Stenhousemuir v East Fife at Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir on 5.10.13
SPFL League One Att 567
Stenhousemuir 1 [Gemmell 22 pen] East Fife 1 [Johnstone 45]
The Warriors made two changes to the team that had been hammered at Ibrox the previous week with Sean Lynch replacing the injured Brown Ferguson and Eddie Malone taking over the right back berth with Nicky Devlin dropping to the bench.
It was always going to be a test of character to come back from an eight goal defeat and the main interest was going to be how the players performed in this game. The answer was a positive reaction as they took the game to East Fife in the early stages as they tried to get the upper hand. The passing play that has been evident in earlier games was not always present though as they seemed over anxious at times and the ball was in the air more than normal as they tried to keep the ball out of their own danger area as much as possible and this brought a disjointed performance at times.
Nevertheless they did show intent and that was pleasing. The closest that they came in the opening encounters though was a long range Lynch shot that was touched onto the post by Greg Paterson. The Fifers have been struggling away from home but they could have scored when Pat Clarke headed over in the 6th minute. It was Stenhousemuir though that had most of the ball but the moves seemed to break down in the final third where Steven Campbell and Gary Thom were managing to impose themselves with a disciplined performance. Pat Clarke missed with a free header from a Scott McBride cross in the 19th minute and the Fifers were left to rue that miss when Stenhousemuir took the lead in the 22nd minute. Darren Smith was fouled by Paterson with only the keeper to beat and John Gemmell converted the resultant penalty hammering the ball straight down the middle of the goal. The keeper was surprisingly only cautioned for his misdemeanour as it was a clear goal scoring opportunity when Smith was fouled. East Fife felt that they should have had a penalty of their own five minutes later when Clarke was tackled by Eddie Malone in the box but the Warrior in my opinion won the ball cleanly and on this occasion the referee got it right. The referee managed to infuriate both sides before half time turning down further penalty claims. Once again though the East Fife one seemed more desperation than realism whilst the Stenhousemuir claim looked far stronger as Darren Smith was clearly fouled, in fact it was a stronger claim than the first, but the referee let play continue and Sean Higgins struck the crossbar from outside the box.
Stenhousemuir’s frustration at that award being turned down were amplified in the last minute of the half when they gave the ball away on the halfway line and East Fife broke away with a decent passing move that ended with Craig Johnstone sweeping the ball into the net. This was East Fife’s first away goal in the league and certainly gave them a much needed lift.
They were the stronger team for much of the second half though goalscoring opportunities were infrequent at either end. The closest that they came was an overhead kick in the 47th minute when the East Fife player didn’t connect properly. Stenhousemuir came close to taking the lead on the hour when a Ross Smith header from a Bryan Hodge corner was cleared off the line and the subsequent cross by Hodge was missed by everyone and squeaked past the post. East Fife should have taken the lead in the 76th minute following a goalmouth scramble where they missed several chances to prod the ball over the line. Chances were few and far between and although the Warriors could have taken the points in the last minute when players were queuing up to meet a Sean Dickson cross but he elected to shoot instead and Paterson made an easy save.
The game petered out without any more incidents and although over the 90 minutes Stenhousemuir shaded the game a share of the points was a reasonable conclusion. It was not the best of performances from Stenhousemuir but possibly an understandable one after the debacle the previous week and they can now look forward rather than backwards.
Stenhousemuir – C Smith, Malone, McKinlay [Devlin 49], R Smith, McMillan, Hodge, Dickson, Lynch [Brash 67], Gemmell, Higgins [Douglas 78] and D Smith. Subs not used – McNeil, Shaw and Anderson
East Fife – Paterson, Neilson [Moosari 72], Naysmith, Thom, Campbell, Johnstone, Durie, Brown [J Stewart 80], Buchanan, Clarke [Austin 76] and McBride. Subs not used –Shaw, Lennie, Mbu, and Dutot
Referee – Andrew Dallas Assistants – Alasdair Ross and Stephen Graham
|October 5, 2013||3:00 pm||SPFL Ladbrokes League 1||2013/2014||90'|
|Ochilview Park Stenhousemuir|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|