Fifers sense progress is possible in cup tie

Peterhead's Fiacre Kelleher clears from  Paul McManus (picture by Duncan Brown)
Peterhead's Fiacre Kelleher clears from Paul McManus (picture by Duncan Brown)

The prospect of an attractive tie in the next round is giving East Fife a thirst for success in the Irn-Bru Cup, should they get past Arbroath tonight.

Gary Naysmith’s troops are going into this (Wednesday) evening’s tie freshly confident after a very fine display – particularly in the second half – gave them a 3-0 win on Saturday up at Peterhead.

After two games, the Fifers are now closest challengers in the table to the three teams who’ve made a 100 per cent start.

And this Saturday, they’ll be making the trip to face new leaders, Alloa.

Focusing on tonight’s game at Gayfield, Naysmith said he was looking forward hopefully to progressing in the competition, but it was possibly one of the hardest draws East Fife could have been handed.

“Arbroath have a lot of good, experienced players and a good, experienced manager, and it will be a tough game,” he said.

The fact East Fife had left them behind in a lower division did not matter – Naysmith said he was glad to be playing a side similar to the Fifers and had an idea what to expect.

There was a great incentive for the players taking part to “throw down a marker” and impress the boss, after such a good performance on Saturday and the lure of possibly playing a bigger team in the next round.

The manager hoped Pat Slattery might be available for selection tonight, while Tony Wallace came off the bench on Saturday after missing much of the pre-season. Chris Duggan, though, could remain sidelined for another four weeks or so.

Continued on page 46.