Cowdenbeath 2-0 East Fife

Danny Denholm posed a threat for the Fifers in attack. Pic by Kenny Mackay.
Danny Denholm posed a threat for the Fifers in attack. Pic by Kenny Mackay.

Hopefully it's not a case of start as you mean to go on for East Fife.

Their first competitive game of the season saw the Methil men slip to a dismal 2-0 defeat to Fife rivals, and League Two side, Cowdenbeath.

Make no mistake, with the exception of a terrific first 15 minutes, this was poor.

With some good signings made over the summer, a return early for pre-season training and some positive performances in the friendlies, hopes were high going into this game.

And for the opening few minutes things were really impressive.

Barely any time at all into the game, former Fifer Fraser Mullen had to take a booking after hacking down Danny Denholm as he made his way into the dangerzone.

Denholm was in the thick of things down the right and Cowden, at that point, were under immense pressure.

It seemed only a matter of time until the Fifers broke the deadlock.

But they didn't, and were made to pay by the hosts.

Craig Barr signalled their intent with a header which drifted wide and then with 17 minutes gone they took the lead.

David Cox's drive was tipped onto the post by Brett Long.

The rebound fell kindly for Robbie Buchanan who tapped home from close range.

Worrying, the Fifers failed to respond and an improving Cowdenbeath grabbed the game's second goal when Graham Taylor lashed home a loose ball from the edge of the box.

It was slow and lethargic stuff from East Fife and, of course, it's important to keep in mind the stage of the season regarding players' gelling and fitness levels.

However, it's also the same stage of the season for a Cowdenbeath side who looked comfortable for the next 45 minutes despite the Fife holding the bulk of possession.

Denholm went close, as did Kevin Smith, but the hosts defended resolutely.

Things could have been worse for the Fifers had Brett Long not saved a late Jordan Allan penalty.

Boss Darren Young said: "For me we went too direct for whatever reason.

"We haven't done that in pre-season and didn't ask them to do that.

"If we wanted them to do that we'd have told them 'right, just launch the ball forward and then go and support it'.

"But that wasn't the case and off the back of that it becomes a bit disjointed and losing poor goals will cost you at any level."