Fifers go down in the Borders

Jason Kerr stops Brian Martin from opening the scoring.
Jason Kerr stops Brian Martin from opening the scoring.

After the euphoria of seven days previous, East Fife were brought back down to earth in Berwick.

This was a game which meant absolutely nothing, with little more than personal pride and a win bonus at stake for both sides.

Of course, that’s a position the Methil club were more than happy to be in, able to enjoy the run out safe in the knowledge the hard work had been done and the League Two title and promotion were already in the bag.

It’s just as well.

Shielfield can be a tricky place to go, and with Berwick in fine form since the arrival of John Coughlin, this was not a game the Fifers wanted to head into with anything to play for - let alone with the league championship still up for grabs.

Bayview boss Gary Naysmith had the luxury of standing a few of his top team down for the game.

Stevie Campbell was allowed the time to recover from an ankle injury while goalie Liam Kelly took a place on the bench.

Jamie Insall was another left out, allowing Paul McManus to win his first start since returning to Bayview.

McManus, chasing a contract for next season’s League One campaign, has barely played in months but put in the sort of hard working, chase everything, shift familiar to the Fife support.

The game started off every inch the stereotypical end of season match with neither side really testing the other.

The Fifers had the better of what was created with Jason Kerr’s header from a Naysmith delivery cracking the bar.

The hosts weren’t in the game at all until the half hour mark when Blair Henderson went close.

Naysmith handed midfielder Brodie Gray his debut after signing from Kennoway Star Hearts.

The youngster showed a few nice touches and looked to attack the Berwick backline - something the home defence didn’t appreciate, twice having to clatter him to the ground.

The game appeared to be dying out goalless until the hosts took the lead.

Former East Fife midfielder Allan Walker worked some space for himself inside the area and sent a fine cross into the danger area when Henderson was waiting to net.

East Fife looked to have been given a lifeline in the game when Jordan McGregor saw red for the home side.

But it was the ten men of Berwick who would complete the scoring through Darren Lavery.

The Shielfield sub finished off another neat Walker delivery.