Fifers handle the pressure and get back on track

East Fife's players celebrate Derek Riordan's opener.
East Fife's players celebrate Derek Riordan's opener.

East Fife proved their have the bottle for a play-off push as they got things back on track against Arbroath.

The Methil men had tasted two defeats in a row going into the match with things getting incredibly tight in the scrap for fourth spot.

It’s a position the Fifers hold and they showed they are in no mood for giving it up as they handed out a beating to Allan Moore’s men.

Annan, East Stirlingshire and Elgin are all waiting for an East Fife slip up but the Fifers handled that pressure well at the weekend.

Boss Gary Naysmith made a few changes from the team that went down with a whimper seven days before against the Shire.

Jordan Millar, Fraser Mullen, Nathan Austin and Lewis Barr were all handed starts by Naysmith.

And the Fifers started well, with Allan Walker’s header from a Naysmith free-kick clearing the bar by a matter of inches.

Arbroath have been on an in-different run since the turn of the year and the early season pace-setters now find themselves well off the pace in third.

However, with the likes of Bobby Linn and Simon Murray in the team, they are always likely to cause problems.

Murray shaved the post with a drive but, apart from that, the East Fife defenders will be pleased with their work in keeping the on-loan Dundee United forward quiet.

The Fifers were gifted a great chance to take the lead mid-way through the first half when Marc McCallum tripped Ross Brown inside the box.

With Brown turning away from goal, ref Mike Roncone flashed only a yellow at the ‘keeper.

But he made amends for his error by guessing the correct way from Derek Riordan’s penalty kick.

East Fife kept up their attack on the Arbroath goal and were rewarded on the stroke of half-time.

Brown again was fouled, this time on the edge of the box by Kevin Nicoll.

Riordan this time made no mistake from his set-piece by wrong footing McCallum and placing his effort into the bottom corner.

As you’d expect, Arbroath started the second half with some impetus and tried to get themselves level.

In truth they could easily have been 2-1 ahead by 80 minutes.

Mark Whatley was twice guilty of passing up great chances to hit the net.

And the Fifers punished them in the closing moments as they wrapped up a crucial win.

Alan Cook created space for himself on the wing before crossing to Caolan McAleer who made it 2-0.