East Fife 2-1 Arbroath

editorial image

East Fife sounded an ominous warning to their promotion rivals by swatting aside on-form Arbroath at Bayview.

The league’s two form sides met in Methil, with both keen for the points which would go some way towards cementing a play-off spot and keep them in touch with league leaders Elgin.

And it was Gary Naysmith’s Fifers who kept the three points at Bayview after seeing off Todd Lumsden’s challengers.

Nathan Austin and Jamie Insall netted either side of the break for East Fife with Keiran Stewart replying late on.

Last week Naysmith’s side had given away a two goal advantage at Montrose but there was no danger they were doing the same on Saturday.

The game wasn’t a classic but all that matters for the Fifers is that they responded in the perfect way from last week’s disappointment.

Nathan Austin had a first half effort saved by Allan Fleming in an opening 45 which was short on chances.

But with the clock ticking down to the half-time interval, the Fifers went in at the break ahead when Austin nodded home a pin-point Steven Campbell cross.

The second half was barely a minute old when Insall fired over the bar from eight yards.

Insall and Austin, both on loan at East Fife from Championship clubs, have really been showing their class in recent weeks.

The two are linking up really well, clearly revelling in their full-time training.

And they combined later on in the half to put the home side two goals up when Austin’s cross along the six yard box was finished by Hibs striker Insall.

Arbroath were missing the influence and creativity of talisman Bobby Linn.

The ex-Fifer is so often a thorn in the side of his former club, but without him Arbroath looked blunt.

It was going to take something special for them to get on the scoresheet and, in fairness they delivered that, when Stewart found the top corner with just a couple of minutes to go.

Bayview boss Naysmith said: “In the first half there weren’t much in it but we had the better chances.

“Their main chance was from a sloppy back header from me.

“The one real bit of quality in the first half, Stevie Campbell’s cross, gets us a goal and it was a great time to score.

“The second half there’s no doubt about it we should have won a lot more comfortable because of the amount of chances and pressure on their goal.

“We were 2-0 up but it should have been 3-0 or 4-0 until the lad’s strike.”