Fife set high standards

Aaron Dunsmore makes a break from Raith's Lewis Vaughan. Pic by Walter Neilson.
Aaron Dunsmore makes a break from Raith's Lewis Vaughan. Pic by Walter Neilson.

East Fife didn’t get the result they wanted at Stark’s Park on Saturday - but this time there were no complaints about the performance.

The Fifers were given a 5-0 hammering by Raith when the two sides met in the first League One fixture between the two sides earlier in the season.

Speaking with the players and manager after that game you could tell they were hurting, and would have had last Saturday’s game circled in the calendar since.

Apart from a period in the first when, crucially, Raith scored the only goal of the game, the Fifers had the bulk of play and will feel Lewis Vaughan’s winner was preventable.

Naturally disappointed with the loss, Young was able to take far more positives from this game than the previous fixture.

He said: “It’s frustrating that we didn’t take anything from the game but the way we played and competed was a lot better than last time.

“Everything we asked the players to do, like force them wide, they did.

“We defended a lot better and I think young Jordan Piggott has played a big part since he came in.

“Mark Docherty was also asked to come a bit deeper and it didn’t allow Raith Rovers to really play.

“We’ve been able to keep the same back four as well which helps.

“Getting that consistency in defence is a big thing for any team.

“But up front as well we had three or four really good chances too.”

Injury to Greg Hurst and Kyle Wilkie’s snubbed appeal against his red card in the Arbroath game, meant the team opened up and presented opportunities for fringe players to impress.

Mark Lamont, arguably East Fife’s man-of-the-match at Stark’s Park, had taken that chance against the Red Lichties and was rewarded with another starting jersey.

But one player who largely came completely out of the cold in Kirkcaldy was Ben Reilly, handed a rare start by the Fifers.

From the first minute the former Hamilton midfielder looked neat, tidy and comfortable in possession as East Fife went toe to toe with the title favourites.

“Ben has had to wait a while to get his chance,” said his gaffer.

“But he has always worked hard and brought an energy to us on Saturday.

“He did well.”

East Fife will aim to continue their recent high standards when they make the trip to face Forfar at Station Park on Saturday.

The Loons hoisted themselves off bottom spot at the weekend with an impressive 4-3 win over Albion Rovers.

New manager Jim Weir is clearly having a positive effect, but Fife boss Young knows his squad has the quality to return to Methil with full points.

He said: “Jim Weir’s teams are always hard working and really well organised.

“But we’ll be looking to take our recent performances into the game and build on them.”

East Fife are expected to be without Greg Hurst for the next couple of weeks while Kyle Wilkie is suspended.

Chris Kane, Scott Linton and Craig Watson may also miss out.