East Fife 2-1 East Stirlingshire

Sean Dickson
Sean Dickson

It may not have been pretty, in fact is most definitely was not pretty, but that’s an irrelevance as East Fife maintained their 2015 unbeaten record.

The visitors themselves have been impressive of late, racking up wins over a resurgent Elgin and a title chasing Albion Rovers.

Both sides were clearly going into the game high on confidence, but neither really demonstrated a willingness to show that as the ball was hoofed from one end of Bayview to the other.

It was going to take something special to separate the two sides on a night that wasn’t for the purists and, luckily for the Fife support, it was their side which just had that extra touch of class about them.

While all the pre-match talk may have focused on former Celtic striker Derek Riordan’s appearance on the bench - the post match discussion centred only on Sean Dickson’s match winning strikes.

His first came on the stroke of half time when, with the East Stirlingshire defence backing off him, he rifled home a stunning effort which dipped under Richard Barnard’s crossbar.

The goal failed to spark the game into life, though, as both sides - for whatever reason - just failed to show any sort of creativity or tempo.

East Fife attempted to inject some impetus into proceedings by introducing Riordan from the bench and, while clearly short of match practice, he showed glimpses of what a capture he could be for Gary Naysmith’s side.

And it was Riordan who created East Fife’s second goal when his free-kick was squared to Dickson on the edge of the box.

The winger swung at fresh air with his first attempt on goal but luckily the ball didn’t venture far from him and he made amends by firing high into Barnard’s top corner with his second go.

To be fair to East Stirlingshire they made a real go of it in the second half and ensured a nervy ending to the game when they managed to bundle the ball home for a consolation in the dying moments.

Bayview boss Gary Naysmith said: “That was dreadful to play in so I don’t know what it was like to watch.

“But I said to the players that I was delighted to win it scrappy because those are the sort of games we’ve been losing.

“When we drew 1-1 with them earlier in the season they had improved a lot so I’m happy to get the win.

“It’s a nice feeling to win when you’re not really playing well.”

The boss also hailed the attitude of Riordan, revealing after the game that he arrived in Methil knowing his wife was only hours away from giving birth.

He added: “His wife is due and was four centimetres gone this afternoon.

“He still came and played and couldn’t even have a shower because he got a text telling him to get to the hospital now.

“It says a lot about him that he wanted to drop down the level that we are and basically play for his petrol money.

“He played for next to nothing and showed glimpses of what he can do.

“I spoke with Mark Burchill at Livingston where he has been training and also Barry Smith at Alloa where he was playing and both of them didn’t have a bad word to say about him.

“Hopefully we’ll have him for Saturday.”