East Fife 0-1 Cowdenbeath

It was a return to action for Fife skipper Kevin Smith. Picture by George McLuskie.
It was a return to action for Fife skipper Kevin Smith. Picture by George McLuskie.

If this game presented only an opportunity to get some match fitness into East Fife's players then it was job done.

The game itself can be consigned straight to the history books pretty quickly - it certainly won't live long in the memory.

With the international break and Irn-Bru Cup dominating the weekend's football, the two Kingdom rivals took the chance stay in action with a Fife Cup first round tie.

Former Methil manager Billy Brown's side may prop up League Two, but they're a side which has been beaten by just one goal in four of their five defeats.

East Fife never got going in the opening 45.

But that's understandable with boss Darren Young handing starts to players who have found themselves in and out of the starting XI this season like Ryan Goodfellow, Mark Lamont, Kyle Wilson, Ross Mutch and Ben Reilly.

Kyle Wilkie returned to the side after illness while Jonathan Page only made his comeback from long term injury last weekend.

The Fife fans were also delighted to see skipper Kevin Smith make his first start of the new term as he too steps up his recovery from injury.

To their credit Cowdenbeath had a real desire about them and took the lead shortly before the break when Jordan Garden slipped East Fife's offside trap and beat Goodfellow.

The second half was a lot better for the Methil men who enjoyed a lot of possession and created a lot of chances without getting themselves level.

Ross Mutch, Kyle Wilson and Mark Lamont all went close.

East Fife have hit the net just eight times in the league this season, with boss Young admitting that things just aren't going their way in front of goal at the moment.

He said: "I’m disappointed to lose but on the other side of things I managed to get seven or eight boys some game time.

“That was the main objective and everybody has come through injury free.

“We created a lot of chances and had some good deliveries from Mark Lamont.

“But we never managed to get on the end of any of them which is really frustrating because it’s the same old story for us.

“We had another five or six chances which were just bouncing around the box.

“Overall the workrate was there but the discipline at certain times and the quality wasn’t.”

East Fife - Goodfellow, Kane, Page, Watson, Lamont (Slattery 73), Smith (Duggan 62), Wilkie (Dunsmore 73), Wilson, Millar, Mutch, Reilly.

Subs.

Cowdenbeath - McGurn, McInally, Swann, Syme, Rumsby, Leslie, Whittaker (Denton 74), Buchanan, Garden (Morris 90), Smith, Muirhead.

Subs - Morris, Connelly, Kellighan, Penman.