Our reaction in Elgin was top class

Nathan Austin celebrates his opening goal in Elgin. Picture by Brian Smith.
Nathan Austin celebrates his opening goal in Elgin. Picture by Brian Smith.

There are so many positives surrounding East Fife’s win at Borough Briggs at the weekend.

The hosts, who sat at the summit of League Two on Saturday morning, hadn’t been beaten on their home park all season - but lost that record to the Methil men.

The win saw the Fifers again hit top spot - until it was snatched back by Elgin last night thanks to an injury time penalty winner over Stirling Albion.

But for boss Gary Naysmith, the most pleasing aspect was the way his side had reacted to what was a disappointing 3-0 defeat to Queen’s Park seven days previous.

The trip to the most difficult away ground in the league was a test of character.

Anyone questioning the Fifers’ ability to respond to that challenge, though, was answered emphatically by the 3-1 win.

Naysmith said: “The biggest thing for me was that we responded in the right way from the Queen’s Park game.

“It was a test for the players because quite often in this league when a team at the top has been beaten they then go on to lose two or three.

“It was important that we got the right response and it makes it a bit better when you beat the league leaders, who hadn’t been beaten at home, on their own pitch.”

The boss had called for improvement from his players following the 3-0 defeat, saying there were a lot of things the side hadn’t done right at Hampden.

And he got that, with Nathan Austin, who was making his 100th appearance in the black and gold. helping himself to two goals.

Another who hit the century mark for East Fife at the weekend was Ross Brown.

The central mifielder goes about his business quietly on a Saturday.

But for Naysmith there are few squad members penned into the starting XI each week before him.

“We need to look at adding a few more goals to Ross Brown’s game,” said the manager.

“Nathan Austin gets the headlines because of his goals but the players and myself all know what Ross brings to the team with his tracking back.

“If you were to go around the rest of the squad and ask them to pick the team then Ross would be in it every time.

“He’s another player we’re hoping to get signed up again soon.”

Brown will feature at the weekend as the Fifers welcome Jim Chapman’s Annan to Bayview.

A first half masterclass at Galabank in January helped East Fife return north will all three points in a 4-2 win.

Annan are one of a number of clubs chasing the Methil side and hoping to cut down their lead.

They have two games in hand on the Fifers but, again, Naysmith knows if his side can take care of business at the weekend they can’t be overtaken by them.

“Jim Chapman always has Annan very well organised and they’re a physical team,” he said.

“They have games in hand on us but don’t play this week so if we beat them then that puts us 10 points ahead and, even if they win both their games, they can’t get in front.

“They have to play Clyde and Queen’s Park in those games who are also chasing us.

“They can’t all win so something has to give in those games.

“But we need to focus on ourselves and we know if we beat these teams it kicks them further behind.”