Banks O' Dee 2-1 East Fife

A pretty miserable week for East Fife managed to sink to an even further low at Banks O’ Dee.

By Scott Inglis
Monday, 29th November 2021, 10:42 am
Jamie Semple had put East Fife into an early lead. Stock pic by Kenny Mackay
Jamie Semple had put East Fife into an early lead. Stock pic by Kenny Mackay

The club parted ways with manager Darren Young last Sunday on the back of a 3-1 loss at Clyde which cut them five points adrift at the foot of League One.

Saturday’s third round Scottish Cup tie at North Superleague side Banks O’ Dee should have provided some respite, a chance to forget the league woes for 90 minutes, score a couple of goals and maybe even put a spring in the club’s step again.

Instead the game only served to heap more misery on the beleaguered Methil men.

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Kyle Connell goes on the attack for East Fife

Stand-in boss Stevie Frail described the defeat as “embarrassing” post match, and it would be difficult to argue otherwise.

Although no East Fife fan would expect their side to advance to the latter stages of the tournament, a decent run and a match against an opponent from a high division can provide a cup thrill.

There will be none of that this year.

It started well enough with East Fife looking to impose themselves on Banks O’ Dee early on.

Danny Denholm comes out on top in this battle

The visitors were all over their hosts and took a deserved lead when Fraser Hobday’s clearance was woefully short and landed invitingly at the feet of Jamie Semple.

Semple showed no lack of confidence and sent a terrific lob over Hobday and into the back of the net.

The goal should have given East Fife a platform to build, but instead they fell out of the game dramatically after putting themselves in a good position, an unwelcome character trait which haunted the side at Broadwood last weekend as well.

Banks O’ Dee were level shortly before the half-hour mark when a ball into the box rebounded off Liam Newton and beyond Jude Smith.

The Fifers found the going tough up north

It was a piece of misfortune, but it shouldn’t have thrown East Fife completely off course in the way it did.

Neither side really offered much in the second half and it looked as if they would have to do it all over again at Bayview.

That was until, with just over 15 minutes to go, Aaron Dunsmore was sent off for an over the top lunge.

Banks O’ Dee would have known the odds would be stacked against them even further in a replay, so set about getting the job done at home.

Banks O' Dee were worthy of their win after coming from behind

It’s to their credit that they did that.

Mark Gilmour’s close range strike gave them the lead with just a few minutes remaining.

Any hope of a Fife fightback were extinguished when Scott Mercer joined Dunsmore in the dressing room early after picking up two bookings.

Frail pulled no punches in his assessment, saying: “They’re a nice bunch of players who get on great, although there were a few choice words after the game in the dressing room and rightly so.

“But they don’t dig each other out or demand enough of each other.

“That’s not just in this game, it’s games that have been played previously.

The Methil men struggle to break down a well drilled resistance

“To take this result in isolation, it’s a horrendous result, it’s an embarrassing result.”

Fraser Hobday snuffs out an East Fife attack