Off-target Fifers lucky to leave with a point

Ryan Wallace scores for East Fife. Albion Rovers v East Fife, Feb 2012. Finished 1-1.
Ryan Wallace scores for East Fife. Albion Rovers v East Fife, Feb 2012. Finished 1-1.

EAST Fife left Coatbridge with a point – which could well have been three if they’d taken more chances from a game they largely dominated.

However, in the last quarter, those missed opportunities could have come back to haunt them, as Albion Rovers threw everything at them in an effort to get their first victory in six games.

They did get an equaliser – but it could have been worse for the Fifers.

East Fife were first to show as an attacking force when a move involving Scott Durie and Neil Janczyk saw top scorer Ryan Wallace given a bit of space and his effort was turned past the post by Garston.

Rovers’ first serious goal attempt came after half an hour when a McKay effort just missed, hitting the side-netting.

A good overlap by Andrew Cook got the ball into the opposition penalty area again but Bobby Linn’s effort was poor as another chance was passed up.

Despite their dominance, the Fifers went in level at the interval and it was a similar story as the second half progressed.

A Hislop effort hardly troubled Garston, following a Robert Sloan pass, and Wallace was wasteful on more than one occasion.

A Linn run brought hope but it was not his day, as his shot was well wide.

However, the visitors did take the lead after 56 minutes when top scorer Ryan Wallace thrashed home the opening goal, taking advantage of a loose ball in the penalty area.

The visitors continued to have the better of the possession but, having taken the lead, showed less urgency in going forward and that eventually proved crucial.

Sub Love brought out a save from Michael Brown with around 20 minutes left and Canning tried his luck from distance without going too close.

Fife sub Johnstone’s delivery found Linn but, again, he could not test the home keeper.

Dalziel had a chance inside the area but was, likewise, unable to get an effort on target.

With the clock running down, Albion pressed for the leveller and Chaplain missed a great chance when, after going past Brown, he missed the target when the equaliser looked certain.

Even this appeared not to alert East Fife to the dangers and another foray into their area saw Jordan Halsman’s attempt hit the bar, with the Fife defence looking on.

However, Rovers got the goal that had been threatening when Halsman’s guided effort found the net with the defence unable to clear.

East Fife seemed to have lost their way and, although there was still time, a revival was not on the cards.

Albion, fortunately for John Robertson’s men, could not take advantage, so it finished level.

Albion Rovers – Garston, Reid, Russell (Boyle 81), McStay, O’Byrne, Donnelly, Wendly (Love 74), Canning, McKay, Chaplain, Halsman. Subs (not used) Marriott, Ferry, Cross.

East Fife – Brown, Durie, Cook, Campbell, White, Muir, Linn (Smith 79), Janczyk, Hislop (Dalziel 71), Wallace, Sloan (Johnstone 71). Subs (not used) Ovenstone, Collier.

Referee ‑ A. Muir.

Attendance ‑ 348.

Starcheck ‑ Wallace 3 points, White 2, Campbell 1.

Starcheck table - Ryan Wallace 29, Bobby Linn 27, Mark Ridgers 17, Michael Brown 16, Craig Johnstone 12, Darren Smith 12, Rob Ogleby 11, Steve Campbell 10, Scott Durie 9, John Ovenstone 9, Matthew Park 8, David White 7, Steve Hislop 3, David Muir 3, Andrew Cook 2, Chris Innes 2, Neil Janczyk 1, Robert Sloan 1, Lloyd Young 1.