Montrose 0-2 East Fife

Liam Watt helped himself to a couple of goals on his return to the starting line-up. Stock image.
Liam Watt helped himself to a couple of goals on his return to the starting line-up. Stock image.

East Fife put on what boss Darren Young described as a “complete performance” after they swatted Mo aside.

After last week’s disappointing defeat at home to Airdrie, it was important the Fifers responded well to put a chasing pack in behind them off their scent.

Saturday’s hosts are one of the clubs tucked in behind East Fife’s spot in the top four.

But they now find the gap to them that little bit wider after they were beaten by the better side on the day.

Two first half goals from Liam Watt were enough to secure the victory, with the story of the second half being how well the Fifers defended.

Young said: “We saw the two sides of the game from us; the ugly side and the good side.

“Even in the end we had three or four chances to kill the game while they were putting balls in the box and putting us under pressure.

“We changed the formation a bit this week and put in an extra midfielder because we’ve spoken about a few things that we want to tighten up.

“We showed Montrose respect because they’ve been on a good run and are doing very well.

“But it worked well and there were some great bits of play for our goals.

“Overall it was a complete team performance between the digging in, the passes and the chances we created.

“I’m delighted.”

The game got off to a fairly even start with chances at both ends.

For the hosts Craig Johnston was afforded an early sight of goal he failed to take advantage of while Allan Fleming was forced into a decent stop by Scott Linton.

With Scott Agnew injured and Rory Currie, expected to rejoin from Hearts ill, Young was forced into a couple of changes.

Into the side came Linton and Watt, and the pair seemed keen to make an impression after spending the majority of their Saturday afternoons on the bench in recent weeks.

The two were helping the visitors win the battle in the middle of the park while, in attack, Anton Dowds made life uncomfortable for Sean Dillon.

Shortly after the quarter of the hour mark the young striker capitalised on a short pass back by the veteran defender on the edge of his own box only to send his shot inches wide.

Dowds was causing all sorts of problems for the hosts and had a massive hand in the opener.

His marauding run into the box couldn’t be halted by the Mo defence and he slid a neat pass to Watt 10 yards out.

With the home backline at sixes and sevens, Watt punished them by sending a sublime effort into the top corner.

Watt wasn’t brought to the Fifers for his goal return, but clearly looked keen to get in on the act up front.

He doubled his side’s advantage shortly before the break when he picked up a neat Ross Davidson through ball and slid a composed finish through Fleming’s legs.

Stewart Petrie’s side responded well after the break and sub Chris Antoniazzi was quick to pull a good save out of Brett Long.

The Methil side had chances of their own, and Kevin Smith went close to making it 3-0 but could only find the side netting with his effort.

Montrose - Fleming, Masson (Skelly 80), Steeves, I Campbell, Dillon, Harrington, Henderson (Antoniazzi 46), Callaghan (Cregg 73), Rennie, Johnston, Redman.

Subs - R Campbell, Bolochoweckyj, Webster, Millar.

East Fife - Long, Watson, Dunlop, Docherty, Meggatt, Slattery, Dunsmore (Smith 68), Davidson, Linton (Bell 86), Watt, Dowds (Court 68).

Subs - Kane, McBride, Thomson, Trialist.