Fifers prove to be six shooters

Paul McManus
Paul McManus

EAST FIFE hit Stranraer for six and clawed their way off the bottom of the table with a ruthless 6-2 demolition job.

The Fifers picked up their first league win since April with an exciting, attacking display, helped by some generous defending from the hapless home side.

Paul McManus almost returned to haunt his old club within the opening 20 minutes of the game.

He found himself clean through and beat Russell Cadwell, only for his shot to hit the left post, spin along the goalmouth and roll wide of the other upright.

That was merely a warning and on-loan Bobby Barr beat the offside trap and kept his cool to roll the ball under the goalkeeper.

Barr then turned provider in finding McManus to rifle home from six yards.

Gordon Chisholm rang the changes from the previous week’s 3-2 defeat against Ayr United.

Scott Durie and Andrew Cook were among those dropping out, while in came Darren McCormack.

Things got even better before half-time for Chisholm’s men when, after a spot of pinball in the box, they grabbed another goal.

The ball broke kindly for former St Mirren forward Gareth Wardlaw and the veteran was handed the easiest of tasks to poke home from barely a yard out.

The home side did pull one back, though, when Chris Aitken’s free-kick spun off Steven Campbell and looped over the head of ‘keeper Andrew Collier.

Max Wright and Grant Gallagher hit the post for the home side before Sean Winter was denied by the offside flag as the hosts pressed.

This only served to spur the Fifers on and they would wrap the match up in a devastating four-minute clinical second-half spell.

First, Barr tormented Lloyd Kinnaird before firing in a low cross, which was buried by midfielder Jamie Pollock.

The visitors then countered a Stranraer corner and Pollock rifled home from the edge of the box before on-fire Wardlaw grabbed his second.

Kinnaird’s back pass to Cadwell was woefully underhit and Wardlaw nipped in to bag his third of the season, after rounding the shot-stopper.

Stranraer managed to pull one back through Craig Malcolm’s header but it was not enough to prevent East Fife collecting a comfortable win.

Stranraer – Cadwell, Lloyd Kinnaird, Dunlop, Staunton (Agnew 68), McKeown, Aitken (Wood 88), Winter, Gallagher, Malcolm, Wright (Love 68), Borris. Subs (not used) Lewis Kinnaird, Kelly.

East Fife – Collier, McCormack, Smith, Campbell, Forster, Muir, Willis, Pollock, McManus, Wardlaw (McBride 80), Barr. Subs (not used)Smith, Sloan, Durie, Shaw.

Attendance – 292.

Referee – David Somers.

Starcheck ratings – Barr 3 points, Wardlaw 2, McManus 1.

Starcheck table – Michael Brown 13, Darren Smith 7, Bobby Barr 6, Robert Sloan 6, Scott McBride 4, Darren McCormack 3, David Muir 3, Collin Samuel 3, Paul Willis 3, Gareth Wardlaw 3, Scott Smith 2, Andy Collier 2, Paul McManus 2, Ross Brown 1, Steven Campbell 1, Jamie Pollock 1.