Ben playing it for keeps after debut

Rovers forward Joao Victoria is held up by Pat Slattery during the weekend's win. Picture by Kenny Mackay.
Rovers forward Joao Victoria is held up by Pat Slattery during the weekend's win. Picture by Kenny Mackay.

It’s safe to say Ben MacKenzie had a debut to remember when he was pitched in for his first Fife appearance on Saturday.

With Ryan Goodfellow out with a concussion, Darren Young handed the 20-year-old, on-loan from St Johnstone, his first senior start for the Methil club with Mike Couser coming in to cover on the bench.

Saturday’s opponents Albion Rovers were desperate for the three points to try and ease their relegation fears and set about putting the youngster under pressure from the start.

Alan Trouten had already gone close after a couple of minutes before the Rovers forward was then presented with a fabulous chance to open the scoring.

Joao Victoria split the home defence with a pass which Trouten picked up in his stride.

As he raced in on goal all he had to do was pick his spot - but was foiled by MacKenzie who had sprinted off his line to block.

The save kicked East Fife into gear and within a few minutes they had grabbed the game’s opening goal and were on their way to three points.

MacKenzie admitted he loved every minute of his first taste in the seniors.

He said: “I don’t think it could have gone much better.

“We could have scored a few more goals because we had some other chances and the whole team defended well too.

“It was one of the best games we’ve had in a while and the fans deserved it.

“I had a couple of saves at crucial times in the game with the score at 0-0 and then one just after half time.

“If you let them back into it after half time then you’re up against it the whole of the second half.

“It was my senior debut and I was a bit nervous.”

Goodfellow’s injury came to light at the start of the week, giving MacKenzie a few days to prepare himself for his Fife start.

Boss Young clearly has faith in the goalie, and he repaid it with a clean sheet.

“Ryan Goodfellow felt the concussion on Monday or Tuesday so I was told then I was playing,” said MacKenzie.

“That’s definitely helped me prepare for the game.

“It was unfortunate for Goodie but I’m glad I got my chance.

“I thought I did quite well considering it was my first game.

“My kicking was ok, I had a few decent saves and caught a couple of crosses as well.”

And now MacKenzie is targeting another three points when the side travels to Alloa on Saturday.

“We’re looking forward to Alloa,” he said.