Fifers get off the mark with 3-1 win

East Fife's players celebrate David Maskrey's third. Picture by Mark Rodgers.
East Fife's players celebrate David Maskrey's third. Picture by Mark Rodgers.

East Fife kick-started their league campaign as they put their first points of the season on the board by convincingly seeing off East Stirlingshire.

It was a game the Fifers were always expected to win, with Shire themselves having made an indifferent start to the new season.

However, given the three defeats East Fife had suffered in the run up to the game, there was certainly a greater pressure on Gary Naysmith’s men to get the three points.

As it turned out, the Fifers showed no signs of strain as they cruised to a routine win the Bayview support hope will happen more often as the season goes on.

The weekend before, East Fife had gone down with a whimper at the hands of Albion Rovers, with assistant boss Dougie Anderson pulling no punches in his assessment of the performance after that game.

As a result, boss Naysmith rung the changes and added young Hearts full back Liam Smith to the squad.

Those who came in, including David Maskrey, Caolan McAleer and Smith, helped give Naysmith the reaction he was looking for following the Cliftonhill shambles.

East Fife took the lead when the Shire defence was unable to clear a Scott Smith corner.

The loose ball broke kindly for Jon McShane and the strike turned and fired past Richard Barnard.

Kevin Smith had one of his best games in an East Fife shirt and he could have made it 2-0 just a couple of minutes later, but he sent his strike from a McShane cut back high over the bar.

Smith made up for his miss a short while later when he netted the second.

The forward worked room for himself on the edge of the area and, with the Shire defence backing off, sent a shot towards goal which caught a deflection and looped over Barnard.

Having gone in at the break 2-0 down over the past two weekends, East Fife now found themselves with that advantage at half time.

The side returned from the changing room determined to see the game off rather than just defend their lead.

Shire had a let off when Graeme McGregor almost turned into his own net, but the Fifers didn’t have to wait long for their third.

The game was all but wrapped up when David Maskrey popped up at the back post and fired home.

To their credit Shire kept on trying to get forward and reduce the deficit when they could.

Jordan Tapping was introduced from the bench late on and the sub headed home a consolation.