East Fife 0-2 Dumbarton

East Fife fell to an opening day defeat.
East Fife fell to an opening day defeat.

East Fife showed in this 90 minutes that the 2018/19 season can be anything what they want it to be.

On the one hand things can turn out really well if they go into every game with the attacking mentality and spirit they showed in their league opener against Dumbarton.

One the other, it could be a long campaign if they continue to give away the cheap goals they did at Bayview on Saturday.

Dumbarton are a good side, one who many are tipping to go straight back up to the Championship at the first time of asking.

But it's unlikely they'll be handed an easier two goals than they were by the Fifers.

Both were almost identical - headers from corner kicks.

East Fife's inability to clear from corners, and set-pieces in general, looked to have been exorcised in the early stages of the season as the side defended incredibly well, particularly against Premiership St Johnstone.

On Saturday, though, both Andy Dowie and Callum Gallagher were able to meet corners at the front post and beat Brett Long.

It proved to be the only difference between the sides, but this wasn't a game without its positives for East Fife.

The opening saw East Fife looking fit, so comfortable on the ball as they moved it across the park and completely boss their shell shocked visitors.

They could easily have been a couple of goals up within the opening 15 minutes.

Firstly Rory Currie was played in on goal by Kevin Smith.

The young striker had plenty of composure as he raced clear on goal.

But just as he was about to pick his spot, Dowie raced back to get a crucial block in.

East Fife stayed on the front foot and went close to opening the scoring again when Grant Adam blocked a Scott McBride effort.

The ball rebounded kindly for McBride but he couldn't shift his feet and get a shot away, spurning the chance.

East Fife were dealt a blow when Smith had to leave the field injured and was replaced by Craig Thomson.

It knocked them out of their stride and seemed to bring a halt to the momentum they'd built up.

Dumbarton started to ease their way into the game and Craig Barr was afforded a free header at goal which Long saved.

It was a let off for the home side, but they weren't afforded another when shortly after the break Dumbarton opened the scoring through Dowie.

Gallagher's arrived soon afterwards when East Fife gave away a needless corner and Gallagher was first to meet the delivery.

Afterwards boss Darren Young said: “We were totally in control and then Kev goes off injured and it changed the game a bit.

“The last bit of the first half they started coming into the game and were the better team but I didn’t feel they caused us too many problems.

“But at the start of the second half they get a corner and score from it with a free header, which is something we spoke about last season and is something we’re speaking about again."

East Fife: Long, Dunsmore, Dunlop, Slattery, Smith (Thomson 18, Watt 67), Agnew, McBride (Court 79), Davidson, Meggatt, Currie.

Subs: Couser, Kane, Trialist, Bell.

Dumbarton: Adam, Ballantyne (Little 49), Dyer, Dowie, Carswell, Hutton, Gallagher (Thomson 71), Forbes (B Barr 80), Paton, Loy, C Barr.

Subs: McGowan.

Att: 525.

Ref: Grant Irvine.