Ayr United 3-0 East Fife

Ayr United put three past the Methil men without reply.
Ayr United put three past the Methil men without reply.

East Fife now go into Saturday's home tie with Albion Rovers in the unfortunate position of trying to edge away from relegation trouble.

That's the reality for the side ahead of the weekend after the Fifers slipped to their second loss on the bounce against Ayr United.

The current run of form is hurting East Fife and although the seven point cushion they have on ninth place Rovers looks comfortable enough, the two games Brian Kerr's side has over them is looming like a dark cloud.

Three points on Saturday though would ease that headache and see the side looking up again.

With 10 games to go East Fife have shown against every side in the division at some point this season that they can be more than a match.

But time is running out - the side needs to start converting decent performances during parts of games into points.

Darren Young will be backing his side to do that - but knows he has to get some of his first team regulars back into the starting XI.

Kyle Wilkie, Mark Docherty, Craig Thomson and Mark Lamont are amongst those who would likely have been handed a jersey for Saturday's game at title chasing Ayr United.

Like they've done all season, the side is having to do without key players and it's badly damaging the continuity.

Ayr was always going to be a huge test, and so it turned out, with the 3-0 win not flattering the hosts in the end.

East Fife started well enough, and the physical presence of Rob Jones, Pat Slattery and new signing Scott Allardice helped the side go toe to toe with United.

They were doing well enough and Kieran Millar was just an inch too short to connect with a Slattery cross.

But once Ayr got their noses in front, through a deflected Declan McDaid effort, it was sadly one way traffic.

United really built on their opener and the second arrived shortly after the re-start when Lawrence Shankland raced through the East Fife defence, rounded Ryan Goodfellow and netted.

The game was over by the hour mark when Ayr made it 3-0 from the penalty spot.

Jonathan Page’s challenge on McDaid was clumsy with ref David Lowe pointing to the spot.

Sub Alan Forrest stepped up and secured the victory.

Boss Young said: “We’ll now look to a massive game at home against Albion Rovers and hopefully we can get the backing of the fans to help us get the three points and lift us.

“There are 10 games to go so 30 points for us to pick up and we’ll be trying our best to get as many as possible.”

Ayr United - Ruddy, Boyle, Rose, Geggan, Moffat (Moore 63), McDaid, McGuffie (Forrest 56), Adams, Shankland, Kerr (Reid 73), Bell.

Subs - Hart, Ferguson, Faulds, McGowan.

East Fife - Goodfellow, Dunsmore, Kane (Linton 60), Page, Slattery, Watson, Millar, McManus, Jones (Smith 60), Allardice, Duggan (Knox 70).

Subs - MacKenzie.

Ref - David Lowe.