East Fife champions after 0-0 draw

Nathan Austin celebrates with brother Jordan following East Fife's title win.
Nathan Austin celebrates with brother Jordan following East Fife's title win.

To borrow a footballing cliche, being a fan of a lower league club can be a real ‘test of character’ at times.

By its very nature, the standard on display isn’t the best; stadiums and facilities haven’t changed much since the 80s and any dream of top domestic sliverware is the kind of fantasy better left to Walt Disney.

So why do they do it?

Why do men, women and children, of their own free will, with barely a few hundred others, put themselves through it every week?

Why do East Fife fans in particular sit in a freezing Bayview with the wind whipping in from the Forth in the middle of January?

Why? To cheer THEIR club on and help create experiences like today.

If the feeling the over 550 East Fife fans at Broadwood experienced when ref Colin Steven blew his whistle for full-time could be bottled, it would sell by the bucket load.

That feeling of ecstasy, the adrenalin, the knowledge that their side is the best - the champions, is why fans pick up their scarf each week to support their club.

East Fife are that club.

A return to League One was confirmed this afternoon as Gary Naysmith’s side wrapped up the League Two title at Clyde.

They knew a win would be enough, it was a win they didn’t get but didn’t need to.

The Fifers have been on such a good run of form of late that, although they could have wrapped up the title themselves, the chasing pack, sitting some way back, had no margin for error.

Clyde couldn’t beat the Fifers so their hopes were dashed while Annan and Queen’s Park also couldn’t keep their title dream alive.

In a league that’s notoriously tight, East Fife may well go on to win it by a double digit margin and that’s a credit to the side’s consistency since the turn of the year.

The Fifers wanted to make sure of the title win themselves by seeing off Clyde.

Nathan Austin went close as did Stevie Campbell, but it was a day of few chances.

As the clock ticked down towards the end of the 90, eyes were trained both on the park and results elsewhere.

There was to be no twist in the tale.

East Fife were crowned champions; worthy ones at that.

The fans spilled on to the pitch, they celebrated with the players, backroom staff, management and directors.

It’s what being a lower league football fan is all about.