East Fife condemned to derby day despair

Ryan Wallace of East Fife strikes the bar with a free kick against Cowdenbeath at Central Park, Sept 2011. Cowdenbeath won 3-2
Ryan Wallace of East Fife strikes the bar with a free kick against Cowdenbeath at Central Park, Sept 2011. Cowdenbeath won 3-2

THE season’s first derby day saw East Fife lose their third league match in a row, having conceded 12 goals in the process.

A promising start was superseded by a Cowdenbeath comeback, which eventually saw the points remain at Central Park.

It has to be said luck was hardly on East Fife’s side, with two own goals conceded and two efforts off the woodwork - but the ‘goals against’ column tells its own story.

East Fife started the game on the offensive and it paid off after only three minutes. Matthew Park fed Rob Ogleby after a run and his crisp pass was right delivered right into Ryan Wallace’s path. He comprehensively beat Bejaoui, in the home goal, from 20 yards for a stunning opener.

The Welsh cap then tried on his own after a David Muir pass but his angled shot went over the bar.

The home side hit back and Ridgers reacted quickly, leaving his line, to smother before Linton could reach the ball. The keeper then made a save from Stewart.

Cowdenbeath got back on level terms when a long ball forward seemed to be under control by Scott Durie.

There appeared to be a slight push in his back, which saw him fall to the ground, and Stewart was left on his own to beat Ridgers, despite the appeals from the visitors.

East Fife almost retook the lead when an Ogleby free kick came out after hitting the crossbar.

Cowdenbeath then hit woodwork when Linton drove against the post and Ridgers again had to be on his guard when he saved from a Stewart shot and a little later pushed a Linton attempt over.

David Muir had a long range effort that was not too far away before a Park cross caused problems for the home defence. Just prior to the interval, Darren Smith went close from 25 yards.

The first goalmouth action of the second period saw a Craig Johnstone cross being spilled by Bejaoui but there was no East Fife player close enough to take advantage.

Cowden took the lead fortuitously after 51 minutes when a cross that seemed destined to go out for a goal kick hit Park and ended up in the visitors’ net.

Cowden were having the better of things by this stage and Ridgers did really well to save from Stewart.

However, a free kick to East Fife saw Scott Durie’s kick not properly cleared and David Muir slotted home from 12 yards out to even things up just after the hour mark.

The tiring Smith was replaced by Robert Sloan and a few minutes later the ineffectual Bobby Linn was replaced by Scott Dalziel.

Ridgers had to be at his very best when he finger-tipped a Stewart effort over the bar to keep the game all square.

With 15 minutes left, the home side took the lead for the second time when Robertson’s free kick cannoned off a defender in the wall and caught Ridgers on the wrong foot.

As near as the Fifers were going to come to equalising followed with a Wallace free kick, which came back off the woodwork.

Cowdenbeath ‑ Bejaoui, Brett, Adamson, Cameron, Armstrong, O’Brien, Morton (McKenzie 62), Robertson, Linton, Stewart, Naismith. Subs (not used) Coull, Winter, Cowan, Flynn.

East Fife ‑ Ridgers, Durie, Park, Ovenstone, White, Muir, Linn (Dalziel 72), Smith (Sloan 68), Ogleby, Wallace, Johnstone (McQuade 80). Subs (not used) Cook, Brown.

Referee ‑ B. Madden.

Attendance ‑ 540.

Starcheck ‑ Ridgers 3 points, Wallace 2, Durie 1. Starcheck table - Ryan Wallace 13, Bobby Linn 11, Scott Durie 7, Michael Brown 6, Rob Ogleby 6, Craig Johnstone 4, Steve Campbell 3, Matthew Park 3, Mark Ridgers 3, John Ovenstone 2, Steve Hislop 1, Lloyd Young 1.