A bucket load of chances but no reward in 1-0 defeat

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The stats on the official SPFL website tell the story of this match.

East Fife had a total of 20 shots at goal to Annan’s 2.

The home side won 12 corners while the visitors couldn’t register one.

Clearly there are positives and negatives to be drawn from such figures.

On the plus side it’s evident that Gary Naysmith’s team is creating more than enough chances to win a game of football.

Clearly, though, the fact Annan left Bayview with the three points, thanks to a solitary first half goal, is proof of a lack of cutting edge.

Nathan Austin continues to run his markers ragged but full responsibility for goalscoring duties can’t be burdened in the 21-year-old’s shoulders.

Boss Naysmith conceded after the game that he needs the rest of the squad to step up and help out the youngster.

Defender Scott Mercer, too, was honest enough to admit that it’s up to the nine other outfield players to support their talisman - something they’re just not doing at the moment.

Naysmith said: “At least we’re creating chances - but we now need to start putting them away because we can’t always keep clean sheets.

“Our defensive record is great, we’ve only lost nine league goals in 11 games.

“I’d say this season that Ross Brown has missed four open goals so it’s happening all throughout the team.

“If we want to get promoted we need to keep up the defensive displays from back to front but we need to be more clinical all through the team.

“We can’t keep restricting teams to two or three chances in every game this season but not scoring.

“The rest of the team has to help ‘Fash’ (Nathan Austin).

“He’s a young lad who’s working hard.

“As a team we have a duty to put chances way when it’s not coming.

“Senior players, Kevin Smith down at Berwick, Kyle Wilkie today (Saturday) need to step up to the plate.”

A win for the Methil men would have seen them hop above Annan to the league’s summit.

But when a deep Rabin Omar cross was headed home by Peter Weatherston it gave Jim Chapman’s men a lead to hold on to.

Their defensive mentality was cemented shortly before the break when the goalscorer was sent off for a swipe at Scott Mercer.

Austin had been afforded a couple of sights of goal before then with Jonathan Page also going close.

East Fife camped out in Annan’s half and bombarded Jordan Hart’s goal but were unable to find a way through.