East Fife 3-1 Stranraer

Pat Slattery put East Fife into the lead early in the second half. Stock image.
Pat Slattery put East Fife into the lead early in the second half. Stock image.

It was the late, late show at Bayview as East Fife struck twice in the closing seconds to take a massive stride towards the play-offs.

With Montrose and Airdrie both getting beat, a point against Stranraer wouldn't have been a complete disaster.

Things got even better, though, thanks to late strikes from Liam Watt and Scott Linton adding to Pat Slattery's opener.

All in, it meant East Fife went eight points clear of fifth place Montrose with a game in hand, against bottom of the table Stenhousemuir, to come on Tuesday.

A win at Bayview against the Warriors will go a long way to confirming Darren Young's side place inside the top four.

After the 3-1 weekend win, the Bayview boss said: “Results went for us as well so it was a great day all round.

“The fitness levels of the boys is brilliant and the competition for places is keeping them on their toes.

“They do that bit extra because they know if they slip out of the team it could take them a bit of time to get back in.”

The first half was largely a non-event with a Grant Anderson header, which he managed to put wide from just a few yards, the only chance of note for either side.

But the second half was the polar opposite of the first.

Within minutes East Fife were ahead when Pat Slattery finished off an Aaron Dunsmore cross at the second attempt.

It was a game which really needed a goal, and Slattery's opener was the catalyst to an exciting second 45.

Anderson blew another chance within moments of East Fife's goal - but the Blues didn't have to wait much longer for their equaliser, Kyle Turner arriving late in the box to finish off a swift move up the park.

Both sides had chances to get their noses in front as play swept from end to end.

With five minutes to go the best chance either had fell to Jonny Court but he sliced his effort high and wide.

It looked as if the Fifers had blown their best chance to win the game.

With the clock ticking even further towards full-time, they were handed another chance at goal, though.

Kevin Smith was bundled to the ground on the edge of the Stranraer box with ref Barry Cook refusing to award a free-kick, but instead giving the Fifers a corner.

Stranraer contested the decision - and probably had a decent argument.

East Fife showed no sympathy, and Scott Agnew's corner was rattled beyond Max Currie by Liam Watt.

There was a sense of relief more than anything around Bayview but things got even better when Scott Linto wrapped up the win with a stunning free-kick from the edge of the box.