East Fife v Stenhousemuir at Bayview Park, Methil on 20.07.19
Betfred Cup Section A Att 308
East Fife 2 [Agnew 56, 86pen] Stenhousemuir 0
East Fife – Hart, Dunsmore, Higgins, Murdoch, Dunlop, Denholm [Watt 83], Slattery, Agnew, Hunter [Smith 76], Dowds [Davidson 77] and Duggan. Subs not used – Long and Watson,
Stenhousemuir – Smith, O’Neil, McIlduff, McKernon [b58], Marsh, Halleran [M.Munro 63], McGuigan [b39][Watters 77], Hopkirk, Scullion, A.Munro [b35] and Anderson [Cook 57]. Subs not used – McLaughlin, Luke, Marley and Daramola.
Referee – Duncan Williams Assistants – David Roome and Kevin McElhinney.
The Warriors showed several changes to this game from the side that played Dundee United with Graeme Smith, Chris O’Neil, David Marsh and Kieran Anderson all starting for the first time this season. This therefore was O’Neil’s debut game for Stenhousemuir.
If anyone thought that this match was to be an easier affair than the Dundee United game they were to be sadly mistaken as the Warriors failed to get a grip of the proceedings and East Fife took the initative from the start of the game. It is possible that the exertions of the Dundee United game had taken its toll whilst East Fife had a full week to prepare after their surprise defeat to Cowdenbeath on the opening day of the cup group stages.
The Fife side had the bulk of the play in the opening exchanges but their forwards just failed to get on the end of some probing crosses. There was a scare for the visitors though in the 12th minute when Danny Denholm was eased off the ball in the box by O’Neil who used his greater strength and after a scramble the ball went out for a corner with the home side appealing for a penalty.
Despite the home side having the bulk of the play it took until the 24th minute before Graeme Smith was called into action when he saved from Denholm and this was followed a minute later with a strike from Chris Duggan who had shown good feet to turn and shoot. Duggan looked to have another opportunity a couple of minutes later but just as he was about to shoot Marsh was able to intercept. The Warriors saw a long range effort by Thomas Halleran blocked and then Mark McGuigan had a chance but couldn’t get the ball out from under his feet and was unable to make the most of it.
The second half started better for Stenhousemuir with Liam Scullion seeing an early effort blocked and Kieran Anderson put the ball in the net with a deft touch but he had just been flagged for offside. Denholm had an effort pushed out at the other end by Smith but the keeper was helpless when the home side took the lead in the 56th minute with a peach of a strike by captain Scott Agnew.
The Warriors almost equalised in te 63rd minute when a driven cross by Alan Cook was steered towards goal by Andy Munro but with the keeper beaten it came off the upright. Marky Munro created a chance in the 69th minute after winning the ball from Agnew and striding forward before hitting a shot just wide.
The chances of a comeback diminished in the 82nd minute when Chris O’Neil limped off the park after picking up an injury just after the Warriors had used their third substitute.
Agnew had the final say on the outcome of the points when he netted from the penalty spot in the 86th minute of the game to put the match beyond doubt. The penalty was awarded after David Marsh had tripped Anton Dowds with the only issue the referee had to decide was where the foul took place rather than if there was a foul. Jordan Hart was to save from David Hopkirk just afterwards but there was to be no further chances before the game ended.
|July 20, 2019