Performances will soon turn into points

Craig Johnstone and Scott McBride battle with former Fife Chris Templeman.
Craig Johnstone and Scott McBride battle with former Fife Chris Templeman.
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East Fife’s players have been urged to take confidence from their recent performances as they look to turn the corner against Arbroath.

The Fifers slipped out of the Scottish Cup at the weekend following a 2-1 defeat to Forfar.

However, those at the game will testify that the result was cruel on an East Fife side which not only dominated large parts of the game, but saw a couple of big decisions go against them.

Amongst those was the call not to send off Marvin Andrews after he appeared to elbow Ross Brown in the back of the head.

But Bayview boss Willie Aitchison says he has seen enough from his side in recent weeks to suggest that they’re on the verge of putting a few results together.

He said: “We’ve had a difficult run of games against the likes of Ayr, Dunfermline, Rangers and Forfar.

“We kept Rangers at bay for 55 minutes and had a fantastic result against Dunfermline.

“Now we’re back to playing the teams who are more around our level and if the boys keep playing the way they have been playing then it’ll come.”

The Bayview side has this week announced that Gary Naysmith has not only signed until the end of the season, but will step into the assistant manager’s role.

“We’ve also brought in Dougie Anderson who was with Cowdenbeath and is a very, very experienced coach,” added the Bayview boss.

“I’ve said to Gary that his coaching is still very much in its infancy but he’ll never get a better opportunity.”

Aitchison says Brown will be given the week to recover from his head injury before any decision is made regarding his availability.

Having watched a video of the game, the Bayview boss says he feels Andrews merited a red card for a clear elbow long after Brown had played the ball.

Willie Aitchison was frustrated that Forfar’s Marvin Andrews was allowed to stay on the park on Saturday.

He said the decision not to send him off was typical of a 90 minutes when his side didn’t get the rub of the green.

He said: “I think he should have been sent off and I can say that now after watching the footage of the game.

“Ross Brown gets up and heads the ball and there’s a two second delay before Marvin Andrews comes into the back of him with his arm.

“If you look at the delay in the game in getting Ross treatment, that’s when we lost the goal at the end of the half.

“It was frustrating for the boys to play so well in a cup tie and not get the breaks.”

This weekend East Fife travel to Arbroath already having one up on their hosts, beating them 2-1 at Bayview in August.

Manager Aitchison says he felt his side were worthy of their previous win, but reckons they’ll have to be on top form to take anything from Paul Sheerin’s men.

The manager said: “When we played them at Bayview I thought we dominated the game.

“We possibly should have scored another two or three goals before we let them back in it with a sloppy free-kick.

“They then came back at us very, very well so we know that it will be hard to take anything from them.”

Striker Christian Nade is still kicking his heels on the sidelines waiting to make his debut in the black and gold.

The hold up is with FIFA’s transfer management system not yet being completed and sent back by Nade’s former club in Thailand.

Until it is, then the big striker is unable to turn out for the Fifers.

Brown will be assessed late in the week.