Jam Tarts prove too sticky for Fifers and grab 3-0 win

East Fife's Ross Brown holds off Hearts trialist Prince Buaben.
East Fife's Ross Brown holds off Hearts trialist Prince Buaben.

East Fife tumbled to another pre-season defeat at Bayview as a full strength Hearts side left Methil with a 3-0 victory.

The game followed the patterns set in East Fife’s previous two games, against Fulham and St Johnstone, with the visitors dominating play and having most of the ball.

Boss Gary Naysmith has already stated that, as far as he’s concerned, the work outs offered by these sides for his players, as opposed to the end result, is the most important factor.

There’s no doubt that when the competitive campaign kicks off at the end of this month East Fife will face competition nothing like that offered in the past three matches.

Hearts, who fielded former Dundee United midfield pairing Margaro Gomis and trialist Prince Buaben in the centre of midfield, had the better of the opening exchanges with Gary Oliver in particular looking a real threat.

East Fife posed a threat of their own, though, and Jon McShane was unlucky not to open the scoring when he was picked out free inside the box by Jamie Beaton.

The former Hamilton man was unable to keep his shot down and the scores remained level.

But it wasn’t to be long until the deadlock was broken and it was no surprise that the lively Oliver had a hand in it.

His shot came rebounding back off the post and Buaben did his best to impress boss Robbie Neilson by firing home the rebound from eight yards.

There was another worry for East Fife soon afterwards as Ross Brown, who struggled with an ankle injury towards the end of last season, was taken off injured to be replaced by Lewis Barr.

And things then got worse for the Fifers as Hearts put themselves two up.

From a Billy King corner Oliver was able to slip his marker and then stooped to head home from close range.

Summer signing Allan Fleming was the busier of the two ‘keepers and was twice called into action to keep the scores down before the first half ended.

Firstly a Callum Paterson drive needed dealt with.

Next up was a Kevin McHattie free-kick which the former Kelty Hearts ‘keeper did well to beat away.

To their credit East Fife kept on plugging away and almost pulled one back shortly into the second half.

Barr did well to create room on the East Fife right and his cross was just inches away from the toe of the incoming McShane.

Sadly for East Fife they then went on to gift the Jambos a third.

Ewan Moyes played a pretty harmless looking pass-back to Fleming but the big ‘keeper was slow to get his clearance away and Osman Sow nipped in to capitalise.

Kevin Smith tried to make the scoreline a little more respectable for the Fifers but his shot didn’t trouble Neil Alexander.

Fife trialist Ross Campbell appeared from the bench and proved he could be a real asset by almost pulling one back after creating space for a shot.