Forfar 2 - 1 East Fife

Michael Andrews
Michael Andrews
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With seven debutants in the starting line-up, new manager Willie Aitchison could not manage to get his managerial career off to a winning start at Station Park last Saturday.

The Fifers crashed out of the Ramsden’s Cup when a couple of defensive errors cost them two goals in the early part of the game.

They did get back into the tie but, apart from that penalty goal, hardly threatened Forfar’s goal.

It took a clearance off the line from Scott Durie to save the Fifers from going a goal behind early on, from a Paul McManus effort.

Forfar’s opener was only delayed until the 25th minute. Gary Thom and Joe Mbu both had the chance to clear a flick-on by Swankie, but did not, and Kader did not pass up the easy chance to put Forfar one ahead.

After 30 minutes, the home side doubled their lead when terrible defending, from a Fotheringham free-kick again, left central defender Malcolm with little to do, from close in, to make it 2-0.

East Fife got back into the game in the 40th minute when ‘keeper Hill was penalised for having brought down Liam Buchanan in the penalty area, but was only shown yellow!

The debutant struck the ball confidently from the spot into the bottom right hand corner to reduce the leeway.

In the remaining minutes of the half, Pat Clarke had a decent chance from a header but could not get his effort on target.

Kyle Wilson had to go off injured just before the break with Ryan Stewart replacing him and in the last seconds a Buchanan try went just wide of the post.

The second half opened brightly for the Fifers and a good build up saw Buchanan lay off to Willis, clear on the edge of the area, but he dragged his shot wide of the target. A Clarke header, however, made Hill earn his wages.

The second half turned into a bit of a non-event, with Forfar not pushing forward too much and the East Fife midfield unable to get Clarke and Buchanan decent service.

With around a quarter of an hour to go, referee Andy Dallas dealt East Fife a real blow when he considered a physical challenge by Gary Thom on substitute Campbell worthy of a red card and the visitors were down to 10 men.

Forfar should have wrapped up the tie when Johnny Stewart gave the ball away in midfield as his team-mates pushed forward, but Malcolm’s effort went wide.

East Fife’s efforts to try to get the equaliser, being a man down, only left them more vulnerable at the back and towards the end the home side squandered a few opportunities and should have increased their lead.

STARCHECK

3. Andrews

2. Willis

1. Buchanan