EAST Fife were worthy winners over Ayr - but even their dominance didn’t stop the side giving their fans a nervy final few moments.
Goals from Ryan Wallace, Scott Durie and Bobby Linn sealed the win, with Michael Moffat twice replying for the visitors.
However, the scoreline possibly gives a false impression on how close the game was, as John Robertson’s side dominated throughout.
Wallace could have had a first half hat-trick, but after passing up two decent opportunities was third time lucky with his strike.
Scott Durie made it two when the dithering Ayr backline allowed him too much space to advance and bend a strike around Alan Martin.
Ayr looked a shadow of the side who had, until recently, been pressing Livingston for the league title.
However, they did manage to grab an unexpected lifeline as the clock ticked down in the first half when forward Moffat picked up Mark Roberts’ strike and turned in past Michael Brown.
But any fears the 350 Fife fans may have had about a second-half collapse were quickly dashed when, only a couple of minutes after the break, Linn restored the two-goal advantage.
Wallace managed to hit the bye-line and cut back for the on-coming midfielder, who made no mistake from close range.
The game had been a cracker and the Fifers were determined not to let the drama end there.
Fans were left biting their nails when first hitman Roberts was allowed a strike from the penalty spot - which he missed - and then Moffat bagged a late second.
East Fife - Michael Brown, Durie, Ovenstone, McGowan, Park, Linn, Muir, Young, McCulloch, Hislop (Cargill 82), Wallace. Subs (not used) Lyness, Smart, Fagan, Ross Brown.
Ayr - Martin, Tiffoney, McCann, Donnelly, Smith, Rodgers (Easton 76), Trouten, McLaughlin, Bannigan, Moffat, Roberts.Subs (not used) Crawford, Woodburn, Robertson.
Attendance - 350.
Referee - Charlie Richmond
Starcheck ratings - Wallace 3 points, Brown 2, Ovenstone 1.