Fifers to the four over sorry Forfar

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East Fife..........................4

(Sloan (11 mins, 15) Hislop (36), Wallace (65)


DEADLY East Fife ensured they kept pace with the promotion play-off hopefuls by crushing Forfar at Bayview.

Boss John Robertson hailed his side after the victory, in particular pointing to his side’s dominance in the middle of the park.

A first half Robert Sloan double and a Steven Hislop header were added to in the second 45 by a Ryan Wallace effort to secure the win at a blustery Bayview.

Gaffer Robertson said: “When you get conditions like that it’s not easy.

“We wanted to shoot with the wind in the first half so told the players to go that way.

“In the end I think we ended up coping with the conditions better than Forfar.”

The home side started the game with real intent, and David Muir was unlucky not to open the scoring when his header was cleared off the line by Iain Campbell.

However, from the resulting corner, referee Craig Charleston pointed to the spot after spotting an infringement in the box.

From the spot-kick, set-piece expert Sloan made no mistake.

The visitors barely had time to come to terms with conceding the first goal when they swiftly went two behind.

Sloan, who has had to battle to win a starting slot in the East Fife starting XI recently, picked up a loose ball on the edge of the box and drilled an effort past Marc McCallum.

The Fifers were playing the first of three vital home games which will have a large bearing on any potential play-off involvement.

Keen to get the three points on the board in the first of the fixtures, the home side continued to use the wind to their advantage, firing crosses at McCallum’s goal whenever they could.

Eventually Robertson’s men got their reward for their perseverance and, when a ball was caught up in the swirling gusts, Hislop managed to get himself under it to nod home a third before the interval.

It wasn’t all one way traffic, though, with Michael Brown twice having to look lively from dangerous strikes from former Fifer, Chris Templeman.

Dick Campbell’s men returned for the second 45 on the hunt for the goal which could haul them back into the game, with Nicky Low and Templeman looking the main threats.

But any Fife nerves were quickly settled when Wallace added number four.

The striker managed to get his head on a Sloan free-kick to beat McCallum from close range.

Methil boss Robertson said: “Robert Sloan took his goals well and we had two great finishes from Steven Hislop and Ryan Wallace.

“But Michael Brown still had to make two great saves and I’d say the clean sheet is just as pleasing as the four goals.

“Robert is one of the players we have here who has a real quality about him, and if you look at what we have on that area of the park now with Darren Smith, Neil Janczyk and Craig Johnstone then you can see the competition.”

The manager paid particular tribute to the efforts of Sloan, who has battled back from a serious knee injury, saying: “He’s had to bide his time to get back in but has been great about it.”

East Fife - Brown, Durie, Campbell, White, Cook, Linn, Muir, Janczyk, Sloan, Hislop (Dalziel 71), Wallace (McQuade 78).

Subs not used - Collier, McCormack, Smith.

Forfar - McCallum, Wilson, Shaughnessy, I Campbell, McCulloch, Byers (Mowat 61), Sellars (Coyne 61), Fotheringham (R Campbell 61), Low, Templeman, Hilson.

Subs not used - Paterson, Ross.

Starcheck ratings - Sloan 3 points, Hislop 2, Linn 1.

Starcheck table - Ryan Wallace 29, Bobby Linn 28, Mark Ridgers 17, Michael Brown 16, Craig Johnstone 12, Darren Smith 12, Rob Ogleby 11, Steve Campbell 10, Scott Durie 9, John Ovenstone 9, Matthew Park 8, David White 7, Steve Hislop 5, Robert Sloan 4, David Muir 3, Andrew Cook 2, Chris Innes 2, Neil Janczyk 1, Lloyd Young 1.

Att - 526

Referee - Craig Charleston.