Fifers set their sights on Shire

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Jonathan Page says the Fifers are already focused on East Stirlingshire after losing their undefeated record at Hampden on Saturday.

The Methil men shipped three points for the first time in 2015 after going down to a solitary Ciaran McElroy goal.

It’s now vital for the club’s promotion ambitions that they re-ignite the kind of form which saw them surge into the League Two play-off zone.

And Page says that’ll start on Saturday when he and his team mates head into the central belt to Ochilview to take on East Stirlingshire.

“We won’t let the defeat affect us,” said Page.

“Everything seemed to go against us against Queen’s Park but we still felt that if we played another five or ten minutes we would get something from the game.

“We’ve now already set our sights on Saturday.

“The results elsewhere went for us in the end so it’s still in our own hands which is all you can ask.

“This time eight or nine weeks ago we’d never have thought that.”

Page was a stand out for East Fife at Hampden on Saturday and, on another, day could have had a hat-trick.

The centre half twice went close with headers, one being stopped on the line and another clearing bar.

His third nestled in the back of the net late on in the game.

The defender connected with a Gary Naysmith free-kick but was left frustrated to see the main stand official raise his flag for offside.

Page was convinced his goal should have stood.

He said: “I wasn’t even looking for a flag because I was so confident I was onside.

“It was only when I saw Allan Walker starting to moan that I thought ‘oh no’.

“I knew something wasn’t right but I was so confident I didn’t even look.”

The decision denied Page an opportunity to chalk up a goal at the home of Scottish football.

“I’ve been here a couple of times as an unused sub at Motherwell,” he told the Mail following the game.

“It’s a great stadium and the gaffer mentioned in his pre-match talk that, wether you’re playing Queen’s Park in the league or Rangers in a cup final it doesn’t matter - you still have the opportunity to say you’ve played there.

“But it’s disappointing to say you’ve played there but not won.

“I wasn’t offside but the other two, the goalie has made a good save and I should have done a bit better with the second.

“But it’s gone now.”

East Fife’s hopes of taking something from the game were damaged when they were reduced to 10 men when Nathan Austin saw red in the first half.

But Page was quick to jump to the defence of the striker who has been in impressive form since the turn of the year.

Austin helped himself to four goals during the week as East Fife won at Elgin.

Page said: “He’s disappointed obviously but he’s only a young lad.

“I’ve had two or three equally stupid sendings off in my time so I know how he feels.

“If that happens it happens and it can happen to anybody.

“It’s our job to try and get him out of the hole but it didn’t happen.

“He’ll come back from it though.

“He scored four goals for us up in Elgin so we can’t criticise him.”