East Fife v Stenhousemuir at New Bayview Park, Methil on 14.4.14
SPFL Division One Att 639
East Fife 1 [Hughes 44] Stenhousemuir 2 [Dickson 67, Higgins 90 pen]
Both teams went into this game requiring vital points as they looked towards the end of season play-offs. Stenhousemuir trying to get into the promotion play-offs whilst East Fife were trying hard to escape the relegation one.
The Warriors manager made a couple of surprise changes to the starting eleven that had the supporters chatting before kick off as he picked too very inexperienced full backs for this key game with Ciaran Summers starting on the left flank and Robbie Duncan on the right. Neither had started a game in the league campaign this season and it was fair to say that many wondered how they would cope with not only the occasion but also with the very blustery conditions that made good football a rare commodity. There was some experience though in central defence to help them out as Stewart Greacen was joined by Ross McMillan on his return after injury. In midfield Darren Smith dropped out with the more defensive Sean Lynch moving out wide and David Rowson taking a central role.
As stated earlier football from either team was at a premium as the wind swirled round the open expanses of Bayview with the corner flags being horizontal at one stage. It took until the 25th minute before either keeper was called into action when Greg Paterson saved a shot from distance by Josh Watt and this followed at the other end by an opportunist shot by Scott Durie from 45 yards that Chris Smith was happy to see go over. The keeper was eventually called into action to save from Liam Buchanan in the 35th minute. Just as it looked as if the first half would finish goalless Kevin Smith skipped past Duncan and crossed to Stephen Hughes who tucked the ball into the net.
Immediately after the resumption East Fife had a penalty claim turned down when Nathan Austin went down following a challenge by Ross McMillan but the appeals were waived away by referee Andrew Dallas. The Warriors brought Sean Dickson into the fray in the 63rd minute and he was to rare chance in the 64th minute but fired over and he was to regret that miss when Stenhousemuir equalised in the 67th minute. The Warriors won their first corner of the day and Sean Higgins set piece was allowed to get to the back post without being intercepted and Dickson headed home.
A couple of minutes Higgins launched another corner into the box this time with height and as it dropped into the danger area the keeper came out and missed it completely and Paterson was grateful to see it bounce to safety.
East Fife were now rarely seen as an attacking force though Stenhousemuir were unable to create real chances. They did have the ball in the net in the 76th minute when Dickson converted but he was flagged for offside.
In normal circumstances it looked as if the game would drift to an end but the Warriors in recent weeks have had the knack of scoring late or very late and they somehow managed to keep this run going.
There seemed no danger when Josh Watt tried to get past David Cowan as Watt seemed to slip in doing so. Mr Dallas though felt that he had been impeded by Cowan and gave no hesitation in awarding a penalty. This sent the Fifers ballistic and Liam Buchanan was cautioned for dissent and several others were involved in heated discussion with the referee. Once the proceedings settled down three minutes later Sean Higgins stepped up to take the penalty. He has been a cool head in these circumstances of late and this time was no different as he sent Paterson the wrong way to put the Warriors ahead. This was in the 93rd minute of the game and there was no way back for the Fifers before the final whistle blew.
It was a dreadful day for the football purist but the Warriors picked up all three points winning ugly. They are now level with Ayr United but the Somerset men have a far superior goal difference and a game in hand. The Warriors though will keep going until it is impossible to catch them though and it will be interesting to see how Ayr cope with the pressure.
East Fife – Paterson, Durie, Johnstone [Cowan 78], Rutkiewicz, Campbell, O’Neill, Austin, Stewart [Fisher 72], Buchanan [b90], Smith and Hughes [b80][McBride 85]. Subs not used – Mbu, McKenzie, Inkango and Shaw.
Stenhousemuir – C.Smith, Duncan, Greacen, McMillan, Summers [b82], Hodge [Douglas 84], Lynch [Dickson 63], Rowson, Greenhalgh, Higgins and Watt. Subs not used – Lawson, Devlin, D.Smith, Shaw and Faulds.
Referee – Andrew Dallas Assistants – Stuart McMillan and Paul Reid
|April 12, 2014||3:00 pm||SPFL Ladbrokes League 1||2013/2014||90'|
|Bayview Stadium, Methil|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|