East Fife 3-5 Raith Rovers

Anton Dowds breaks through the Raith defence. Pic by Kenny Mackay.
Anton Dowds breaks through the Raith defence. Pic by Kenny Mackay.

East Fife and Raith shared eight goals in this festive thriller at Bayview.

But there was disappointment for the hosts with Raith notching five to East Fife's three.

Darren Young's men found themselves 4-1 down at one stage of the game but threatened to stage a remarkable comeback, netting twice to make it 4-3 only for the visitors to settle matters deep into stoppage time.

They were left to rue a lacklustre first half in which they found themselves trailing 3-1 at the break.

Jamie Gullan opened the scoring for Raith before Kieran MacDonald's cross looped over Brett Long to increase the advantage.

East Fife hadn't posed too much of a threat in attack but managed to pull one back when Scott Agnew's terrific free-kick was well out of Ross Munro's reach.

The deficit was reduced to one for barely ten minutes, though, MacDonald capitalising on Stewart Murdoch's slip to restore the two goal cushion.

Young's men looked a lot brighter after the interval as they pressed for the all important fifth goal of the game.

Get it and they were right back in the match, lose it and it was almost all over.

Lose it they did, impressive 18-year-old Dylan Tait finishing off a neat counter attack.

'Can we play you every week' the Raith fans started to sing, mocking their counterparts in the opposite end.

But their cheers threatened to turn to jeers within the space of a few minutes when Anton Dowds and then Ryan Wallace pulled the deficit back to one.

It was far more nervy than it should have been for the visiting fans who now watched on through the cracks in their fingers as Pat Slattery, Scott Agnew and Lewis Baker passed up chances to level the score.

With East Fife committing bodies forward there was always a chance they could get suckerpunched at the back and in the dying seconds Gullan added his second and Raith's fifth of the game.

Home boss Young said: “We’d lost four goals before we started playing.

“Give any team, especially Raith, four goals and it’s going to be hard to peg it back.

“We nearly got there but it wasn’t good enough.”