East Fife 1-0 Cowdenbeath

Jonathan Page congratulates goal scorer Kevin Smith. Picture by Fife Photo Agency.
Jonathan Page congratulates goal scorer Kevin Smith. Picture by Fife Photo Agency.

In the grand scheme of things the result of this Fife Cup game was completely irrelevant.

What was important was that it gave East Fife boss Gary Naysmith a chance to view the versatility of some of his squad members and give a full 90 minutes to some who have been on the fringes.

Graeme MacGregor was given a good run out, as was Joe McGovern.

From the bench trialist striker Robert Jones was handed a second half chance to impress.

Kieran MacDonald made his debut for the Fifers and did more than enough to show what a valuable addition he’ll be.

The former Hamilton man was comfortable in the ball and quick and keen to go past defenders.

But where East Fife really got value in the friendly was in the performances of players shifted into different positions.

Both Declan O’Kane and Jason Kerr are rarely seen out of defence by the East Fife support.

But on Saturday both were nudged further forward up the park.

O’Kane looked solid and as comfortable as he does in defence as a defensive midfielder.

Kerr’s performance was a complete surprise.

The on-loan St Johnstone youngster at times played almost as an attacking midfielder and on more than one occasion looked capable of finding the net.

But as well as using the match to experiment, there was a game to be won, too.

Cowdenbeath have endured a miserable start to their League One campaign and arrived at Bayview rooted to the bottom of the division.

Their boss Colin Nish also used the game as a chance to experiment and drafted several of the club’s youngsters in to the side.

Having a small squad, the East Fife side wasn’t too far removed from one which you’d see for a league game.

They started the better and then generally looked just that bit sharper than their visitors.

The Cowden defence scrambled to clear efforts away from Nathan Austin and Jonathan Page.

East Fife were pressing and Shaun Hunter was at his best to tip a Kevin Smith lob over the bar.

The ‘keeper went from hero to villain shortly afterwards, though, when he made an absolute hash of collecting Fraser Mullen’s corner.

Hunter flapped at the high ball, with Kevin Smith on hand to take advantage by nodding home.

East Fife had chances to extend their lead.

Ross Brown was unable to get a clean connection on an Austin cutback before the same man was unlucky to see his drive from distance come crashing back off the Cowden crossbar.