A familiar foe poses more problems

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The Fifers were once again unable to get to grips, literally, with an artificial playing surface.

Last season’s play-off hopes were dashed on Ochilview’s plastic pitch, a league defeat on the same ground to East Stirlingshire followed this term and at the weekend there was more misery on the false turf as Annan retained all three points.

Seven days previous East Fife had rolled the ball around superbly and looked slick, quick and free-flowing on an immaculate Hampden surface that any player would lap up.

On Saturday they went from the sublime to the ridiculous on Annan’s 3G surface, paid for in part when it was installed by the Cashback for Communities scheme.

Fitting really, as it was criminal the way players lost their footing and struggled to judge the bounce and pace of the ball.

East Fife boss Gary Naysmith claimed after the game that the park wasn’t up to scratch and the only people disagreeing with him on that would have been associated with Jim Chapman’s club.

Annan’s home record over the past few seasons has been admirable and last term they won more games in League Two than any other on their own park.

They’ve continued that into this season, and are yet to be beaten in the league at Galabank.

Their pitch is a tool they use well to win games.

That’s not to take too much away from the hosts who did create by far the better of the goalscoring chances.

They got off to a blistering start and Ryan Goodfellow was called on twice in the first couple of minutes to keep out Josh Todd and Peter Weatherston efforts.

The Fifers had a chance to burst their bubble when Kevin Smith had a clear sight of goal only to drag his effort wide.

Annan took the lead when Naysmith played a corner towards Kyle Wilkie on the edge of the box.

Wilkie raced to meet the ball but slipped on the surface.

Smart Osadolar picked up the loose ball, raced the length of the field and fed Todd who netted.

The Methil side dominated possession but it was Annan who looked more likely to score next.

They started the second half as well as the first and Weatherston was unlucky to see his effort from eight yards rebound off the bar.

The win was wrapped up in the dying moments as the Fifers went for broke.

With Jonathan Page playing as a striker to try and force an equaliser, the hosts took advantage of the gap left in defence with Rabin Omar racing in on goal and beating Goodfellow.