East Fife in fine fettle over Falkirk

East Fife's Collin Samuel and Falkirk's Tyler Fulton
East Fife's Collin Samuel and Falkirk's Tyler Fulton

THERE is a general consensus that results in pre-season don’t matter, but there can also be no doubt about the confidence a 2-0 scoreline like this help to create.

A victory is a victory and Gordon Durie and his side will have been as pleased with this one as any

The Falkirk side was billed as being an XI but the men from the First Division included veteran Darren Dodds and regulars including Craig Sibbald in their starting line-up.

For East Fife, the game gave Durie a final chance to run the rule over trialists Bob Malcolm, Collin Samuel, Alex King and Sean Jamieson.

Again, all impressed, and with the manager saying after the game that he may bring in as many as four new players, each will be confident of a deal.

King was again solid in the midfield while Jamieson looked mobile and strong up front.

The experienced duo of Malcolm and Samuel simply strolled through the game – with both managing to get themselves on the scoresheet.

Jamieson was the first to test Graham Bowman’s goal when he turned Dodds on the edge of the box before firing a shot goalwards, which the ‘keeper held.

The trialist forward had done his case to win a permanent deal no harm at all with a fine goal against Dunfermline and looked hungry to grab another.

He again tested Bowman after once more turning his marker on the edge of the box and releasing a shot on target.

East Fife were completely dominating their visitors and should have taken the lead when Samuel hit the post, with the ball falling kindly for David Muir, who fired wide from just a few yards out.

Michael Brown was largely redundant throughout the half but was called on to pull off a fine save from a Dodds header.

The big centre-half had managed to get an effort in on target, which Brown managed to claw away from the underside of the bar.

But the Fifers eventually snatched the game’s opening goal shortly before the break.

King fired in a corner which Muir connected with and knocked into the path of Samuel, who turned and thumped his strike past Bowman.

The goal was nothing more than East Fife deserved for their dominance in the first half.

Durie made several changes at half-time, bringing on Malcolm, among others.

The home side continued to control the game after the break and were unlucky not to add a second through Muir.

The midfielder picked up a loose ball 25 yards from goal and smashed a shot towards goal which came cannoning back off the post.

One of East Fife’s half-time subs, ‘keeper Andy Collier, proved the club is in safe hands should anything happen to Michael Brown, with a couple of confident saves.

The second goal of the game came when the Fifers were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the Falkirk box.

Malcolm stepped up and made his strike look far too easy when he floated an effort in and beyond Bowman.

Following the match, boss Durie said he was pleased with the performance and result.

“It was another good work out for us,” he said.

“We had a game on Thursday night so it’s sometimes difficult to play two in such a short space of time, but I was happy with that.

“We had a few young boys in because we’re still a bit short of players but they came in and did well.”

East Fife – Brown (Collier 45), Durie, Johnstone, Campbell (Malcolm 45), McCormack (White 45) Smith (Brown 62), King, Muir (Gordon 73), Samuel (Martin 67), Jamieson, McBride (McAllister 45).

Subs - Gordon.

Falkirk – Bowman, Rowan (Greene 62), Turnbull, Dodds (McGeever 62), T Fulton, D Fulton, Small, Faulds, White, Grant, Sibbald (Dick 62).

Subs – Comrie, Amos.

Referee – Bobby Madden.