East Fife 0-1 Dundee United
Darren Young was delighted with the swagger shown by his side despite seeing them lose out 1-0 at Bayview to Dundee United.
This was by some margin East Fife’s best performance of the three Premier Sports Cup group games played.
They were the better team of the two across the 90 minutes but were outdone by a first half breakaway goal.
Although disappointed to have lost the match, Young said there were plenty of positives to take and also believes the Fifers were on the wrong end of some poor calls by the officials.
“It was brilliant from start to finish but we’re disappointed with some of the decisions that went against us,” said the manager.
“Danny Denholm has been clipped in the first half and it was easy to give the corner instead of the penalty.
“Then, in the second half, there are two stonewallers.
“I’ve watched them both back.
“But from start to finish we were outstanding.
“The togetherness and the way we knocked the ball about, there was a bit of a swagger and a bit arrogance about us as well which is good to see.
“The deliveries into the box were tremendous, it was just unfortunate that they sometimes went in behind.”
The League One home side settled into the game well against their Premiership visitors and forced a couple of early corners which unfortunately came to nothing.
United looked threatening on the counter attack with Kieran Freeman enjoying a lot of possession down the right wing.
The Fifers looked much improved from their Saturday afternoon 3-0 loss at Kelty and went on to dominate the opening stages of the first half.
A terrific move up the park allowed Ross Davidson to clip the ball over the top of the United defence to Mercer whose cross was cleared.
From the corner Kevin Smith’s header dropped inches over the bar.
East Fife were dominating with Smith and strike partner Sean Brown really working well together.
They were backed up by a central midfield pairing of Ross Davidson and Connor McManus who were winning the battle in that area of the park.
It was cruel on them when United opened the scoring completely out of the blue five minutes before the break.
East Fife were again on the attack but lost possession deep inside the United half.
From there the visitors raced up the park, Peter Pawlett able to get on to the end of a long ball before beating Scott Gallacher.
The hosts again showed plenty of attacking intent after the interval and had a couple of early chances to pull level.
Scott Mercer was allowed to race unchallenged into the United box and get a decent cross away which lacked a finish.
Barely a minute later the Fifers were attacking again, Brown showing brilliant determination to close down Benjamin Siegrist.
The goalie dithered on the ball and Brown managed to nick the ball away from him but it rolled too wide to get a shot in and his cross too was cleared.
The final chance of the game fell the way of the visitors with Florent Hoti stinging Gallacher’s palms.