East Fife 1-2 Raith Rovers

East Fife were left sickened and stunned after Raith completed a late comeback at Bayview.

Saturday, 30th March 2019, 7:10 pm
Updated Saturday, 30th March 2019, 7:48 pm
Raith won the final Fife derby of the campaign.

Kevin Smith's first half opener looked to have sealed all three points for the Methil club despite a backs to the wall performance as Raith turned the screw in the second half.

But not only did Raith's dominance after the break result in them grabbing an equaliser, they would go on to snatch the full three points in the closing seconds.

It was a defeat which now leaves the Fifers clinging to their place inside the top four by their fingernails.

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They hold a three point cushion over Montrose, but Mo's game in hand could see them pull level or, with a high win, overtake the Methil men.

Airdrieonians are just a point further behind, making Saturday's game at the Penny Cars Stadium all the more crucial for Darren Young's side.

Seven days later Montrose visit Bayview, make no mistake these are a massive couple of weeks for East Fife.

It's imperative the Fifers don't dwell on Saturday's suckerpunch and instead use it to fire them up and motivate them to get across the finishing line.

Everything is still in East Fife's hands.

But their cause would have been made that little bit easier had they been able to hang on for an extra five minutes against Raith.

Smith had put East Fife into a more than merited lead at the break.

The first half had seen East Fife gradually grow into the game and go on to totally dominate.

But it was a game of two halves, and the Kirkcaldy side had by far the better of the second.

They were wasteful in possession, though, with a series of misplaced passes and crosses sailing out of the park frustrating the travelling support.

East Fife were made to defend deep, but they were doing it well until the closing few minutes.

Raith were allowed to work space down the left wing and a cross into the box was met flush by centre half Iain Davidson who rattled home a finish his strikers would be proud of.

The leveller stunned the home side, but worse was to come.

John McGlynn's men could sense there was still something in the game for them, and they grabbed the winner when Kevin Nisbet nodded home a loose ball.

It was a blow for Fife boss Darren Young.

He said: “It’s down to basic errors.

“Their player puts a cross in and we’re all over the place.

“It’s down to individuals not picking up their men but for 85 minutes we dealt with it."