Fifers make their point in 0-0 draw

Julen Etxabeguren cruised through his East Fife debut.
Julen Etxabeguren cruised through his East Fife debut.

This game was far from a classic but may prove pivotal to East Fife’s attempts to make a success of 2015.

Visitors Queen’s Park arrived at Bayview very much in the hunt for the League Two title, while Gary Naysmith’s Fifers were trying to grind to a halt a poor run of three straight defeats.

Following the game Naysmith claimed that, as far as he was concerned, Queen’s are the best footballing side in the division.

The Bayview boss added that his squad had sat down with him at the turn of the year and agreed to banish a disappointing 2014 to the past and focus on making a real fist of improving in the league this year.

This point then, against one of the most improved sides in the league, probably serves as a decent foundation to build that improvement on.

Bayview survived a Saturday morning pitch inspection which, given the condition of the surface come 3p.m., must have been simply a formality.

But while the park may have been sound, the swirling, whipping, freezing wind made things almost impossible for the players.

The ball needed to be moved on quickly as any delay in making a pass may have saw the gusts shift it from the players’ toe.

As a result the game was a non-contest with chances few and far between.

Alan Cook did his best to create an opening in the first 45 for East Fife but, with the Queen’s defence back in numbers, he got underneath his strike and the wind needed no encouragement to help it up, beyond the crossbar and into the car park behind the sea wall.

The Fifers kept up their pressure on Willie Muir’s goal and Steven Campbell tried to head home a Caolan McAleer corner.

Campbell’s effort failed to trouble Muir.

Gus MacPherson’s men had their best spell of the game towards the end of the first half but were unable to find a way past Jordan Miller.

Vinny Berry and Ciaran McElroy both cleared the woodwork for MacPherson’s men.

The second half followed the same pattern as the first with chances at a real premium.

As the game went on a winner for either side would have been cruel on the other and there was a sense that both had settled for a hard fought point.

But the Fifers almost nicked it at the very end when substitute Nathan Austin got beyond the Queen’s defence and fed Kevin Smith.

Smith’s drive from a tight angle flashed across Muir’s goal.