Fine win at Forfar boosts Fifers' top five chances
East Fife made a spirited recovery from their slip-up at Dumbarton to move into joint third place in the table.
Saturday’s game at Station Park started and ended in sunshine but featured a snowstorm in between, while Forfar midfielder Gary Irvine took temporary charge of the home squad, following the resignation in midweek of manager Stuart Malcolm and his assistants Martyn Fotheringham and Barry Sellars.
Kevin Smith hit the crossbar for East Fife before Darren Young’s side found a 25th-minute opening goal. Ryan Wallace controlled the ball well on his chest and fired a volley home from the edge of the penalty box.
A rearguard blunder by the Fifers gave Forfar an equaliser eight mintues into the second half as Jordan Allan took advantage to slot past visiting keeper Brett Long.
Allan later hit the post for Forfar after a fine solo run, but the points were won for East Fife when Smith scored after a free kick by Wallace.
Forfar finished the game with 10 men when a 77th-minute challenge by BeeJay Coll led to a second booking for the left-back.
Boss Young said afterwards he knew the managerial turmoil could have sparked a positive reaction from Forfar’s players as easily as it might have caused disarray, but he reckoned the Fifers’ win could have been even more comfortable.
"We had enough chances to be three or four goals up, similar to the Partick Thistle game, but they got the goal back because of a mistake from us,” he said.
“Again, we showed good reaction and good character to get the goal straight away to go 2-1 up, and we had another two or three gilt-edged opportunities.”
On Thursday, however, Young believed his much-rotated East Fife team had “kind of played into Dumbarton’s hands” as they went down 2-1 at the C&G Systems Stadium. Goals from Ryan McGeever and Adam Frizzell gave Sons the win, with Ross Dunlop netting a late consolation in the closing seconds.
“We made nine changes but it had to be done,” said Young.
“A lot of people were saying ‘why so many?’ but if we hadn’t, we might not have had the same performance as we did on Saturday.”