Fifers kept in cold storage

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EAST Fife boss John Robertson admits the current festive cold snap is hampering his hopes of guiding the Methil men up the league.

The Fifers learned yesterday (Tuesday) morning that the rescheduled visit to visit Forfar was off - news which came as little surprise to Robertson after he’d talked to bosses at Station Park.

This will leave East Fife without having played for a fortnight, after Saturday’s home fixture against Albion Rovers was called off because of frost on the park.

On Monday, Robertson said: “Dave (Marshall) and Jim (Stevenson) were very confident that the game would go ahead and I’d already travelled 75 miles before hearing it was off.

“Dave tried his hardest to get the game on, but the referee decreed that parts of the pitch were still frozen, so it was very disappointing.

“The problem is these decisions are made so late that you can’t book other facilities and, if the pitch is hard, then the training pitch will also be hard, so what else can you do?”

However, the boss is confident that the scheduled Boxing Day fixture against Dumbarton will go ahead, with temperatures actually expected to soar into the weekend.

The manager said: “Staying in the Highlands, I check the long-range forecasts and the temperatures are supposed to reach 13 degrees.

“So we’re very confident that the Dumbarton game will go ahead.

“I’ve never beaten Dumbarton; they’ve really done us in a couple of times and seem to have the measure of us.

“A lot of the games between us have been quite close but then, all of a sudden, they’ll score two or three goals and are out of sight.

“The last game we played with them through there, though, I thought we were particularly poor.

“But it’s a home game and we really need the points.

“The teams we’ve played recently have all been round about us, and we just need those three to six points to get us to where we want to be in the table.

“Everybody is capable of beating each other in this league.”

The festive season often provides those visiting relatives back home the chance to head to a fixture.

The Bayview manager said it’d be welcome to see a few extra faces at the game on Monday - although he did understand why crowds could dwindle.

“You have to give huge credit to people who still come out and support their team at this time of year, because it is expensive and bitterly cold,” said the manager.

“With people having to buy presents and things, football can often be the last thing on your mind, and I totally understand that.

“If we can get another one or two fans through the gates, that would be great, but, at the same time, if it’s one or two less, then I accept why that is too.”

East Fife will be without Scott Dalziel for the fixture, as he continues his recovery back from a long-term injury.