BOTH sides entered this clash with promotion dreams and relegation nightmares still very much a reality.
A win for John Robertson’s Fifers would see them stay on the coat-tails of the promotion play-off pack, but a defeat would leave them facing an altogether different end-of-season battle.
Robertson’s side played throughout last Tuesday’s game with an obvious determination to ensure it wouldn’t be the worst case scenario they were facing come the end of the 90 minutes.
Bobby Linn, currently having one of his finest spells since arriving at Bayview, orchestrated chance after chance, with David Muir, Paul McQuade and Scott Dalziel all near-benefactors of the wide man’s creativity.
Andrew Cook, a player beginning to grow in stature at the club, was utterly solid at the back, while Michael Brown again demonstrated why Robertson hasn’t moved for a replacement for Mark Ridgers.
East Fife’s two goals were, though, a long time coming, eventually arriving via the boots of Robert Sloan and Linn.
Brown earned his win bonus, too, with a save from John Gemmell that boss Robertson quite rightly described after the game as “world-class”.
The manager, though, did admit Rovers had pushed them all the way.
He said: “It looked as if we had run out of ideas.
“But you talk about defining moments in a match and, for us, that came from Michael Brown’s absolutely world-class save.
“Albion Rovers were pushing up and we hit them on the break.
“I thought a draw was a fair result, but it’s good to have the three points in the bag.”
East Fife - M. Brown, Cook, Campbell, White, Ovenstone, Linn (Martin 90), Janczyk (Johnstone 61), Muir, Smith, Dalziel, McQuade (Sloan 76). Subs (not used) Collier, R. Brown.
Albion Rovers - Gaston, Reid, O’Byrne, Donnelly, Boyle, Love (Quinn 71), McStay, Stevenson, Hunter (Ferry 62), Canning, Gemmell. Subs (not used) Fahey, Chaplain, Marriott.
Referee ‑ G. Hilland.
Attendance ‑ 390.
Starcheck ratings ‑ Linn 3 points, Cook 2, Brown 1.