East Fife 0-2 Stirling Albion

East Fife boss Darren Young
East Fife boss Darren Young

There will be no repeat of last season's rollercoaster Challenge Cup campaign for East Fife.

You could have written a book about the ups and downs of the 2018/19 cup run, which took in trips to Ireland, a farcical cup tie and an eventual place in the semi-finals.

But the Fifers were dumped out at the first time of asking as Stirling recorded a deserved 2-0 win.

Paul Willis was afforded the first attempt at goal when Liam watt gave away a free-kick on the edge of his own box.

The former Fifer’s effort sailed harmlessly over the bar, though.

It’s safe to say it was far from an incident packed open 15 minutes as they game had an air of a pre-season friendly rather than a cup tie.

The battles were in midfield with neither ‘keeper having their gloves dirtied.

There wasn’t so much a lack of urgency, more a lack of quality as long balls were cleared comfortably by the centre halves.

It took until the 25th minute for a clear cut chance to be created, with the opportunity falling the way of the Fifers.

Liam Watt broke into the Stirling box and picked out Danny Denholm six yards out.

The visiting defence were back in numbers, though, and managed to block the winger’s shot.

The chance ignited some life into the game and not long later Stirling had their first attempt at goal.

The ball broke to Danny Jardine on the edge of the area and the midfielder got a decent shot away which cleared the Fife bar.

Out of nowhere the visitors took the lead in stylish fashion, Daryll Duffy sending a near finish over Jordan Hart and into the Fife net despite the efforts of the scrambling defence.

After just a few minutes of the re-start the Binos had another sight of goal when a slick move up the park saw them work the ball to Dominic Docherty on the edge of the box.

Docherty, though, saw his drive charged down by the home defence.

The introduction of Anton Dowds and Ryan Wallace from the bench injected new life into East Fife as they went in search of an equaliser.

It almost arrived when Wallace’s through ball cut open the visiting defence and found Denholm.

The winger managed to get something on the ball but not enough to beat Cameron Binnie.

They were made to pay on 67 minutes when the Binos extended their lead.

Paul Willis broke down the left flank and crossed to Josh Peters who rammed the ball home from inside the box.