East Fife on the up after first win of new League Two football season
Their 2-0 victory at home to Clyde at Methil’s Bayview Stadium on Saturday – thanks to goals from Scott Shepherd on 14 minutes and Alan trouten on 72 – saw them bid farewell to the basement spot, now occupied by their visitors, and head up to eighth place, on five points from six fixtures.
That’s three clear of Clyde, one better off than second-bottom Forfar Athletic and level with seventh-placed Elgin City and McDonald is now looking up the table, he says.
Besides being their first league win of this season, following on from their 2-1 SPFL Trust Trophy knockout of Albion Rovers the weekend before, it was the first time they’d recorded back-to-back victories since March.
Next up for the Fifers is a trip to sixth-placed Spartans this coming Saturday, with kick-off at 3pm, and victory in the capital would narrow the gap between the two sides to a single point.
Welcoming his side’s first three-point haul of this campaign, McDonald told East Fife TV: “I think it’s been coming.
“I think anybody at the second half of our game against Elgin would have seen that we played really well and looked like ourselves again.
“I thought we played really well at Dumbarton too but didn’t get what we deserved.
“Then last week, from being a goal down, we managed to turn it round against Albion Rovers and we wanted to use that as a springboard and wanted to come out of the traps and be on the front foot, positive and aggressive in the way we played and i thought the boys did that. Some of our football was excellent.
“We’ve taken two goals and we’ve got a clean sheet, so massive credit to the players.
“It was a decent day at the office and we look forward to Spartans next week.
“I’m delighted to get our first three points on the board and hopefully they’re the first of many.
“We’ll just keep plugging away. We’re still not the finished article. There are things we can improve on.
“We don’t get too down when we lose and when we don’t get too up when we win – we just keep plugging away.
“What excites me the most is that there’s more to come from this group and I want to see that from them.
“There are a number of players who’ve got to the levels we know they can reach and I think there’s more to come from these guys as well.
“Hopefully we can kick on and move our way up the league. We’ve got three points and we move on to next week.”
Looking back over his side’s preceding three defeats and two draws, the 41-year-old reflected: “Obviously it wasn’t the start we wanted over our first five games, but I felt it was only a matter of time.
“We were doing a lot of the right things and there hadn’t been much in the games we’d lost and there won’t be much in games. It’s just small details."
Besides Shepherd and Trouten up front, East Fife had goalkeeper Allan Fleming to thank for securing three points at the weekend, saving a close-range shot from Barry Cuddihy and a volley from him just ahead of half-time.
McDonald is warning his players to expect a tough test in Edinburgh this weekend, adding: “We’re in for a tough game next week.
“They’ve got really talented players. I’ve seen Spartans a number of times and they like to play on the front foot. They like to pass the ball as well.
"So far, they’ve had a great start to the division. Like Bonnyrigg, they’re a credit to the division.
“It’s going to be a tough game but we know we’re in for that, but it’s about what we do.
“We’re not so much worrying about the opposition. We need to focus and make sure we go to the party with our A game, and if we do that, we’ll give anybody in this division a game.
“It’s important that we do that, but at the same time we have to be respectful and understand what threats we face.
“No doubt Spartans will be a very tough test for us but that’s two wins ain a row we’re on and a few good performances in a row as well. We look more like ourselves.”