East Fife v Stenhousemuir at New Bayview, Methil on 31.03.12
Irn Bru Scottish Second Division Att 742
East Fife 1 [Wallace 7] Stenhousemuir 1 [Ferguson 80 pen]
The Warriors went into this game knowing that they had to get at least a draw to maintain their precarious play-off spot as their opponents East Fife were only below them on goal difference.
After the defeat against bottom side Albion Rovers the previous week manager Davie Irons made some drastic changes to the personnel for the rest of the league campaign. There were no less than three newcomers to the Stenhousemuir starting eleven with ex-Warrior Grant Anderson returning to Ochilview on loan from Hamilton Academical. Joining him were Kieran Millar an 18 year old midfielder also from Hamilton on loan and Nicky Devlin an 18 year old right back on loan from Motherwell. This meant that there were five on loan players in the starting eleven as they joined Michael Devlin and Kenny Deuchar as part of that contingent.
Apart from the new players there was also a welcome return to the side for Brown Ferguson who had been absent through injury in recent weeks and with Anderson returning to the fold Ferguson was able to play in his preferred central midfield spot where he partnered Millar. Iain Thomson once again played in central defence this time replacing the suspended Ross McMillan.
Although both teams had chances in the opening stages of the game the home side took the lead in the 7th minute with the first effort on target when Ryan Wallace’s powerful strike proved to be too much for Ally Brown and although the keeper will have felt that he should have done better he was unable to deny Wallace scoring his 17th league goal of the season.
Although Stenhousemuir tried hard to get back on level terms it was the Fifers that looked the more threatening and Bobby Linn almost doubled the advantage with an effort in the 17th minute. The closest that the Warriors came in the first half was in the 37th minute when Michael Brown saved an Andy Rodgers strike from 20 yards that the keeper would have seen late and this was followed within a minute by a Kevin McKinlay shot that was deflected just wide.
The second half had barely restarted when East Fife were almost gifted a second goal when Ally Brown fumbled an ordinary shot and in the ensuing melee Kenny Deuchar had to clear off the line to keep the margin at only one goal.
As the game progressed the Warriors began to take the initiative and Deuchar headed wide of the mark in the 56th minute. Michael Brown then proved his worth to tip over a Brown Ferguson free kick and this was followed by another Deuchar header being saved after a decent run by Grant Anderson. Nicky Devlin was causing problems with his runs down the right flank but his efforts were not getting the reward that they deserved though he was giving the home defence a difficult time and on more than one occasion they were relieved to see the danger eventually cleared. In the 75th minute Deuchar eventually beat the keeper with a glancing header but the striker’s luck was sumned up by the fact that the ball struck the upright then rebounded off the keeper before landing the wrong side of the post.
Eventually Stenhousemuir’s turned when they were handed an unexpected lifeline when Scott Durie cut out a Stevie Murray cross with his hand. The referee Barry Cook duly awarded a penalty much to the annoyance of Durie’s father Gordon who was recently appointed East Fife manager. Ferguson stepped up and beat Michael Brown with a well struck penalty despite the keeper diving the right way.
With three minutes left there was more pressure put on the home side when David White was dismissed for his second caution. He had been walking a fine line for most of the second half after his first booking and had finally transgressed once too often for the referee’s liking.
When the final whistle blew the Warriors would have been happy to have salvaged a point after their early setback but they will have felt that in the latter stages they could have gone on to win the game even before they had the numerical advantage with White’s dismissal.
East Fife – M.Brown, Durie [b80], Cook [Ovenstone 22], McCormick, White [b58][so 87], Smith, Linn, Janczyk [Muir 76], Dalziel [Hislop 71], Wallace [b90] and Sloan. Subs not used – McQuade and Collier.
Stenhousemuir – A.Brown, N.Devlin [b89], McKinlay [b64], Thomson [b85], M.Devlin, Ferguson, G.Anderson [b48], Rodgers, Deuchar [Murray 76], Kean and Millar. Subs not used – McHale, J.Hamilton, McCafferty and Diamond
Referee – Barry Cook Assistants – Stuart MacAulay and David Munro
|March 31, 2012||3:00 pm||SPFL Ladbrokes League 1||2011/2012||90'|
|Bayview Stadium, Methil|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|