Fifers battle for crucial victory

Collin Samuel (hidden) scores East Fife's first goal.
Collin Samuel (hidden) scores East Fife's first goal.

EAST Fife were made to work for Saturday’s three points which were secured thanks to goals early in each half from Collin Samuel.

In truth, the visitors possibly deserved to take something from the game, with Rovers boss Todd Lumsden claiming afterwards he felt his side had the overwhelming majority of possession.

But that matters not one jot, as it was Billy Brown’s men who secured the win.

The visitors have a good record at Bayview in recent times, so East Fife will have been grateful for Samuel’s swift opener.

Rovers ‘keeper Matthew McGinley possibly could have done a bit better from an East Fife corner and the ball fell kindly for Samuel, who turned and fired home.

But rather than East Fife going on to build on the opener, it was the visitors who did most of the pressing, with Calum Antell blocking a Christie Elliot strike.

Gary Phillips was the next to test Antell with a volley which whistled wide.

But it wasn’t all one-way traffic and Paul Willis, playing in a more forward role, should have done better when he was sent clean through on McGinley’s goal.

Willis was also unlucky with an overhead kick which the ‘keeper held, before being denied a third time by the goalie shortly before the break.

The Fifers returned from the dressing room with a renewed sense of impetus and weren’t long in going two up.

Some good play down the flank allowed Bobby Barr to tee up Samuel, who again made no mistake from close range.

To be fair to Lumsden’s side, they continued to battle and play well.

Elliot nodded a header wide when it looked easier to score before Jamie Pollock had to clear a Christopher Dallas header off the goal line.

But the Fifers held on, with boss Brown saying the previous two games, which saw East Fife play the majority of the time with 10 men, had taken their toll on this men.

East Fife – Antell, Durie, McCormack (Sloan 85), Muir, Forster, Campbell, Barr, Willis, Samuel, Smith (Gormley 88), McBride (Pollock 70). Subs – Jamieson, Brown.

Albion Rovers – McGinley, Reid, Boyle, Stevenson, Trialist, Donnelly, Crawford (Howarth 55), Marriott (Stevenson 88), Dallas, Elliott, Phillips. Subs – Crooks, Innes, McWilliams.

Referee – Calum Murray.

Attendance – 486.

Starcheck ratings – Forster 3 points, Campbell 2, Samuel 1.

Starcheck table – Bobby Barr 22, Michael Brown 13, David Muir 12, Calum Antell 10, Darren Smith 8, Paul Willis 8, Scott McBride 7, Robert Sloan 7, Jordon Forster 6, Collin Samuel 6, Scott Durie 5, Paul McManus 5, Jamie Pollock 5, Steven Campbell 3, Darren McCormack 3, Gareth Wardlaw 3, Andy Collier 2, Liam Gormley 2, Scott Smith 2, Ross Brown 1, Sean Jamieson 1, Craig Johnstone 1.