Montrose 2-2 East Fife

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In the grand scheme of things this wasn’t a draw which damaged East Fife’s title hopes.

With every other side in the league also drawing, Saturday’s list of results can be largely scratched in that regard.

However, what it was was an afternoon of missed chances.

By surrendering a two goal lead and allowing Montrose to snatch an unlikely point, East Fife missed the chance to win their fifth game in a row and with it the opportunity to leapfrog Elgin to top of the league.

The psychological boost that would have given East Fife’s players at this stage of the season would have been immense.

As it was, the Methil men left Links Park with a not disastrous point from the home of a side with an impressive record on their own park.

The game started at a frantic pace so it was little surprise there was an early goal.

Pat Slattery battered his way through the Montrose defence and picked out Kyle Wilkie on the edge of the box.

Wilkie appeared to be looking for a pass but with nothing on took the initiative himself and fired low past Alex Tokarczyk.

The Fifers had started on fire but failed to then put Montrose to the sword.

To their credit, Mo came back into the match and had a couple of chances to pull level within.

Graham Webster twisted and turned clear of the East Fife before firing a shot goalward which Jonathan Page deflected past the post.

With their tails up the resultant corner was headed towards goal by Chris Templeman only for his effort to be cleared off the line.

Things were a bit nervy for the visitors but those nerves should have been settled when they added a second.

Andrew Steeves brought down Nathan Austin on the edge of the box and from the free-kick Gary Naysmith’s set piece was headed home by Jason Kerr.

Montrose had arguably been the better side from the moment East Fife scored their first goal until they netted number two.

They deserved something for their efforts and were more than entitled to make it a nervy ending for the visitors.

Their goal duly came when Scott Mercer and Kerr should have done better with an attempted clearance.

Gary Fraser took advantage before racing into the box and firing high past Liam Kelly.

A point wasn’t any injustice and Terry Masson ensured a share of the spoils with an absolute screamer which came down off the underside of the crossbar.

Bayview boss Gary Naysmith said: “At 2-0 up I thought we were going on to score three or four.

“It was the only time in the game I felt really comfortable.

“I’m not making excuses (for Kerr and Mercer) but they’re still very young.

“One is 20 and the other is 18.

“You have to learn from your mistakes.

“They won’t go through their careers not making mistakes.

“I’m pretty sure Jason or ‘Merse’, the next time the ball is in that area of the pitch, they’ll put it out for a throw in or clear it up the park.

“They tried to keep the ball in, it was the wrong decision at the time, it gave Montrose a goal and we’re hanging on at the end before their lad has hit a ‘worldy’.”

“If I’m being honest I don’t think we deserved to be 2-0 up.

“But for me as a manager, we should see it out.”