Give your all against Livi

East Fife manager Barry Smith is presented with the Ladbrokes League 1 Manager of the Month award for December and player Jonathan Page is presented with the Ladbrokes League 1 Player of the Month award along with defender Jonathan Page who won the player of the month prize. Pic by SNS.
East Fife manager Barry Smith is presented with the Ladbrokes League 1 Manager of the Month award for December and player Jonathan Page is presented with the Ladbrokes League 1 Player of the Month award along with defender Jonathan Page who won the player of the month prize. Pic by SNS.
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Livingston may be soaring clear at the top of League One this season, but one side they’ve struggled to put in their place is East Fife.

The two meet at Almondvale on Saturday in the Scottish Cup, with Barry Smith’s side aiming to keep up the decent form against the Lions.

The Methil men go into the tie with a seven game unbeaten run behind them, having returned from Airdrie’s Excelsior Stadium with a point following a 2-2 draw on Saturday.

East Fife have beaten the league leaders twice this season with David Hopkin’s men winning once.

But Smith knows the Lions will pose a more than difficult test on their home patch this weekend.

He said: “We had a really difficult game against them at Bayview a couple of weeks ago (when East Fife ran out 2-1 winners).

“We’ve shown we can compete against them, beating them twice this season.

“There are a lot of positives we can take from the Airdrie game into Saturday’s match but we know that, to get anything, we need to give nothing less than 100 per cent.”

The Livi test will no doubt be a tough one, but it’s one East Fife can go into with an air of confidence.

Before the Airdrie game the side had won six on the bounce in all competitions.

That run couldn’t last forever, and there was no shame in leaving the home of the full-time Diamonds with a point.

East Fife were moments away from stretching their winning run, only for Jack Leitch to pop up with an equaliser in the last minute.

“Given their full-time status it’s good to go across there and come back with a point,” said the Bayview boss.

“But it’s mixed emotions as well because they scored so late in the game and stopped us from winning.

“When you reflect on it a draw was probably fair.”

The game gave Smith an opportunity to hand a debut to midfielder Nicki Paterson.

Paterson has spent the bulk of his career in America and is a welcome addition to a squad which lost Scott Mercer to Queen of the South last week.

Smith said Paterson will add a lot to the side.

“We have quite a young squad so he gives us that bit of experience,” he said.

“While he’s been with us, he has bought into the work ethic of the team.

“It maybe took him the first half to get up with the pace of the game but he’s one who’ll be able to get onto the ball for us and make things happen.”

Away from league and cup business, there was double reason to celebrate at Bayview ahead of the Airdrie game.

After a run of wins, and a series of clean sheets, league sponsors Ladbrokes selected centre half Jonathan Page and manager Smith as their player and manager of the month winners for December.

The Bayview boss said the awards were a reflection of what the entire side had achieved over the past few weeks, but also paid tribute to the influence of former Dunfermline defender Page.

“With Kevin Smith not starting recently, Jonathan Page has been our captain,” said the manager.

“He’s the most experienced defender we have within a young back four and is helping the younger ones through games.”