Fifers presented with little trouble in 3-0 win

Nathan Austin celebrates after netting East Fife's third goal.
Nathan Austin celebrates after netting East Fife's third goal.

If Scotland were presented with in international ‘gimme’ against Gibraltar on Sunday, then the Fifers were given their League Two equivalent 24 hours earlier.

It’s safe to say Montrose have posed little difficulty for East Fife this season.

The Bayview club’s 2014-15 record against the Gable Endies reads: played four; won four; scored 13; conceded zero.

Again on Saturday the visitors were swatted aside by an East Fife side looking to get back on track after a Tuesday night 4-1 defeat to Berwick.

At the moment if there’s one fixture you want after a trouncing it’s a visit from the league’s bottom side to your own patch.

Any hint of a second slip-up never looked likely as East Fife were, again, simply too good for Montrose.

With a clutch of teams all waiting to pounce on any East Fife error and hop into fourth place, the Fifers appear to be handling that particular pressure very well.

They started off on the front foot and took a deserved lead through Nathan Austin.

Austin had already gone close after connecting with a Gary Naysmith cross but the same duo combined soon after.

Naysmith’s free-kick was held up in the strong, swirling wind at Bayview and headed home at the back post by Austin.

The goal appeared to deflate a Montrose side which now looks heavy odds on to be playing in a relegation play-off scrap at the end of the season.

When things aren’t going for you at that end of the table then they really don’t going for you and the visitors handed East Fife the game’s crucial second goal.

Kevin Smith burst into the heart of the Montrose defence but, with defenders getting back in numbers, attempted to square the ball to Austin.

Instead, though, the ball was met by the on-coming Paul Watson who, presumably, tried to clear for a corner.

The Montrose man only succeeded in thumping low into his own net.

It was job done as far as East Fife were concerned.

To their credit Montrose continued to press forward but were just given absolutely no change out of Jonathan Page and Stevie Campbell.

Naysmith played a high back line despite the strong wind, confident that any ball over the top for Gary Wood and Ross Campbell to chase could easily be caught and dealt with by the pacey Fife pair.

East Fife wrapped up the win with a third goal which, again, was a shocker from the visitors.

Marvin Andrews was woefully short with a pass back and allowed Austin to nip in and chip Stuart McKenzie.