The Warriors welcomed The Fifers to Ochilview for the second time in 3 weeks.
Sean Crighton and Nicky Jamieson continue to miss out this week. However, Callum Yeats returns to the starting XI though as Swifty reverted to a back 3. Adam Corbett, Dan Higgins and Mikey Miller make up the back 3 with Nat Wedderburn sitting just ahead to protect. The midfield consists of Yeats, Adam Brown, Ross Forbes and Ross Philp. Euan O’Reilly and Matty Yates will use their pace and energy to lead the line.
It was the visitors who started stronger and controlled the first 10 minutes of the match. However, they done so without creating much and the makeshift home defence was able to deal with any moves into the home box.
The first good chance of the game to the home side on 10 minutes. Matty Yates fired a tremendous pass out to the right for Ross Philp to collect, his first time driven cross was inviting, but Euan O’Reilly at the back post couldn’t really get enough on it to cause problems. It’s the first time The Warriors have really ventured forward and the pass by Matty Yates to Philp shows why he’s regarded so highly at Ochilview.
That gave Stenhousemuir some encouragement as they grew into the game and it didn’t take long to get the reward.
GOAL: Ross Philp takes the throw in deep on the right. He passed to O’Reilly who played a neat pass back to Philp. Philp then played in Adam Brown and continued his run and Brown’s neat back heel found Philp in the box and the Kelty Hearts loanee struck from 12 yards out with a neat finish and his first goal for Stenhousemuir. STENHOUSEMUIR 1-0 EAST FIFE [Ross Philp, 19 minutes]
Chances for the remainder of the first half were few and far between. The last good chance of the half fell to the home side in 37 minutes. There was some very neat passing on the left by East Fife, but they just couldn’t break down the stubborn backline. As they looked to play the ball back and start again, Matty Yates stole the ball and drove forward. He attempted to play in Adam Brown with ball over the top, but it was ever so slightly over hit and resulted in a goal kick for the visitors.
HALF TIME: STENHOUSEMUIR 1-0 EAST FIFE
Into the second half and East Fife have certainly upped their tempo. Balde delivered in an excellent cross on 55 minutes, but Shepherd just couldn’t get on the end when surely any touch at all would’ve resulted in the equaliser. As The Warriors were looking to defend the resultant corner, it looks like Adam Corbett may have handled the ball in the box but the referee waves play on despite some strong appeals by The Fifers. Eventually, the ball breaks to Healy who tries a driven shot which drops wide of the goal.
East Fife have started the half strongest but it was Ross Forbes who had a good chance to get on the scoresheet. Matty Yates played a neat ball over the top and Forbes’ drove into the box, but his left footed shot was well saved by Fleming.
Into the 71st minute and the game is about to be turned on it’s head. The ball drops to Shepherd in the box and as he bundles his way towards goal he’s held back by Higgins who receives his 2nd red card of the season and gives away a penalty in the process.
GOAL: Alan trouten makes no mistake as he sends Brennan the wrong way from the spot. STENHOUSEMUIR 1-1 EAST FIFE [Alan Trouten 72 minutes]
That’s a tough one for The Warriors to take, but the extended pressure from East Fife has finally delivered their breakthrough.
Despite having a man short, it’s The Warriors who had the next chance of the match. Ross Philp had a drive from the edge of the box and only an amazing save by Fleming has stopped The Warriors retaking the lead.
GOAL: Fleming can do nothing to prevent Stenhousemuir’s second of the game. A Matty Yates corner was met by Mikey Miller and his header, and second of the season, has given Stenhousemuir their lead back with just under 20 minutes to play. STENHOUSEMUIR 2-1 EAST FIFE [Mikey Miller 74 minutes]
Into the final 7 minutes and East Fife had a glorious chance to equalise for the second time. A ball was played across the goal to the back post and Trouten came sliding in to finish into an empty net. Empty, that is, until Conor Brennan came flying across his goal line and somehow managed to keep the hold of the ball win it surely should’ve been East Fife’s second.
GOAL: Just when it looks like The Warriors had held out for a welcome 3 points, up popped Jack Healy who managed to curl a fantastic strike into the top corner. It’s a shot he’s been trying all game and Stephen Swift will de disappointed that his side have conceded so late in the game and that the midfielder wasn’t closed down quick enough. STENHOUSEMUIR 2-2 EAST FIFE [Jack Healy, 90+2 minutes]
FULL TIME: STENHOUSEMUIR 2-2 EAST FIFE
It’s Stenhousemuir’s 2nd 2-2 league result in a row and, again, defensive issues preventing a welcome 3 points.
Other results mean that The Warriors drop out of the playoff spots after 13 games played.