It’s back to the drawing board

East Fife FC v Forfar Athletic FC
East Fife FC v Forfar Athletic FC

DARREN Smith insists the Fifers will not be allowed to feel sorry for themselves after suffering a play-off set-back.

Saturday’s 2-1 defeat by Forfar, coupled with the previous week’s defeat at Stranraer, saw the Methil men lose vital ground in the race for a top four finish, and now sit six points off the pace.

But Smith insists his side won’t mope, and will look to get back to winning ways this weekend at Stenhousemuir.

Speaking to the Mail after Saturday’s game, the midfielder said: “The manager doesn’t let boys’ heads go down, he’s positive and he’s came in and told us that we did better than last week.

“We’ll go back to the drawing board, get together as a team, and hopefully if we can keep working away results will turn for us.”

However, the midfielder did admit that he, and his team-mates, knew they’d passed up an opportunity to stay in the hunt.

“We’ve played more games than other teams and it was a good chance for us to get back into it after last week when we never turned up at Stranraer,” he said.

“Realistically we knew we had to win to get back in.

“The first half we started alright and passed the ball quite well, but in the final third we didn’t have any cutting edge, not just the strikers, but the midfield as well.

“I thought we were doing ok, but we keep giving away slack goals and the manager says it gives us a mountain to climb.

“Big Templeman has got into the box and nobody has picked him up and that’s not good enough from our point of view.

“The manager keeps saying that if we give away goals the way we do then we’re going to keep making in hard for ourselves.

“I think we played a bit better but we never really looked like scoring to be fair.

“We got the penalty and had a few half chances but I don’t really think Forfar had too many chances either.

“They hit the post but we got undone by Templeman in the first half and then you can’t concede with a set-piece for the second.”

Former Fifer Chris Templeman came back to haunt his old side with goals either side of the break, and Smith said East Fife struggled to contain him.

“Everybody says that Templeman can’t move, but if you watch him he holds it well and links up; he is a handful,” admitted the midfielder.

“Forfar play to their strengths, they by-pass the midfield quite a lot, feed it to Templeman and that made it difficult for us.”

The game was a welcome return for Smith who has been out injured after cracking a bone in his toe.

“My toe was alright - saying that if somebody had stepped on it I’m not too sure how it would have been,” he said.

“It’s good to be back in playing because it’s murder coming in and watching, but we’re disappointed with the result.”