Three’s comfortable for clinical Fifers

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CLINICAL Craig Johnstone netted a goal in each half to earn East Fife a second successive win.

The Methil midfielder struck either side of the interval to clinch his side the points at Cliftonhill on Saturday.

Bobby Linn fired home a third goal towards the end and there was no doubting the fact that John Robertson’s side were worth their victory.

The result eased some daylight in between Robertson’s men and the opponents, who remain rooted to the foot of the league.

It was Albion Rovers who started the match well, with Fifers keeper Mark Ridgers doing well to block from Chris Hamilton in the fifth minute.

But the New Bayview outfit responded positively, and only a wonderful save from Coatbridge custodian Derek Gaston denied top goalscorer Ryan Wallace.

Both sides had opportunities before Johnstone broke the deadlock in the 38th minute when he converted Robert Ogleby’s low cross into the area.

The Fifers almost made it 2-0 at the break, but Gaston was in fantastic form, and did brilliantly to tip Linn’s well-struck volley over the bar.

However, the travelling fans didn’t have long to wait before East Fife plundered a second goal with Johnstone’s free-kick from the right flank eluding everyone as it flew into the corner of the net.

Wallace and Ogleby drilled shots just wide as the Fifers played with increased confidence.

And an important win was sealed with seven minutes remaining.

The Rovers defence cleared the ball as far as Linn who took aim and executed a crisp finish.

Albion Rovers - Gaston; Reid, O’Byrne, Lumsden, Russell; Hamilton (Scott 62), McStay (Acquah 72), Stevenson, Boyle; Gemmell (Gilmartin 68), Love.

Subs not used - Marriott, Fahey.

East Fife - Ridgers; Durie, Ovenstone, White, Park; Muir; Linn, Smith, Johnstone (Cook 81); Wallace (McQuade 85), Ogleby (Hislop 89).

Subs not used - Sloan, Brown.

Referee - Mat Northcroft.

Attendance - 403.

Starcheck ratings - Craig Johnstone 3 points, Ryan Wallace 2, Mark Ridgers 1.

Starcheck table - Ryan Wallace 19, Bobby Linn 11, Mark Ridgers 11, Scott Durie 7, Craig Johnstone 7, Michael Brown 6, Rob Ogleby 6, Matthew Park 5, John Ovenstone 5, Steve Campbell 3, Darren Smith 3, Chris Innes 2, David White 2, Steve Hislop 1, David Muir 1, Lloyd Young 1.