Raith Rovers 1-2 East Fife

Aaran Dunsmore handed East Fife the lead in their final fixture of 2018 - a win at Raith Rovers. Pic by Kenny Mackay.
Aaran Dunsmore handed East Fife the lead in their final fixture of 2018 - a win at Raith Rovers. Pic by Kenny Mackay.

East Fife head into 2019 with their Kingdom rivals firmly on the mantlepiece.

Down the years Fife derbies haven't been too kind to fans of the Methil club.

But in the three games played during this part of the season, East Fife have banished decades of misery with wins at both home and away.

The first game played between the two this season at Stark's saw the Kirkcaldy side lucky to scrape a point after a ropey penalty call went against the Methil club.

Quite simply, East Fife have been better in all departments in the games played between the two.

They racked up a deserved three points at Stark's Park on Saturday with first half goals from Aaron Dunsmore and Rory Currie ensuring the win despite Lewis Vaughan's late consolation.

After the game home boss John McGlynn questioned his side's mentality and there's no doubting they were outfought and outthought by a hungrier East Fife.

Raith started the game well but then slipped out of it alarmingly from a home perspective.

Shortly after East Fife's Craig Watson had cleared the bar, the visitors drew first blood.

A neat move up the park saw Currie find Mark Docherty on the edge of the box.

His through ball sliced open the home defence and found Dunsmore who blasted home from close range.

Raith appeared to have given their League One title ambitions a shot in the arm last weekend with a win at Arbroath.

But they looked anything like potential championship winners as too many passes were misplaced and sailed out of the park.

On the other hand East Fife were good going forward and a Pat Slattery drive had to be punched clear by Robbie Thomson.

It was East Fife who looked more likely to grab the game’s crucial second goal with Docherty and Watson both unlucky.

The visitors were well worthy of their lead but needed that cushion of a second goal.

It came shortly before the break when some horrific defending from the hosts saw them lose possession on the edge of their own box.

The grateful Currie took full advantage and slid his finish beyond Thomson.

Raith had to do something at the break and boss McGlynn introduced Vaughan in place of Ross Matthews.

The striker had a sight of goal within a couple of minutes of the re-start but his long distance drive failed to trouble Brett Long.

East Fife were having to soak up a lot of pressure and eventually their resistance was breached.

Grant Gillespie made a marauding run forward and just when it looked like he was shaping to shoot, instead picked out Vaughan.

The sub took his time before sending a composed finish past Long.

It set up a grand stand final few minutes but the Methil men, marshalled by the excellent Ross Dunlop and Daryll Meggatt, closed out the victory comfortably.

Raith Rovers - Thomson, Davidson, Murray, Benedictus, Gillespie, Buchanan (Duggan 57), Matthews (Vaughan 46), Wedderburn, Nisbet, Flanagan (Milne 81), Armstrong.

Subs - Wright, McKay, Crane, Watson.

East Fife - Long, Dunsmore, Watson, Dunlop, Meggatt, Slattery, Docherty (McBride 85), Agnew (Linton 76), Davidson, Dowds, Currie (Smith 88).

Subs - Couser, Bell, Watt, McBride, Court.