No problem with facing Airdrie trip

Bobby Linn in action against Stirling Albion. Photo by Walter Neilson.
Bobby Linn in action against Stirling Albion. Photo by Walter Neilson.

SCOTT Durie says he has no problem that Airdrie have home advantage for this week’s crunch play-off clash.

East Fife, Airdrie and Stenhousemuir all sit on 48 points in a share of fourth place with just two games remaining.

And Durie reckons East Fife’s patchy home form, coupled with their ability to win on the road, plays into the Methil side’s hands.

He said: “We’ve won our last three games away but that was our first win at home for five games.

“We seem to be able to play a lot better away from home, so that give us a lot of confidence for the game against Airdrie.

“Saturday was just one of those games when we thought it just wasn’t going to happen for us.”

Durie’s dad, boss Gordon, has admitted there is a nervousness in his side at home that he’s yet to put his finger on.

And they looked like dropping another two points at Bayview on Saturday, as brave Stirling Albion were left gutted after Ryan Wallace’s late penalty winner.

Both sides had chances to win the game as the play swung from end to end.

Steven Hislop was guilty of passing up a glorious chance after just a couple of minutes when he blasted straight at ‘keeper Sam Filler.

David Muir had a goal ruled out for handball and also had a decent penalty claim turned down for the home side during the opening 45 minutes.

At the other end, Michael Brown was forced into action by John Crawley who sent a stinging 25-yard strike goal bound.

With just a couple of minutes played in the second 45, Robert Sloan came close to breaking the deadlock when he burst into the box to meet a Wallace cross.

The midfielder crashed a header towards goal which he was unlucky to see whistle past the post.

Greig McDonald’s side deserved huge credit for the way they continued to press for the goal which would give their ever-decreasing survival hopes a shot in the arm.

But it was the Fifers who secured all three points when Gary Thom was judged to have fouled inside his penalty box.

Referee Mike Tumilty consulted with his linesman before awarding the kick, which Wallace stepped up to net.

Methil boss Durie admitted his side had been fortunate to escape with all three points.

He said: “We’re delighted to get the win but whether we deserved it is another matter.

“This is the second game in a row at home that we just haven’t hit the heights we know we’re capable of.

“We still seem to have this nervousness about us, which I can’t put my finger on.

“It’s something we’re going to have to sit and have a think about.

“We now have a couple of really big games.”

Former Fife defender McDonald slated the decision to award a penalty against his team following the game, saying Thom made clear contact with the ball.

East Fife - Brown, Durie, Campbell, White, Cook, Wallace, Muir, McCormack (Janczyk 66), Sloan (Johnstone 61), Hislop (Dalziel 61), Linn. Subs (not used) Collier, McQuade.

Stirling Albion - Filler, Jacobs, Allison, Thom, Crawley, Cook (Flood 83), McCunnie, Ferry, Smith, Weir, Kelbie (Davidson 82). Subs (not used) Cleland, Dillon, McSorley.

Attendance - 495.

Referee - Mike Tumilty.

Starcheck ratings - Linn 3 points, Wallace 2, Durie 1.

Starcheck table - Ryan Wallace 49, Bobby Linn 42, Michael Brown 22, Darren Smith 20, Mark Ridgers 17, Robert Sloan 14, Craig Johnstone 12, Steve Campbell 12, Rob Ogleby 11, Scott Durie 11, John Ovenstone 9, David White 9, Matthew Park 8, Darren McCormack 6, Steve Hislop 5, David Muir 3, Andrew Cook 2, Scott Dalziel 2, Chris Innes 2, Neil Janczyk 1, Lloyd Young 1.