East Fife 3-2 Brechin City

The Fifers celebrate after Chris Kane doubles their advantage. Picture by George McLuskie.
The Fifers celebrate after Chris Kane doubles their advantage. Picture by George McLuskie.

East Fife bounced straight back to winning ways with an impressive showing over Brechin City.

It was a win which made it nine on the trot without defeat in League One for Barry Smith's side, a run which has saw them muscle into the promotion play-off zone.

It was also a win the Fifers were made to work hard for, despite at one point holding a two goal lead.

After exiting the Scottish Cup last week to St Mirren, it was a test of character to see if the Fifers would shrug off that defeat and pick up from where they left off before that match.

And it was a test they passed with flying colours, doing enough to see off what was a stubborn Brechin resistance.

Kevin Smith opened the scoring in stunning style when he bent a free-kick beyond Graeme Smith and into the top corner of the net.

Brechin barely had time to regroup when the Fifers added a second.

Nicki Paterson's free-kick couldn't be cleared by the visiting defence and Chris Kane took full advantage, prodding the ball home.

The home side looked to be on easy street - but Brechin had other ideas and got themselves back into the match straight away.

Andy Jackson worked space for himself on the edge of the East Fife box and slipped a neat finish beyond Ryan Goodfellow.

The game developed a physical edge and it was one the Fifers had to adapt to quickly.

Their lead was given up completely when a deep cross wasn't dealt with and the ball broke kindly for Willie Dyer who lashed his strike into the back of the net.

It was East Fife's time to compose themselves and regroup but it was a task they handled well.

When looking around the squad for someone you'd want to come off the bench and make an impact then there's nobody you'd want more to turn to than Jamie Insall.

The striker was brought off the bench by boss Barry Smith and what a difference he made.

It didn't take long before he had won East Fife a penalty, his quickness inside the area proving too much for Gareth Rodger to handle, with the Brechin defender clipping the forward.

Ref David Munro pointed to the spot and Chris Duggan stepped up to net his third penalty in two games.

The game ended on a sour note when firstly Alan Trouten and then Nicki Paterson were given straight reds for challenges Munro reckoned were over the top.

Boss Smith said: “We were made to work hard for it because Brechin put us under a lot of pressure.

“From our point of view at 2-0 we could have made the game a lot easier.

“Credit to Brechin for fighting back.

“But it showed the spirit in the team again after they pegged us back from 2-0."