Fifers must start better

Chris Kane causes problems for the Ayr defence during Saturday's defeat at Ayr. Picture by Jim Corstorphine.
Chris Kane causes problems for the Ayr defence during Saturday's defeat at Ayr. Picture by Jim Corstorphine.

Darren Young admitted there was no case for the defence after they slipped to a 3-0 defeat at the home of title hopefuls Ayr.

The Fife boss was left frustrated by the manner in which Ayr got their goals at the weekend - the first coming with just a few minutes on the clock.

The match followed a similar pattern to the Raith game earlier in the season, with East Fife losing an early goal and then finding themselves largely penned back in their own half.

A second half red card to captain Jonathan Page didn’t help matters either.

The returning defender was penalised for a high challenge in the second half

Young said: “The first goal came from a corner and was really soft from our point of view.

“We work on it and the players know where they all should be.

“Mark has to make the save and then they maybe get a wee bit of luck with the finish.

“It’s frustrating because we work on a few things at training and then after a few minutes you’re a goal down.

“That’s twice we’ve gone into games against full-time teams on the back of two good wins but have lost early goals.”

There’s no doubt the results against Raith and Ayr have been disappointing, but overall the manager is content with how his squad has competed this season.

The Fifers head into the international break just one place outside the promotion play-off zone and only four points behind the second place Honest Men.

There’s no league fixture for the Methil men on Saturday, who have instead scheduled a Fife Cup tie against Cowdenbeath rather than stay idle.

League One business will resume the following Saturday when Young’s former club, Albion Rovers visit Bayview.

A win for East Fife will see them go level on points with Brian Kerr’s side.

“We set ourselves targets at the start of the season and if we beat Albion Rovers then we’re pretty much on track for where we wanted to be,” said Young.

Cowdenbeath, bossed by former Methil manager Billy Brown, visit on Saturday having made a disapointing start to their campaign.

Young has welcomed the challenge match, saying it will allow some players the chance of a rest after a hectic start to the new season, while others, who haven’t been given much of a run in the starting XI, will be given needed game time.

“I’m quite looking forward to the game,” said the Fife manager.

“It’ll give us a chance to use the squad and a few of the boys who haven’t been playing will get their chance.

“It’ll be good to get straight back on the park after the Ayr game and get that out of our system as well.”

Club captain Kevin Smith, who has been missing the entire season following a close season operation, is expected to play some part in the cup tie.

Young has also confirmed the club will not be challenging Jonathan Page’s red card at the weekend.

Page looked harshly dealt with when he was shown a straight red card following a second half challenge but the Young, after speaking with the club chairman Jim Stevenson, has decided to accept the decision.

Saturday’s Fife Cup tie at Bayview kicks off at 1pm.