we’ve shown we can cope

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The first quarter of the league season came to an end at the weekend with Bayview boss Gary Naysmith content with how his side have fared.

Last season’s League Two winners have adapted well to life a division higher, having found themselves challenging nearer to the top half more often than looking over their shoulder at the bottom.

The Betfred Cup was also a success for the Methil men, with the Fifers putting in some decent performances against the likes of Dundee and Peterhead.

Naysmith is pleased with how his side has competed this season, but admits there’s always room for improvement.

He said: “Overall I think we’ve done ok.

“If we put it all together we’ve played 15 games, won six and drawn two, because I count the Dundee game where we won a penalty shoot-out as a draw, and lost six.

“So we’ve won as many as we’ve lost.

“It’s always going to be difficult when you go up a league, and we’ve found out that when we’ve not been on our game that we won’t get away with it like we did last season.

“There are still things that we need to work on – like being a bit more patient at times.

“We can always get better.”

The Fifers went down 1-0 to a deflected Gregor Fotheringham strike against Queen’s Park at the weekend.

The game was East Fife’s first in a couple of weeks having been absent from action during the international weekend, and having a friendly with Hearts postponed due to illness and injury.

“I thought we started well but as the game went on we made too many wrong decisions,” said the manager.

“The goal was just one of those things which seems to be happening to us at the moment.

“Kev Smith gave the ball away and their boy hit it. It took a deflection and went over Mark Hurst.

“The game before I gave away a penalty, Livingston scored one but we beat them and before that, against Airdrie, they scored a penalty too.

“Mark has lost a deflected goal and two penalties so I feel for him a bit.

“Speaking to Tommy Wright at St Johnstone, who’s an ex-goalkeeper himself, they have really high hopes for him.”

This weekend East Fife make the long journey to face Stranraer.

The gaffer had Brian Reid’s side watched at the weekend as they thumped Stenhousemuir 5-0 at Ochilview.

“I’ve been told that Stranraer just walked right through them,” said Naysmith.

“They’ve developed a really good team and McGuigan and Malcolm are strong up front.

“They play a 4-4-2 and like to get forward quickly.

“Two years ago when we played them it was always a tough place so it’s going to be another difficult weekend.

“But every game this season will be.”

The manager was delighted to welcome back Tony Wallace to the side at the weekend and expects Scott Robinson to also be challenging for a place.

Scott Mercer, who was brought off at half-time on Saturday, is not injured, with Naysmith replacing him for tactical reasons.

“Scott was just having one of those games and the winger was on fire,” said the boss.

“You have games like that.”