East Fife 2-2 St Andrews Utd

East Fife stepped up their pre-season schedule with their first friendly game against St Andrews United.

Wednesday, 27th June 2018, 1:07 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th June 2018, 3:38 pm
Liam Watt appeared for the Methil men for the first time in the 2-2 draw. Pic - Kenny Mackay.

Saints were good enough to oblige the friendly request from the Methil side after scheduled opponents Cumbernauld Colts pulled out at the last minute.

Andy Brown's squad was short of a few bodies with East Fife loaning them a 'keeper for the night while Paul McManus, who has been training with the Fifers during pre-season, started up front for United.

For Darren Young the game gave him a chance to cast his eye over a few trialists, including Finn Graham and Scott McBride, while also presenting the Bayview support the opportunity to see new recruits Scott Agnew, Brett Long, Daryl Meggat, Ross Davidson, Liam Watt and Jonny Court in Fife colours for the first time.

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The result of the game didn't really matter - for both teams it was about getting some match sharpness under their belt.

There were positives still to be taken from the game, though, but more for the patchwork visitors who went toe to toe with their hosts from League One.

It took them barely a couple of minutes to go ahead when the impressive Gary Graham raced in on goal and squeezed his shot beyond Long.

From then it was pretty much one way traffic as East Fife pressed high on their visitors.

But Saints defended resolutely and denied Craig Thomson, Kevin Smith and Jonny Court from hauling the sides level.

It took until almost the last kick of the first half for the home side to eventually get their equaliser when Smith bundled home at the second attempt.

East Fife could have been expected to kick on in the second half and pull away but, to their credit, Saints stuck to their task.

McBride and Graham were introduced from the bench and the two of them combined to help East Fife get their second goal.

Graham's through ball picked out former Fifer McBride in the box, only for him to be barged over.

Agnew stepped up and netted the spot kick.

Saints weren't done, and proved they'll be a fine addition to the senior ranks when their East of Scotland League campaign kicks off.

They got a deserved equaliser when sub Jordan Hopkinson netted after taking advantage of some slack play in the Fife defence.

Home boss Darren Young said: "It was our first game so it's good to get that under our belt and shake off that bit rustiness.

"We created a lot of chances but never took them.

"It was a poor start with their goal and I'll need to have a look back at that.

"The second was poor again, we lose the ball in the middle of the park and their guy has gone on and struck it.

"It's only pre-season and we want it out of the way but it's disappointing because wee basic errors have cost us.

"But apart from that we passed the ball well and managed to get down the sides and into the box.

"We had four or five right good one on one chances.

"There are boys out and other boys still to come back in and the main thing is the fitness and getting everyone through it."

Barnetts Park boss Brown was delighted with what his side showed against one of the best part-time teams in the country.

He said: "We only had 11 players and the rest of them were East Fife trialists.

"But we took the game to them and get the early goal through a boy we've just signed, Gary Graham.

"He's a good player.

"We're maybe three short now and have a goalie coming in who's of a decent standard."