Stenhousemuir v East Fife at Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir on 8.4.17
Ladbrokes SPFL League One Att 455
Stenhousemuir 3 [Furtado 43, 78, McMenamin 60 pen] East Fife 1 [Kane 55]
There was a change in personnel and formation for this game which was now becoming crucial to chances of staying up. The defence switched to a back three with Mason Robertson retaining defensive duties and David Marsh returning after suspension. This change meant that both full backs dropped out of the starting eleven with Ciaran Summers on the bench and Jamie McCormack suspended. In midfield Willis Furtado returned to the side as did Vinnie Berry after his unavailability at Stranraer and there was also the first start of 2017 for Mark Gilhaney.
The changes appeared to have had the desired effect with the Warriors victorious in the end but there was another vital element in the mix that had been missing in recent weeks and that was the occasional touch of luck. That is not to say that they didn’t deserve the three points as they were the sharper throughout but if key decisions had went against them they may have been denied victory.
With all the changes it was a slow start for the home side and they were vulnerable to the long ball in the opening exchanges. The Warriors came close when a shot by Alan Cook was blocked following a Furtado corner in the seventh minute. Twice though in the space of a couple of minutes they were caught out at the back with Chris Duggan shooting wide from a kick out by keeper Mark Hurst and then the ball was just intercepted after he had peeled away from his marker.
At the other end Fraser Kerr decided to take things into his own hands and a foray forward from the centre circle ended with Hurst having to push out a powerful drive. In the 20th minute Duggan felt that he should have had a penalty as he appeared to be pushed and he still had a chance to score after Stenhousemuir failed to clear but the striker headed over from close range.
Stenhousemuir through were gradually getting to grips with the game and Hurst saved well from a Cook strike after being played through by Furtado. As the half was drawing to a close though the Warriors did take the lead. A long throw by Robertson was flicked on and Furtado gathered at the back post before firing home.
That goal gave Stenhousemuir belief and they came close twice immediately after the resumption. Robertson headed a Connor Duthie free kick just wide and then Duthie had a shot saved though he appeared to be fouled in the process.
It wasn’t one way traffic and Kevin Smith forced a corner at the other end after a strong run. Although that corner was cleared the next one by Nicki Paterson was put into the net at the back post by Chris Kane though Graham Bowman was fouled in the process. The Fifers were only level for a few minutes though as Stenhousemuir were awarded a penalty following a clumsy tackle by Jordan Austin on David Marsh. Colin McMenamin’s spot kick wasn’t the best struck one that he has taken and Hurst was able to block but the ball spun back into the net.
East Fife came close several times after that mainly through Kieran Duffie and they had a penalty claim turned away when Jessie Curran was pulled in the box but referee John McKendrick possibly tried to play on as the East Fife player managed to shoot albeit off balance.
The game was put beyond doubt in the 78th minute though when Duthie’s shot was blocked but Furtado was on hand to dispatch the rebound.
Stenhousemuir –Bowman, Robertson, Duthie, Marsh, Kerr, Berry, Furtado [Manzana 88], Millar, McMenamin, Gilhaney [Meechan 68] and Cook [b72][Shaw 77]. Subs not used – Summers, Grant, Crawford and Roy.
East Fife – Hurst, Cooper, Kane, Kerr, Brown, Duggan, Smith [Lamont 76], Curran, Robinson [Austin h/t], Duffie and Paterson. Subs not used – Reilly, Slattery and Gordon.
Referee – John McKendrick Assistants – David McGeachie and Liam Duncan
|April 8, 2017||3:00 pm||SPFL Ladbrokes League 1||2016/2017||90'|
|Ochilview Park Stenhousemuir|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|