A WONDERFUL goal from Paul Willis proved enough to win East Fife a point at Coatbridge last Tuesday night in the hastily re-arranged league match originally cancelled three days earlier.
Despite being a goal behind, the Fifers will feel it was two points lost rather than a point gained, in a 1-1 draw, as they had several opportunities to seal a victory in the second-half.
The early exchanges, in the wet and snowy conditions saw little action taking place in the danger areas and a speculative long-range effort from Walker did not trouble Michael Brown.
The visitors had a decent opportunity to take the lead when a Scott McBride’s cross into the danger area saw neither Paul McManus or Barr able to finish.
At the other end, a pass from Phillips got Walker clear of the Fife defence, but he could not beat Brown.
Just after the half-hour mark the home side took the lead. A Phillips pass to Walker saw him cross behind the East Fife defence to find Dallas virtually unmarked at the back post and he had the easiest of tasks to put Rovers into the lead.
The equaliser came with a minute of the half remaining.
Willis picked the ball up on the right just over the halfway line and made for goal. Around 35 yards out he sent an unerring shot which left Scully with little chance and sailed home for the equaliser.
Albion changed their keeper for the second-half when McGinley replaced the injured Scully, who had finished the first half limping.
The Methil side took the game to the home side in the second period and after 52 minutes David White could well have given them a lead from a Barr cross, but he headed straight at McGinley.
The next chance to put the visitors ahead fell to Paul McManus, from a Craig Johnstone pass, but Russell managed to dispossess the striker.
Scott McBride tried his luck from distance, but McGinley held quite comfortably and then a Scott Durie effort was wide of the mark.
The best opportunity of the half arrived when a quick break saw McManus collect a Darren Smith pass and make for goal.
As he was closed down, the striker laid off the ball into the path of Barr, but he managed to miss the target with only the ‘keeper to beat.
The home side were little in it and Brown’s only contribution to the game was when he left his line to make sure a long, hopeful ball did not present any problems.
Another long-range Willis attempt brought out another excellent save from McGinley, as the Fifers pushed for a second counter.
Barr, back on his old stomping ground, had a promising looking run down the left when taking a Johnstone pass, but after beating his first opponent, he couldn’t get past the second.
It was really only East Fife who were likely to win the game as it neared the final whistle but, despite their efforts, a point was all they could take from the game with lack of finishing proving costly.
Albion Rovers – Scully (McGinley 46), Reid, Russell, Marriot (Boyle 60), Andrews, Donnelly, Crawford, Sally, Walker (Tiffney 76), Dallas, Phillips.
Subs not used – Stevenson, Thomson.
East Fife – Brown, Durie, Johnstone, Muir, White, McCormack, Willis, Barr, McManus, Smith, McBride (Sloan 83); subs (not used) – Jamieson, Keenen, Gormley, Antell.
Referee – G. Aitken.
Attendance – 206.