East Fife 3-4 Dumbarton

Liam Watt breaks forward for East Fife. Pic by Kenny Mackay.
Liam Watt breaks forward for East Fife. Pic by Kenny Mackay.

Darren Young correctly summed up this 90 minutes as the stereotypical "game of two halves" following the conclusion of this cracker.

The game had it all, seven goals, a sending off and a hat-trick.

Sadly for East Fife, it also saw visitors Dumbarton in rampant form, racing into a three goal lead at the break.

It looked like game over, but boss Young had a few choice words with his side and inspired a second half fightback which was impressive, but came up just short.

Not to make excuses, but the preparation was disrupted pre-match with the influential Craig Watson and Ross Dunlop both failing late fitness tests on Saturday morning.

The two are key men for the Fifers, but handed opportunities to Chris Kane and Kyle Bell to step in.

East Fife started the game ok, and had a decent chance through Anton Dowds which was blocked by Grant Adam.

That was as good as it would get for the home side in an opening half which turned into the Dom Thomas show.

The winger was a stand-out and lashed his side into the lead when he picked up a neat Calum Gallagher knock on.

Thomas returned the favour when he split the Fife defence open and found Gallagher who slotted past Brett Long.

It almost looked like game, set, match on the stroke of half-time when Thomas curled a sublime effort beyond the Fife goalie.

East Fife have recovered from a heavy deficit before this season and knew they'd have to do it again if they were to take anything from the game.

That uphill struggle was made a little easier when Pat Slattery blasted home from close range barely 10 minutes into the second half.

As soon as the net rippled you could sense Bayview believed a comeback was on the cards and Slattery soon turned provider for Kevin Smith to nod home from close range.

The tails were up but just four minutes later the outstanding Thomas completed his hat-trick with a sublime solo goal.

It gave the visitors a two goal cushion again, but it proved to be far from comfortable, Anton Dowds making it 4-3 within moments.

The equaliser seemed there for the taking, but East Fife's task was made that bit harder when Chris Kane was shown a straight red for a kick out at Thomas.

Boss Young said: “The second half was much better, we scored the three goals, put in some great balls, great deliveries, showed a lot of composure and won headers.

“It was great from that point of view and if we had that in the first 15-20 minutes of the game then it might have been a different story."