passing move of the game Stevie Ferguson looked to have squandered a rare opportunity when he looked in the clear inside the box but failed to control. It would not have counted though if he had scored as assistant Raymond Whyte flagged for a very tight offside decision.
East Fife then had a good spell of pressure but the home side held firm with relative ease and it looked as if the breakthough if it came would be from something out of the ordinary. That is what eventually transpired after East Fife were awarded a very debatable corner kick and Bobby Linn stepped up to curl the ball into the far corner of the net with the help of the post.
Stenhousemuir fought hard to get back on level terms and they came close in the dying seconds when a Motion freekick was deflected across goal to Jordan Smith but from a fairly tight angle he could only shoot into the side netting and thus ended the Warriors run in the cup.
Stenhousemuir – Bennett, Thom [b42], Lyle [Connolly 84], Smith, Ovenstone, Tyrrell, Shirra [Love 75], Ferguson [b38], Thomson [Hampshire 71], Brand and Motion [b86]. Subs not used – Desmond and Renton
East Fife – McCulloch, Nugent [Young h/t], Cameron, Smart, McDonald, Muir, Fagan, Templeman, McManus, Crawford [Stewart 82] and Linn. Subs not used – Campbell, McRae and Brown
Referee – Euan Norris
Assistants – John Gilmour and Raymond Whyte
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