East Fife 2-1 Alloa Athletic

The Methil men got back on track with a win over Alloa.
The Methil men got back on track with a win over Alloa.

There's no understating how big a win this was for East Fife at Bayview.

Without a victory since the end of November, the side had seen itself slip out of the promotion play-off places and down to seventh in the league.

Saturday's visitors, on the other hand, have had their fortunes improve and headed into the game in third place and seven points above the Fifers.

It was crucial East Fife didn't give up any more ground in their pursuit of a top four place to one of their rivals for what is likely to be only two available places with Ayr and Raith Rovers almost out of sight.

With Nathan Flanagan and Ben Reilly departing the club during the week, Darren Young's side was stretched but at the same time probably at its fullest strength.

Kevin Smith returned for a place on the bench as did Greg Hurst who has now completed his loan spell.

The signs weren't good for East Fife as Alloa camped themselves out in the home half.

They should have taken the lead and would have had it not been for a terrific point blank save from Ryan Goodfellow to deny Kevin Cawley.

East Fife eventually woke from their slumber without any damage being done and Chris Duggan tested Neil Parry.

The opening goal wasn't long in arriving and, if truth be told, there was an element of good fortune about it when Mark Lamont's cross dropped over Parry's head and into his far corner.

Lamont claimed after the game that he meant it and, whether or not he did, it was probably the kind of luck which has escaped Young's men recently.

But they were unable to build on it with Aaron Dunsmore and Lamont again going close.

The missed chances came back to sting the Fifers as the Wasps drew level thanks to a scrappy Adam Martin effort.

It was a real suckerpunch to the home side but, to their credit, they refused to let it knock them out of their stride.

After a decent spell of pressure in the Alloa half Mark Docherty wrapped up the win with a superb finish, curling his strike beyond Parry and nicely into the corner of the net.

Boss Young said: “We got a good clean sheet last week at Airdrie and that’s helped us kick on and get the three points against Alloa.

“If we continue the way we’ve been playing lately and being hard to beat we’ll get at teams.”

East Fife - Goodfellow, Dunsmore, Docherty, Kane, Page, Lamont, Slattery, Duggan, Wilkie (Smith 76), Millar, Linton.

Subs - M Hurst, G Hurst, Wilson, Willis.

Alloa - Parry, Taggart, Crane (Martin 36), Graham, Fleming (Malcolm 76), Robertson, Stewart, Hetherington, Renton, Cawley, Flanagan.

Subs - McKeown, Hoggan, Cunningham, Goodwin, Wilson.

Ref - Scott Millar.

Att - 492.