Chris Higgins happy to see the back of Rangers striker Jermain Defoe

Jermain Defoe lurks as Chris Higgins cuts out a Rangers attack. Pic by Kenny Mackay.
Jermain Defoe lurks as Chris Higgins cuts out a Rangers attack. Pic by Kenny Mackay.

There was little between East Fife and Rangers on Sunday afternoon until a moment of sheer quality from one of the UK's best strikers.

Jermain Defoe has enjoyed a celebrated career both domestically and internationally and, despite now being in his mid-30s, remains a class act.

With the Gers struggling to break East Fife down at Bayview, a ball into Defoe's feet saw him take just one touch to wipe out the East Fife defence and put him clear on Jordan Hart's goal.

The rest was a formality as the former Spurs man demonstrated his finishing prowess.

Fife defender Higgins was one of those left chasing Defoe's shadow as he closed in on goal, and reckons the striker is still as ruthless as he's ever been.

"Playing against someone like Jermain Defoe, he's still sharp as a tack and his movement is excellent," said Higgins.

"For his goal his touch and finish were excellent.

"It was a good experience but thankfully I won't come up against players like that every week.

"He took the pass into feet and has nipped in front of Ross Dunlop.

"He's so sharp and his touch around the corner didn't break his stride.

"I'm trying to get back across to block it but he's a world class finisher.

"He's ruthless and that's how he's made his living."

East Fife could hold their heads high despite the defeat, causing Rangers problems of their own, particularly in the first half.

Had Aaron Dunsmore managed to squeeze his finish beyond Wes Foderingham after 16 minutes it would have made for a far nervier afternoon for the Glasgow giants.

But Defoe netted his opening goal shortly afterwards and settled the Premiership club down.

Higgins said the Fifers had enjoyed the challenge and the performance was a decent way to bring what has been a good Betfred Cup run to an end.

"All the boys enjoyed it, despite getting beat 3-0," he said.

"Rangers dominated to the game but to lose two at set-plays was disappointing.

"We've played against Hearts who are a top six club, Rangers who are fighting for the title and Dundee United as well.

"We didn't start well against Cowdenbeath but picked ourselves up for Stenhousemuir.

"It's been a good run in the league cup but the main thing is we're back to league business now and we want to kick on from there."