Dumbarton 1-0 East Fife: Fifers play the penalty as play-off hopes remain in the balance
Neither side played like they deserved to win, in a performance which was a stark contrast to the way the Fifers played last week, when they demolished Stranraer 8-0.
Greig McDonald made no changes to the East Fife line up from the previous week, neither did Stephen Farrell to the Dumbarton line up which drew with league leaders Stirling Albion last Tuesday evening.
Sons winger Kalvin Orsi had a stand out performance, putting in a great shift against a struggling Liam Newton.
He brought Dumbarton their first and only real chance of the first half, after just 4 minutes had past cutting inside from the right wing, giving himself some space and firing off a shot which was denied by the woodwork.
That was the only real piece of action in the first half, as East Fife sat deep, and looked to hit Dumbarton on the break.
At the start of the second half, East Fife showed their quality, attacking with pace and flair, although they were struggling to do any real damage in the final third.
That was until the 55th minute when Scott Shepherd was brought down inside the box, leaving the referee no choice but to point to the spot.
Youngster Alex Ferguson stood over it, with regular penalty taker Alan Trouten on the subs bench.
Unfortunately for the Methil Men, Ferguson’s penalty was at perfect height for Brett Long, who guessed the right way and kept it out to keep the score level.
This knocked the wind out of East Fife’s sail and spurred on Dumbarton, proving to be the turning point in the matchup.
Dumbarton got their lead after 73 minutes of football, piling on the pressure after the penalty miss for what could only be described as 20 minutes of domination.
The ball was played into the box after a set piece, and Connor McManus was left marking 2 Dumbarton players, including Martin McNiff, who picked up the ball, beat McManus and drilled his shot past Fleming.
Things went from bad to worse for East Fife, as a miscommunication between Sam Denham and Allan Fleming let target man Russell McLean in on goal, though Fleming done well to keep the scoreline just 1-0.
In the 89 th minute, the referee preposterously gave Dumbarton a penalty after East Fife captain Stuart Murdoch put in a fantastic challenge. Karma played its course however, and Allan Fleming made a great save to keep it out.
In the final minutes of stoppage time, East Fife had their chance, Jack Healy burst away from Arron Lynas, giving the Fifers a 3 on 2 advantage against Gregor Buchanan and ‘keeper Brett Long, though rather than playing the square ball, for a guaranteed goal, Healy tried to beat the goalie from close but hit it right at Long.
East Fife remain in the playoff spots as a result of Forfar Athletic and Stenhousemuir both losing on Saturday too.