Bad start to a New Year for Fifers

Kyle Wilkie.
Kyle Wilkie.
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This was not the start to 2016 anybody at Bayview wanted to make.

Elgin City proved to be unwelcome first footers for the first fixture of the New Year as they nabbed all three points.

The win put Elgin top of the league, and left the Fifers eight points from it.

This time last year a run of poor results over the festive period was halted by an East Fife side who went on a fine run to muscle in on the play-off zone.

Fingers crossed history repeats itself before those at the top put any more daylight between themselves and the Methil men.

Bayview found itself in the grips of a strong swirling wind which whipped across the park.

The home side had it at their backs in the first half but failed to really take full advantage of it.

Elgin’s defence weren’t really troubled and a Nathan Austin effort which hit the side netting was the closest the side game.

Ross Brown’s drive was dealt with by Mark Hurst before Steven Campbell rifled over the bar.

Elgin had managed to contain the Fifers and went into the second half with the conditions in their favour.

They took the lead when a slick move forward was finished off by Thomas Reilly.

East Fife went on to have the better of possession without really finding that cutting edge.

Jamie Insall was introduced from the bench along with Jordan Austin, to partner brother Nathan, but despite the quantity of attacking options, Hurst still wasn’t troubled.

In the closing minutes the win was secured when former Fifer Marc McKenzie burst to the line and sent over an inviting cross.

The Fifers were unable to get it clear and Kyle Mcleod finished.

Fife assistant Dougie Anderson said: “In the first half we had the wind and wanted to put Elgin under pressure but didn’t really do that.

“We really needed to go in at half time with the lead.

“We huffed and puffed but just didn’t create anything and our set-plays weren’t as good as they could be.

“If I’m being honest we didn’t look a threat.

“We couldn’t get ‘Fash’ (Nathan Austin) into the game.

“Kyle Wilkie worked hard but couldn’t find that final pass.

“Against the wind we kept the ball a bit better.

“The facts are the facts - we lost two goals and they’ve defended better than we have.”