Stenhousemuir v East Fife at Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir on 15.2.14
SPFL Division One Att 465
Stenhousemuir 1 [Malone 90] East Fife 1 [Buchanan 46]
With the managerial hot seat not taken yet it was Brown Ferguson who was in charge once again for this match against an East Fife team that has been picking up points at the lower end of the table and starting to get closer to the Warriors. The home side not only went into this game without a win in 2014 but had to look back to the 16th of November for their last league victory at Ochilview. This form had seen them descend down the league and close to the relegation play-offs. It has not helped that the Warriors have been slow starters in many games and indeed the last time they scored at home before half time was in the aforementioned game against Arbroath.
They looked to change that state of affairs from the start of the game and after forcing a corner in the first minute a Stewart Greacen header was clutched with ease by Greg Paterson. East Fife though had a better chance seconds later and it was a fine save by Chris Smith that kept the score level after Marc McKenzie was given too much room and the ex-Warrior would have felt that he should have done better with the chance that fell his way. From the corner another ex-Warrior Joe Mbu fired over.
As the game settled down after the frenetic start it was the home side that were playing the better football and they created a number of chances. Darren Smith saw a shot saved at the second attempt in the 18th minute and a minute later another Smith effort was parried clear with Stevie Campbell on hand to clear just a Sean Dickson looked set to pounce. An even better chance came in the 20th minute when a Dickson cross picked out the unmarked Smith who headed wide of the target. It was certainly not Smith’s day and he squandered another chance in the 23d minute. This time Sean Lynch was the provider but Smith’s effort from only six yards out was saved by Paterson. The last chance came when the visitors were down to ten men as Campbell was off the field receiving treatment but he was unable to continue. This looked to be a blow for the Fifers as he had held the defence together but his replacement Kevin Rutkiewicz did a decent job in shoring up the defence. Indeed the Warriors next chance came in the 36th minute when a clever dink pass by Dickson found Eddie Malone but his pass to Smith was intercepted by the keeper before Smith could get on the end of it.
At half time East Fife made a tactical substitution with Craig Johnstone replacing David Cowan and Scott Durie moved from the left back to the right back berth. There was confusion in the stands for non-East Fife supporters as it looked as if a double substitution had been made as Durie was now wearing the number twenty strip rather that number two due to a blood injury.
The Fifers were not confused though as they came out full of purpose and took the lead only 26 seconds after the restart when Liam Buchanan fired home after Chris Smith blocked a Kevin Smith shot. This certainly knocked Stenhousemuir off their game and as the game progressed the passing of the first half was absent and thus made it easy for East Fife to maintain their lead.
It was only in the last fifteen minutes of the game that the home side got their game back together with all three subs having chances. Josh Watt who had just returned from his loan period at East Stirlingshire saw a shot fizz over in the 78th minute. This was followed by Errol Douglas hitting the crossbar from a Sean Higgins cross three minutes later. When Ross McNeil and Watt missed chances just after this it looked as if the game was going to end in defeat. In Added time CHRIS Smith headed over a corner before the Warriors eventually were rewarded for their efforts. They have drawn all three league games under the stewardship of Ferguson thanks to very late goals and they did it again equalising in the ninety third minute when Eddie Malone stroked the ball past Greg Paterson and into the net after Errol Douglas has opened the Fifers defence up. The final whistle blew just after the kick off and showed how close Stenhousemuir had came to defeat.
This was no more than Stenhousemuir deserved as they had played better football than of late albeit chiefly in the first half as they struggled in the second until the latter stages after it looked as if they had the confidence knocked out of them by conceding such an early goal after the resumption.
Stenhousemuir – C.Smith, Devlin, Malone, Greacen, McMillan, Hodge, Lynch [McNeil 75], Rowson, Higgins[b82], D.Smith [Douglas 75] and Dickson [Watt 67]. Subs not used – McKinlay, Shaw, Brash and Summers.
East Fife – Paterson, Cowan [Johnstone h/t], Durie, Campbell [Rutkiewicz 24], Mbu, J.Stewart, O’Neill [Brown 84], Fisher, Buchanan, Smith [b86] and McKenzie. Subs not used – Willis, R.Stewart, Austin and Shaw.
Referee – Nicky Walsh Assistants – Graeme Leslie and Lloyd Wilson.
|February 15, 2014||3:00 pm||SPFL Ladbrokes League 1||2013/2014||90'|
|Ochilview Park Stenhousemuir|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|