Fifers can’t build on Austin’s opener

Gary Naysmith said he'd be investigating an approach for Nathan Austin.
Gary Naysmith said he'd be investigating an approach for Nathan Austin.

Gary Naysmith admitted his side hadn’t done enough in the second 45 to merit taking all three points.

East Fife were pegged back by Stirling Albion at Bayview after Nathan Austin had handed the Methil men a first half lead.

Willie Robertson, though, ensured a share of the spoils following a much improved second half performance from Stirling Albion.

“Reflecting on it, I’m relieved we didn’t get beaten,” said Naysmith.

“The players, from one to 11, need to be honest and say we never got going.

“It was nothing to do with tactics, or formation or shape.

“They put us under a lot of pressure in the second half and I don’t think we deserved to win the game.”

The Fifers set up to attack with both Nathan Austin and Kevin Smith up top.

And from the start it was the Fifers who got off on the front foot as their attacking intentions pinned Stirling back in their own half.

Nathan Austin and Craig Murray got in each other’s way from a Scott Mercer cross before Pat Slattery’s drive flew inches past the post.

The Fifers continued to create the better of the openings and only a stunning point blank stop from Chris Smith stopped Austin from grabbing the opener.

A goal was coming and it was little surprise when it duly arrived a couple of minutes later.

Ross McGeachie was short with his passback and the ever alert Austin took advantage.

He raced in on Smith’s goal and casually lobbed the ‘keeper.

Binos started the second half much the better and McGeachie went close to levelling things with a header.

Ross Forsyth was next to be afforded a sight of goal but he fluffed his chance.

It was little surprise when the equaliser came just after the hour mark.

Willie Robertson shifted his feet well inside the East Fife box and prodded the ball past Ryan Goodfellow.

Robertson headed for an early bath in the closing moments after picking up his second booking.

The Bayview boss added that he’d be looking further into an unofficial approach made for striker Nathan Austin.

Austin, the gaffer said, was called late on Friday evening by an agent claiming to be working on behalf of a Premier League club.

“To approach him unofficially and direct like that is bang out of order so I’m going to be looking into that - it’s not right,” said Naysmith.

“Managers have got in touch with me and asked to be kept in the loop and that’s the way you do it.

“You don’t get a third party phoning up the night before the game and saying ‘listen, would you be interested in some sort of trial’ or whatever.”