East Fife off and running after first win of new season

Cedric Tuta manages to find a way past Paul Sheerin.
Cedric Tuta manages to find a way past Paul Sheerin.

East Fife secured their first win in league or cup competition with a hard earned, but deserved, 2-1 win over Arbroath.

The Fifers have had to contend with a difficult start to the season with a cup pairing against Championship side Morton and Fife rivals Dunfermline Athletic in their opening few fixtures.

And with a trip to Ibrox around the corner on Saturday, the Methil side would have known the importance of taking something from Paul Sheerin’s visitors.

Both sides created chances in the opening few minutes, with Steven Milne forcing a save out of Fife ‘keeper Michael Andrews.

The play swung from end to end and East Fife’s Jonny Stewart really should have opened the scoring when he was allowed a free header from six yards.

The midfielder, though, somehow cleared the bar with his effort.

Sheerin’s men were clearly down to try and wrestle the points away from East Fife and were determined to bag the opener.

Colin Hamilton was next to test Andrews with a header which dropped into the side netting.

Craig Johnstone had upset the visiting fans through his involvement in a series of incidents and he hardly bought himself any favour with the Red Lichties faithful when he had a hand in the opener.

The Fife skipper’s corner kick was fired into the box absolutely perfectly and met by the in-coming Scott Durie, who bulleted a header home.

Johnstone had a part to play in East Fife’s second as well when he jinked his way into the box, only to be brought down by Hamilton.

The Arbroath defender saw a straight red and Liam Buchanan stepped up to slot the penalty home.

Willie Aitchison’s side looked to be heading into the break with a comfortable two goal lead, only for them to ship a goal on the stroke of half time.

Arbroath were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box which Alan Cook rifled past Andrews.

To their credit, the visitors quickly forgot about having a man less and pressed on in search of an equaliser.

Milne again went close for the visitors before Durie had to clear off his own goal line.

A nervous end to the game was assured when Durie then saw red following two bookings.

Needless to say, this only fired up Sheerin’s men further but, despite a closing spell of pressure, which was added to after a serious-looking injury to Cook, they weren’t really able to test Andrews again and snatch a point.