Fifers survive ferocious start to salvage a point

A diving header from East Fife's Steve Hislop finds the target at Arbroath.
A diving header from East Fife's Steve Hislop finds the target at Arbroath.
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AFTER the first quarter of an hour, it seemed just a matter of how many, as Arbroath stunned East Fife with an opening onslaught in Gordon Durie’s baptism as manager.

Their swift direct play looked as if the visitors were in for a hard day.

However, the Fifers managed to get a counter and then collected the equaliser before half time.

In the second half they looked the more likely to win, but could not find another goal to take the points.

However, after 15 minutes, it was fair to say they would probably have settled for one rather than being disappointed after 90.

Arbroath started off looking for blood – and they got it, as that rousing start led to a goal with six minutes on the clock.

Samuel appeared to push Steven Campbell off the ball before crossing, from which Caddis buried the opener.

East Fife’s first threat came when Steve Hislop almost met a Ryan Wallace cross. Then Hislop set up Bobby Linn but he was wide with his effort.

With only 15 minutes gone, the Red Lichties were two up, when again Samuel muscled past Cook and crossed for Caddis to score his second, again giving Michael Brown no chance.

Linn was again involved in the Fifer’s reply, this time wide with his effort from a Wallace pass.

Arbroath attacked at speed and it took a decent save from Brown to thwart Falkingham.

The Fifers got a foothold in the game midway through the half and they managed to pull a goal back.

Following a corner, Linn managed to get the ball to Robert Sloan, just outside the penalty box, and he cleverly placed his shot home.

Falkingham once more saw Brown equal to his effort, as Arbroath looked to recapture the lead.

The Fifers, however, were far more in the game by this stage and Hill held a Neil Janczyk free kick.

Amazingly, with only minutes of the half left, it was all square when a clever Linn pass found Hislop’s head and he got the equaliser against one of his former sides.

The second period started with more of the same – the Fifers on the attack. A Darren Smith corner found Sloan on the edge of the area and his very well-placed shot looked a homer, but Hill was equal to it and the score stayed all square.

The action returned to the home goal area with, first, a Janczyk free kick finding Wallace who set up Hislop and Hill saved well, before he got to a dangerous cross from Smith.

A good Fife performance was soured with seconds left when David White fell foul of the referee, after Doris went down dramatically in the middle of the field. Having been booked in the first half, the Fife man got the obligatory red card.

Arbroath – Hill, Busch, Baxter, Gibson (Kerr 54), Malcolm, Innes, Falkingham, Caddis, Doris, Samuel (Sibanda 79), Sheerin (Swankie 65). Subs (not used) McAnespie, White.

East Fife – Brown, McCormack, Cook, Campbell (Durie 71), White, Smith, Linn, Janczyk, Hislop (Dalziel 63), Wallace, Sloan (Johnstone 82). Subs (not used) Devlin, Collier.

Referee – Mike Tumilty.

Attendance – 842.

Starcheck – Sloan 3 points, Smith 2, Linn 1.

Starcheck table - Bobby Linn 34, Ryan Wallace 34, Michael Brown 21, Mark Ridgers 17, Craig Johnstone 12, Darren Smith 14, Rob Ogleby 11, Steve Campbell 10, Robert Sloan 10, Scott Durie 9, John Ovenstone 9, Matthew Park 8, David White 7, Steve Hislop 5, David Muir 3, Andrew Cook 2, Chris Innes 2, Neil Janczyk 1, Lloyd Young 1.

Pictures by Kenny Mackay