Annan Athletic 2 East Fife 4
A brutal first half demolition job in Annan ensured the Fifers returned to the Kingdom with three points in the bag.
Annan had stunned Premiership side Hamilton by dumping them out of the Scottish Cup seven days before.
But the were mauled by Gary Naysmith’s Fifers who blitzed their hosts in a blizzard as the snow swept down in the Borders.
The Methil side were four goals up at the interval and cruising.
Naysmith said: “We went with two up front to put them under pressure and the lads behind them did really well just helping the ball on.
“Fash (Nathan Austin) and Jamie Insall caused them a lot of problems, especially in the first half.
“Jamie has been a wee bit frustrated not to be playing and I can understand that.
“The way we were playing, we couldn’t go with two up front.
“He got his chance because Craig Murray picked up an injury in training and he’s put in his best game for us.”
The Fifers should have taken the lead after five minutes when Nathan Austin burst clear of the Annan defence.
He hit the touchline and cut back for Jamie Insall who was loitering six yards from goal.
The on-loan Hibs striker, though, screwed his effort wide from six yards.
But Insall was quick to make amends and put East Fife ahead just a couple of minutes later.
Gary Naysmith’s corner was met by Austin but his shot came back off the post.
Insall was quickest to react, prodding the ball home from six yards.
The Fifers remained on top and Annan were being wiped away..
Austin doubled his side’s lead shortly before the break when he burst through the heart of the Annan defence and fired past Jordan Hart.
The points were basically in the bag before half time when Jason Kerr headed home a third.
It was turning into a rout and the ruthless Fifers made it 4-0 on 43 minutes when Insall’s cross was finished by Kyle Wilkie.
Austin was given a clear sight of goal as East Fife chased a fifth but he dragged his strike wide of Hart’s goal.
Greig McDonald netted a consolation for the hosts when he fired home from the edge of the box.
The home side made the score a lot more respectable when Peter Weatherston netted a second.