Fifers have a day to forget, going down 2-0 at Ochilview

Gary Naysmith battles to keep hold of possession.
Gary Naysmith battles to keep hold of possession.

If last weekend’s defeat to Queen’s Park has been the ‘right way to lose’, as gaffer Gary Naysmith had suggested, then this loss was the polar opposite.

The Fifers slipped to one of their most disappointing defeats of the season at Ochilview following a miserable 90 minutes when they were simply second best in all departments.

The Bayview manager admitted after the game that, despite the fine run of results the side had been putting together recently, it was a defeat he and his coaching staff had seen coming.

Defensive frailties had been a cause for concern for the manager, but they had been masked since the turn of the year by a new found potency up front.

But those frailties were cruelly exposed on Saturday as East Stirlingshire inflicted a second defeat in a row on the Fifers.

Take nothing away from the hosts - the days of three points against East Stirlingshire being a ‘gimme’ are long gone, and the side has improved no end, not just over the past couple of seasons, but from the beginning of this one.

Well marshalled by the experienced Chris Townsley at the centre of defence and boasting a tricky frontline of David McKenna, Kevin Nisbet and David Greenhill, the ‘Shire’ are capable of posing problems to any side in the division.

But East Fife have solid defenders and more than capable creative players themselves but, sadly, they just didn’t get going at the weekend.

It was East Fife’s creative players in particular who struggled with the Shire defence and midfield giving no space to the likes of Sean Dickson, Alan Cook and Derek Riordan.

After a spell of dominance at the start of the first half, Shire took the lead when centre half Townsley headed home from a corner kick.

The Fifers tried to get a foothold in the game with Allan Walker unlucky to see his effort from a tight angle bounce back off the crossbar.

The equaliser would have come totally against the run of play as the Fifers really failed to kick start.

It could have been worse than the 1-0 scoreline the sides took into the half time interval but, following the break, it didn’t take long for Shire to stretch their lead.

East Fife gave away possession on the edge of their box far too easily and the ball broke out to Nisbet eight yards from goal.

The forward created space for himself before firing past Allan Fleming.

To their credit East Fife reacted well to the goal and went on to press the Shire goal, Walker again hitting the bar.