Turnaround in fortunes leaves Fifers on a high

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What a difference a month can make.

Around this time in February, the Fifers were slumped near the foot of the division and desperate not to let those above them get too far away.

Just a few weeks later, the Bayview men have rocketed up the league, thanks to some fine wins, and have even given themselves a chance of making the promotion play-off spots.

That’s thanks in part to this demolition of fourth-placed Forfar, who had their work cut out for them after Jamie Bishop saw an early red card for a lunge on Steve Hislop.

As harsh as the sending off appeared, the Fifers offered no quarter and dominated their opponents for the remainder.

No sooner had Bishop hit the showers when the home side started to press for an opener, with Craig Johnstone’s header well held by Scott Gallagher.

But the first goal wasn’t long in coming, and when Marc McCulloch sliced through the Forfar defence and fed Hislop, the captain was afforded time to pick his spot past Gallagher.

Knowing a win would at least keep the pressure on Forfar, who now sit five points above the Fifers at the time of writing, John Robertson’s side probed patiently for a second goal.

Dylan McGowan almost got lucky with a cross which bounced off the bar, while Hislop could have nabbed another.

But the patient build-up play did eventually make way for a shift in gear as the clock ticked down and Jonathan Smart added a second from a Craig Johnstone corner.

Bobby Linn notched a third to ensure the points stayed in Methil.

Boss Robertson said: “We said to the players that a win would give us an outside chance of the play-offs but Forfar are still well in control.”

East Fife - Brown, Smart, McCulloch, Ovenstone, McGowan, Muir, Linn, Park, Hislop, Young (Newbigging 88), Johnstone. Subs (not used) Durie, Fagan, Cargill, Lyness.

Forfar Athletic - Gallacher, Ross, I Campbell (Mowat 28), McCulloch, Bolochoweckyj, Bishop, R Campbell, Fotheringham (Watson 69), Templeman (Smith 66), Hilson, Sellars. Subs (not used) Deasley, Duffy.

Attendance - 469.

Ratings - Linn 3 points, Hislop 2, Johnstone 1.

Starcheck table - Bobby Linn 35, Michael Brown 22, Craig Johnstone 22, Kurtis Byrne 16, Stevie Campbell 13, John Ovenstone 10, Scott Durie 8, Robert Sloan 7, Steve Hislop 7, Lloyd Young 6, Stewart Murdoch 5, Matthew Park 5, Dylan McGowan 4, Jonathan Smart 4, David Muir 3, Paul Tansey 3, Stevie Crawford 2, Ryan Wallace 2.