Boss relishing clash with former charge

Billy Brown
Billy Brown

IT will be master versus pupil on Saturday as East Fife welcome champions elect Queen of the South to Bayview.

Queens have dominated the division this season and sat 21 points ahead of the rest at the top of the league as the Mail went to press on Tuesday.

They’ve been guided to the top spot by the combination of young manager Allan Johnstone and experienced head Sandy Clark as assistant - with East Fife boss Billy Brown telling the Mail it’s no great surprise to see them sit where they are.

He said: “I’ve had Allan Johnstone as a player twice, at Hearts and Kilmarnock, and also started him and Gary Locke off on their coaching careers.

“He’s a great lad and was a fantastic footballer.

“Then you have Sandy Clark helping him and his record speaks for itself.

“They’re a full-time club and are a lot better than the rest of the teams in the league.

“Being 20 odd points ahead shows that.

“They play some good football but so do East Fife.

“It’s a game I’m really looking forward to.”

The Fifers go into the game with the league leaders on the back of a free weekend after Saturday’s game at Brechin was called off just an hour before kick-off due to the condition of the Glebe Park pitch.

Despite the lateness of the call off, the manager said that, ultimately, the right call was made.

“The pitch was completely unplayable,” said Brown.

“It was dangerous and the referee’s decision was correct.

“I don’t know why it couldn’t have been called off at nine o’clock in the morning though, because we had everybody up there.

“But these things happen in football.”

Gareth Wardlaw returned to training last week and may find himself in contention for the game.

Paul McManus was expected to miss the Brechin game and Steven Campbell was also suffering with a knock.

Scott Durie is suspended and will miss the game.