Ayr Utd 1 - 1 East Fife

Ayr United (White) v East Fife
Ayr United (White) v East Fife

A POINT at Somerset Park was a decent enough result as East Fife completed a double header against third-top Ayr United.

The Fifers retained the same starting line-up from the previous game but had Neil Duffy as the sub keeper, in place of the on-loan Lyness.

They took an early lead but could not keep it as the hosts managed to get back to equality soon afterwards.

East Fife then lost their way a bit after that and were perhaps fortunate to go in at half-time all square, although they made more of an impression in the second period.

The sides were meeting for the third time in just over six weeks and the Fifers took the lead with eight minutes gone, when Matthew Park got on the end of a Bobby Linn corner for his third goal for the club.

The home side certainly did not lie down after this setback and John Ovenstone and Dylan McGowan were kept busy in the heart of the defence.

The home side’s pressure paid of with the equaliser, in the 16th minute, when Alan Trouten lobbed Brown from 12 yards out, following a good build-up involving Easton and Moffat.

United held the upper hand after the equaliser and East Fife were pinned back as their hosts looked for a second.

They should have had it when Roberts missed a golden opportunity following good work by Trouten, who had left the East Fife defence in tatters.

The top scorer missed another decent chance to make the home side’s pressure count as the game neared half-time.

Just as it seemed the Fifers would make it to half time all square, referee Salmond awarded the home side a penalty when he decided Scott Durie had brought down Roberts.

Again, however, Michael Brown proved to be the hero when he blocked Roberts’ attempt from the spot - his second penalty save in four days from the same player.

It did not take too long for the second period to come alive - East Fife felt aggrieved when it appeared that Bobby Linn was held back in the penalty area, but the referee gave no penalty.

East Fife had the better of possession, with Ryan Wallace’s pace giving the home defence a few problems.

At the other end, Brown did the needful again when he saved from an Eaton drive.

With an hour gone, Stuart Cargill came on to replace the struggling Hislop.

With his speed down the flank and Wallace’s continued sniping at the home defence, the Fifers looked the more likely at this stage.

But Martin saved from a Lloyd Young effort and soon afterwards, the keeper blocked a Linn effort.

It was not all one-way traffic and Brown was again in action too, and with a little help from Durie, they survived a Crawford attempt.

Ayr United – Martin, Lauchlan, Smith (Crawford 68), Malone, Donnelly, McCann, Trouten, McLauchlin, Moffat, Roberts (Rodgers 72), Easton. Subs (not used) Bannigan, Tiffoney, Crawford.

East Fife – M. Brown, Durie, Park, Ovenstone, McGowan, Muir, Linn, Young, Hislop (Cargill 60), McCulloch, Wallace. Subs (not used) Smart, Fagan, R. Brown, Duffy.

Referee – G. Salmond.

Attendance – 976.

Starcheck ratings - Brown 3 points, Park 2, Wallace 1.

Starcheck table - Bobby Linn 41, Michael Brown 27, Craig Johnstone 23, Kurtis Byrne 16, Stevie Campbell 13, John Ovenstone 11, Matthew Park 9, Scott Durie 8, Lloyd Young 8, Steve Hislop 7, Robert Sloan 7, Ryan Wallace 6, Stewart Murdoch 5, Dylan McGowan 4, David Muir 4, Jonathan Smart 4, Paul Tansey 3, Stevie Crawford 2.