Durie’s fury as Fifers pay the penalty

Hislop fouled
Hislop fouled

GORDON Durie sprang to the defence of son Scott after the defender was judged to have given away the penalty which rescued a point for Stenny.

Referee Barry Cook claimed that Durie had deliberately handled with around 10 minutes left on the clock and pointed to the spot.

Brown Ferguson stepped up to snatch a late leveller after Ryan Wallace had given East Fife an early lead.

Boss Durie said: “How can you give a penalty against somebody when the ball has been rattled at him from two yards?

“What else can you do?”

Despite East Fife’s early opener, they were unable to put Stenny to bed in this crucial promotion play-off clash.

Victory would have seen the home side leap-frog their visitors into fourth place, with just five games of the season remaining.

On-form Wallace, who netted a hat-trick in last week’s win at Brechin, seemed determined to add to his tally, and tested Alistair Brown’s goal with just a minute on the clock.

Ominously for Stenny, Wallace looked in the mood, and he gave the Fifers the lead just a few minutes later when cutting in from the left before firing a shot past Brown.

Bobby Linn could have made it two when the ball broke kindly for him in the box, only for the midfielder to scuff his effort wide.

At the other end, Fife fans could have been forgiven for feeling nervy at the sight of former player Kenny Deuchar’s name on the starting list.

Deuchar has so often returned to haunt East Fife, but, in truth, was kept well in-check by the defensive pairing of Darren McCormack and David White.

Stenhousemuir’s fans were not long in telling Deuchar what they thought of his performance, as the veteran twice over-hit attempts to release team-mates.

East Fife had to hang on to go in level at the break after allowing their visitors back into the game.

Grant Anderson saw a strike ruled out for off-side as Davie Irons’ side pressed for an equaliser.

Although Deuchar wasn’t having much luck at one end of the park, he proved vital at the other, when he nodded a White effort off his own goal-line.

Wallace almost settled the nerves when he rifled in a free-kick which Brown did well to smother.

Michael Brown in the other goal had little to do the whole game, but was called on to stop a powerful Ferguson free-kick.

Then came the penalty incident, when Durie was penalised after Stevie Murray’s strike smashed him in the arm.

The Fife fans couldn’t believe the decision, but Ferguson showed no mercy and hauled the Warriors level.

As the clock ticked down, White saw red for his second booking of the game.

Durie added: “We’ve been playing with confidence and got the goal to put us in front.

“But the frustrating thing is that we didn’t really go on and build on it.

“Andrew Cook has injured his ham-string as well and we’re now going to have David White suspended.”

East Fife - Brown, Durie, McCormack, White, Cook (Ovenstone 22), Linn, Smith, Janczyk (Muir 77), Sloan, Wallace, Dalziel (Hislop 71).

Subs not used - Collier, McQuade.

Stenhousemuir - Brown, Devlin, Mike Devlin, Thomson, McKinlay, Grant Anderson, Ferguson, Miller, Rodgers, Deuchar (Murray 77), Kean.

Subs not used - Diamond, McHale, Hamilton, McCafferty.

Att - 742

Referee - Barry Cook.

Starcheck ratings - Smith 3 points, McCormack 2, White 1.

Starcheck table - Ryan Wallace 44, Bobby Linn 36, Michael Brown 22, Darren Smith 20, Mark Ridgers 17, Robert Sloan 14, Craig Johnstone 12, Rob Ogleby 11, Steve Campbell 10, Scott Durie 10, John Ovenstone 9, David White 9, Matthew Park 8, Steve Hislop 5, Darren McCormack 4, David Muir 3, Andrew Cook 2, Chris Innes 2, Neil Janczyk 1, Lloyd Young 1.