Stenhousemuir 0-1 East Fife

Fife boss Barry Smith
Fife boss Barry Smith

It's still early days in Barry Smith's reign at Bayview - but the boss already recognises the battling qualities and the spirit of his side.

Smith took his side into the central belt on Tuesday night, aiming to make it four wins on the trot.

Scott Robinson and Chris Kane both went close during the opening 10 minutes.

The Fifers were pressing high and with the wind at their backs penned Stenny well back into their own half.

They didn’t have to wait long to break the deadlock - and what an opener it was.

The Fifers displayed some really neat 1-2 football on the edge of the Stenny 18 yard box and worked the ball out to Kevin O’Hara.

O’Hara had no room for any real backlift but managed to dig the ball out from under his feet and curled a fine effort beyond Colin McCabe.

Barry Smith’s men were playing some superb football in and around the Stenny penalty box.

Scott Robinson, Kyle Wilkie and Ross Brown were at the heart of it, switching the ball amongst themselves.

Wilkie went close to doubling his side’s lead with an effort which sailed over the bar.

O’Hara thought he had notched his second goal of the game when he met a Wilkie cross and slammed past McCabe.

The celebrations were brought to a halt, though, when the assistant raised his flag for offside.

Following the game, Smith said: “The players dug in when they had to and scored an excellent goal.

“When we took the opportunity to pass the ball we looked good and it’s another clean sheet for us.

“`It was a hard working performance.

“There’s a really good group of boys here at the club and they work their socks off.”

Next up for the Methil men is a trip to meet Albion Rovers on Christmas Eve.

Kevin Smith, Tony Wallace and Ryan Goodfellow are all expected to miss out through injury.