No sweat, as 3-1 win sets up play-off date

East Fife's players celebrate Kevin Smith's second goal.
East Fife's players celebrate Kevin Smith's second goal.

The chances of East Fife slipping up to the extent they surrendered fourth place may have been remote, but there was still a job to do.

And for the second week in a row the Methil men put on a polished, professional performance against a decent side.

Another three goals, another brace from Kevin Smith, and East Fife’s place in the League One play-offs was confirmed.

But while the scoreline hints at a comfortable afternoon for the Methil men, there were times it was anything but, as Elgin, with nothing to play for, impressed.

With the score at 0-0 and Annan two goals up against Montrose, there was a slight hint of nervousness from the stands that maybe, just maybe, the unthinkable could happen.

The Fifers soon hit their stride, though, and after Allan Fleming had kept the scores level with a good block from Craig Thomson, East Fife got a grip of the game and cemented fourth place.

Boss Gary Naysmith recalled two of his more creative players, Sean Dickson and Derek Riordan, and the pair of them posed constant problems for the visitors.

Riordan had arguably his best game in an East Fife shirt, switching between a role on the left wing and through the middle with all the ease you’d expect of someone with his experience.

After weathering some early pressure, East Fife took the lead when Riordan picked out Scott Smith on the wing and his cross picked out namesake Kevin.

The striker made no mistake from close range with a neat side foot finish.

A swirling wind was whipping around Bayview, making life difficult for both sides.

The Fifers adapted better and played some decent stuff along the deck to cancel out the conditions.

They made it 2-0 in the second half when Allan Walker’s low cross was again turned into the back of the net by Smith.

It was job done as far as the Fifers were concerned and attention began to turn to the play-offs.

With Ayr well on top at Forfar it was obvious that Stenhousemuir would be next for the Methil men.

But the relaxed Fifers still had time to add another goal.

Riordan had already gone close with a curling effort before he did eventually get his goal when he picked up a Smith pass eight yards out and fired past Stewart Black.

The three goal margin was possibly a bit cruel on Jim Weir’s visitors and they grabbed a consolation in the dying moments of the game when Jamie Reid curled his strike past Fleming.