East Fife 0-1 Stenhousemuir

The Fifers couldn't edge past Stenny.
The Fifers couldn't edge past Stenny.

What a frustrating afternoon this was for East Fife.

Playing at Bayview against a side propping up the league and still on the hunt for their first win of the new season, the Methil men were overwhelming favourites to take the three points.

After good performances against Stranraer, Airdrieonians and Livingston, hopes were high the Fifers could go into the international break with three points after seeing off Stenny.

But they came up against a well drilled Warriors outfit who looked anything but a side scrapping about at the wrong end of the table for their first victory.

Boss Gary Naysmith kept faith with the side which beat Livingston seven days previous, with Scott Robinson in place of Jordan Austin, who has headed to Barnetts Park based St Andrews United on loan, the only change to the squad.

East Fife are clearly a side high on confidence and started the game strongly.

Chris Kane was desperately unlucky not to open the scoring within the opening minutes when his header was tipped over the bar by on-loan Celtic 'keeper Colin McCabe.

McCabe's save was to set the tone for the remainder of the game.

East Fife got plenty of joy down the wings with Kevin Smith in particular proving to be too much to contain.

The final ball was letting East Fife down as they poked and probed at the Stenny defence with no final product.

At the other end Stenny showed they could be a threat themselves and Alan Cook should have done better when he broke in behind the East Fife backline only to send his attempted lob tamely at Mark Hurst.

East Fife had dominated but were unable to get their noses in front of the visitors and were made to pay as the match approached the hour mark.

A bobbling ball couldn't be cleared by the home side with Naysmith nudging it towards the edge of the box with his hand.

It was a clear handball, but was missed by ref Steven Reid.

His assistant had a clearer view and on his advice rightly awarded a spot kick to Stenny.

Experienced striker Colin McMenanmin stepped up and sent Hurst the wrong way.

The visitors now had a lead to defend, and defend it they did.

The win was down in no small part to the heroics of McCabe who went on to pull off a string of first class saves.

Mark Lamont and Jamie Insall were just two of the Fifers who had their efforts kept out by the inspired goalkeeper.

In the end the Warriors held on gamely for their victory.

Naysmith said: "First and foremost I apologise to the players because it was my mistake.

"I lost the guy at the corner and they hit a shot which hit me on my head.

"I lost my senses for a bit and when I got up I wasn't in the right position and the ball went past me.

"I had no idea where the player was and stuck my hand out and gave away a penalty.

"It's the first time I've done anything like that in 21 years of playing football.

"I apologised to the lads because whatever we did right or wrong, if I hadn't done that we'd have got a draw and moved on quickly.

"But they shouldn't hide behind my mistake because after the first 20 or 30 minutes the performance wasn't good enough."