East Fife may not have played as well on Saturday as they did on their rewardless visit to Hampden last week – but they looked a threat and took their opportunity when it came.
Manager Darren Young reckoned his side just about “edged it overall” against 10-man Airdrieonians, having been keen to halt the sequence of two previous losses.
“We made a bit of a slow start but, once we got our foot in the game, we created a few chances,” he said. “Last week, we played very well but got nothing from the result. This week, we probably didn’t play as well but we got the win. It’s just the way football goes.”
The Fifers had neverthless shown some good play and good build-up work leading to their goal, he added.
“At times, we felt we could probably have passed it better but, as a team, we are still gelling and trying to get the right combination,” he added.
Young and his assistants were trying different formations, but things were coming together, he said.
“We got a big bonus with Jonathan Page and Chris Kane coming back from injury – they are two big players for us,” he said.
The Fifers had ideally been looking to build on their half0time lead and made a tactical switch in replacing Nathan Flanagan with Pat Slattery, explained the boss.
“Pat is a different type of player – Nathan is more attacking and forward-going, while Pat is hard-working and gets stuck in,” said Young.
Three points had been the main objective, he added, and there were now more choices on the table for selection.
“We have a big squad now – there are maybe a few players unhappy at not starting, or having to wait their turn, while some are not even in the aquad, so it’s great for us to have these options. It’s great for us to have that competition, when we go training on a Tuesday and a Thursday, that guys have to go and burst themselves to prove to us they are good enough, ready to take a place and stake a claim for a jersey.”
The Fifers were only a point off second place and looking to build some consistency, he said. “Probably after the Raith Rovers game, we should hold our hands up and say we kind of let ourselves down and let the fans down,” admitted Young. “But, over and above that, I’ve been happy with what I’ve seen.”
The Fifers are visited this Saturday by bottom club Forfar – and they know basement sides have a habit of belying their status when they come to Bayview. The Angus club parted company with manager Gary Bollan after a heavy 5-0 home defeat on Saturday to local rivals Arbroath.
“They will be looking to bounce back, but we have to take confidence from our performance on Saturday,” said Young. “We created enough chances to score another goal or two and it’s taken a wee penalty to win us the game. But, at the end of the day, we looked hard to beat, like we had done against Queen’s Park and, this time, we managed to take our opportunity when it came our way.”
Young added “everybody could beat everybody” in League I – sides had taken points from the likes of Raith and Ayr – so it didn’t matter who the opposition was. “We’re looking forward to it, he added. “We take a game at a time and judge it as we go.”