Fifers hit bottom after two goal Stranraer defeat

Liam Buchanan finds himself crowded out by the Stranraer defence.
Liam Buchanan finds himself crowded out by the Stranraer defence.

Another poor performance saw East Fife fall to bottom spot in the division, losing out to one goal in each half.

There were several changes to the starting line-up – Stevie Campbell, Jonny Stewart, Paul Willis, Pat Clarke and Scott McBride replacing Alex Ducot, Joe Mbu, Scott Durie, Nathan Austin and Cedric Tuta.

In the early stages, the visitors looked quite comfortable in possession and had a couple of attempts.

A Robbie Neilson pass gave Paul Willis the opportunity to cross but Pat Clarke’s shot was well off target.

His forward partner, too, had an attempt, following a through ball from Gary Naysmith, but Liam Buchanan’s effort did not trouble Mitchell in the home goal.

Former Fife youth player Martin Grehan showed that the home sides direct approach could prove dangerous when he got on the end of a Winter pass and tested Greg Paterson.

Midway through the half the bottom of the league side took the lead.

Another through ball from Stirling saw Paterson and Gary Thom get in each other’s road and the loose ball fell for Grehan who had the simplest of tasks to side-foot home with no challenge. The Fifers tried to get back into the game but the home side continued to have more possession getting the ball forward at every opportunity. Grehan had another chance when he found space on the edge of the penalty area, but his effort was wide of the target.

When the second goal looked a real possibility East Fife’s attempts to get forward had little threat to them.

However, a Craig Johnstone run looked promising but his final ball trying to set up Buchanan was cut out.

As half time approached, McBride had a shot when he cut in from the flank, but his effort summed up his side’s performance. The visitors returned after the break and looked a bit more likely. Willis tried a shot from distance but was off target then Buchanan tried to dribble his way into the danger area but was dispossessed inside the box.

Stranraer looked to have survived East Fife’s surge as McKenna tested Paterson and soon after came the clincher. Just after the hour mark a through ball by Stirling found substitute Longworth who took his chance to double the home side’s lead.

Tuta replaced the injured Naysmith, with Brown and Austin also coming on for Stewart and Clarke.

A Willis and McBride move got the ball into Tuta but the big Frenchman was caught in possession when perhaps a pass to Buchanan would have paid dividends.