Albion Rovers 1-0 East Fife

East Fife suffered a frustrating night in Coatbridge as a preventable goal and a missed penalty left a sour taste in the mouth.

Tuesday, 28th March 2017, 9:36 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:53 pm
East Fife were in midweek action at Albion Rovers.

The Methil men arrived at Cliftonhill looking to bounce straight back from Saturday's 2-1 defeat at the hands of Brechin City.

That defeat saw the Fifers drop to fourth but they knew a win over Rovers would once again see them leapfrog City.

Jesse Curran and Alex Cooper were handed starts by the Fifers with Jonathan Page and Kevin Smith missing out.

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Cooper, making his first start, impressed during the opening stages of the game and looked keen to attack the Rovers full-backs.

East Fife started the game on the front foot and kept Rovers penned back in their own half.

Chris Duggan had a sight of goal on the 15 minute mark when he was released inside the box but saw his drived nudged around the post by Ross Stewart.

Barry Smith's men simply appeared to have more energy than their hosts with Scott Robinson in particular causing panic in the home defence with countless direct runs at them.

From one the Rovers defence couldn't cope, so brought the former Hearts midfielder down on the edge of the box.

Cooper stepped up and got his set piece over the wall but Stewart got down to save.

After their bright start the Fifers retreated as the first half went on and the hosts came more into the game.

Ryan Wallace saw an attempt to lob Mark Hurst clawed away by the Fife stopper.

East Fife started the second half as well as they did the first and Cooper was given a clear sight of goal when the ball broke nicely to him eight yards from goal.

But with the angle tight, Stewart again got down well to save his drive.

The missed chances were to come back and haunt the Methil men 10 minutes after the restart when Rovers took the lead.

Jason Kerr was caught in possession on the edge of his own box and Wallace punished him by lashing the ball beyond Hurst.

The goal injected some much needed life into the game with play flowing from end to end.

Smith introduced Jamie Insall from the bench to replace Duggan and the on-loan Hibs striker had a decent penalty claim turned down when he looked to be shoved over inside the box by Mikey Dunlop.

Insall certainly had a positive impact on the game and had the ball in the back of the net with 10 minutes to go.

But with the Fife fans celebrating, the linesman's raised offside flag brought them to a cruel halt.

They were back on their feet celebrating in the dying stages when East Fife were awarded a penalty.

An equaliser would have been just reward for their efforts but Robinson's effort was beaten away by Stewart.