East Fife 0-1 Airdrieonians
Fife boss Darren Young believes his side were on the receiving end of some dubious decisions as they were beaten 1-0 by league leaders Airdrieonians.
The Fifers were reduced to 10-men in the closing stages of the game when Kieran Millar was given a second yellow card.
Both cards looked harsh on the midfielder and Young says ref Alan Newlands appeared in a rush to put the home side at a numerical disadvantage.
“Dylan Easton has done him but he’s going nowhere in the middle of the park,” said the Fife manager.
“It wasn’t a high tackle or a dirty tackle.
“He didn’t dive in, he’s just gone in beside him 40 yards from goal.
“He was desperate to get the red card out for whatever reason.”
Fife goalie Jude Smith was called into action with just four minutes on the clock when he did brilliantly to tip Kerr McInroy’s half volley onto the bar.
Airdrie started the game really well and the always dangerous Calum Gallagher was the next to go close with an effort which drifted inches wide.
It was one way traffic as East Fife were forced into defending their goal.
Next up to try his luck on goal was Dylan Easton who pulled another good save out of Smith.
Smith was certainly the busier of the two keepers and he was at his best on 24 minutes to block Callum Smith’s header.
It took the hosts 30 minutes to fashion anything resembling an effort on goal but Liam Watt couldn’t get a clean connection on Scott Mercer’s pass.
Airdrie had been the dominant team and deserved their opener when it arrived, Gallagher racing in behind the Fife defence and beating Smith.
East Fife almost pulled level straight away, the ball dropping to Pat Slattery inside the six yard box.
Slattery failed to get his shot on target though.
East Fife made a decent start to the second half but the first real chance after the interval fell the way of Airdrie, Easton’s free-kick hitting the side netting.
The hosts had chances of their own, Kyle Connell’s drive beaten away by Max Currie.
The second 45 was much more of an even contest with East Fife giving as good as they got.
They were hugely improved and Connell looked the home side’s most likely goalscorer and he again went close with an effort which he dragged wide.
But East Fife’s task was made that little bit tougher with just over 10 minutes to go when Millar picked up his second booking.
Young added: “The first time we get a decent cross into the box in the first half Pat missed a gilt edge chance.
“That would us got us back in the game.
“In the first half Jude has had one real save but they get their goal and were a bit lucky.
“It was a good finish from Calum Gallagher.
“In the second half we changed the shape and looked a lot more competitive.
“We closed them down quicker, forced them to make mistakes and created chances.”