Boss expecting a cracker as form sides meet

Kyle Wilkie battles to retain the ball. Photo by Phoenix Photo Shop
Kyle Wilkie battles to retain the ball. Photo by Phoenix Photo Shop

One look at the league’s form stats ahead of Saturday’s fixture against Arbroath tells its own story.

Todd Lumsden’s side are currently on a run which almost mirrors Gary Naysmith’s Fifers, having won five, drawn one and lost just once since December 12.

Over the same period, the Methil men have won five, drawn two and lost once, having played a game more.

Games between East Fife and Arbroath tend to be spicy affairs at the best of times, but with both in good form and clearly full of confidence, Bayview boss Naysmith is expecting this one to be a bit special.

He said: “I’m looking forward to it .

“Their record over the past few games is almost identical to ours.

“Arbroath are always very well organised and there isn’t really much between the two sides.

“On the day the difference will be who wants it more.

“They beat us 1-0 atBayview with Bobby Linn’s free-kick and up there ut was 1-1 when we dominated the first half and they had the better of the second.

“As far as the league goes then it’s as close to a derby fixture as we have as well so it should be a really good game.”

East Fife go into the game having been beaten once in just eight games.

The run has seen them surge into second spot in League Two.

Things could have been even more positive at the weekend had they managed to hold on to their 2-0 lead.

Ultimately, opponents Montrose came back late on to snatch a point.

Had the Methil side maintained their lead, they would have gone into the next round of fixtures at the summit of League Two.

The manager was understandably frustrated to let the two points slip, but remains upbeat.

“It’s disappointing to lose the two points but, if I’m being honest, it’s probably a game Montrose didn’t deserve to lose,” said Naysmith.

“They put a lot into the game and showed just a couple of weeks before against East Stirling that they can come back like that.

“But the lads know we had two chances to clear the ball for their first goal and will learn from their mistakes.

“It’s still one defeat in eight games which is very pleasing and that’s what I’ll be focusing on with the players this week.

“I hope they are are hurting, because I’m hurting, but we only drew a game of football.

“It may have felt like a defeat but it wasn’t.

“It was still a point.”

It’s still absolutely impossible to call the winner of this league, with only Berwick Rangers and East Stirlingshire realistically out of the promotion play-off race.

Everything else is up for grabs.

“Every team in the league has gone through a spell of not winning for four or five games and then they’ll go on a winning run,” said the gaffer.

“When you do lose a game it’s important that the players react well to it.”

Ahead of the weekend’s game, the manager has a full squad to pick from.

Brodie Gray, signed from Kennoway Star Hearts and then loaned back to the junior club, is the only player currently receiving treatment.

The boss added he is still keen to organise a couple of friendly games to build up the fitness of those unable to break into his settled side.