East Fife 0-2 Airdrieonians

It’s not quite mission impossible yet for East Fife but there’s no doubt Saturday afternoon went as wrong as it possibly could.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 2nd April 2022, 9:18 pm
Updated Saturday, 2nd April 2022, 9:18 pm
Ryan Blair had a couple of early chances for the home side
Ryan Blair had a couple of early chances for the home side

The weekend’s home defeat to Airdrieonians was compounded by Dumbarton netting an injury time winner at Alloa to pull seven points clear of the bottom of the league Methil men.

With just 12 left to play for, the scale of the task is now massive.

Of course, the Fifers will continue to fight and scrap but there is now no margin for error and survival is very much in Dumbarton’s hands.

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Bayview forward Kyle Connell tries to break clear. All pics by Kenny Mackay

It’s a sorry position to be in, particularly given the side appeared to have turned a corner a few weeks back.

Recent results have sent them back to square one, though.

Saturday’s performance against Airdrie was by no means a bad one but the difference was in the final third of the park where the ruthless Diamonds showed why they are in a battle for the title.

Both sides had chances to hit the back of the net.

Dylan Easton was unlucky to watch his free-kick come back off the bar

East Fife failed to take theirs while Airdrie did.

Bayview boss Stevie Crawford said: “Before the game I asked the players to give me everything.

“Anybody who started the game, anyone who came off, anyone who went on - I can’t fault them for their efforts.

“It’s sometimes the final wee bit of quality in front of goal and trying to keep the ball out of the net that we need to work on.

The East Fife defence are forced to soak up some pressure

“Let’s not kid ourselves on, I understand there will be frustration from the fans.

“There’s frustration from the players and frustration from the coaching staff but, until it’s mathematically impossible for us to stay in the league, I’ll keep demanding from them.

“We’ll dust ourselves down and hopefully get a couple of our senior players back in the squad before the season ends.”

Airdrie had the bulk of possession during the opening stages of the game but found East Fife well drilled and resilient.

The Airdrie defence ensure there's no way through

It was far from one way traffic and Crawford’s men had chances of their own, Ryan Blair having a couple of sights of goal.

Both sides were creating and Dylan Easton was unlucky to see his free-kick hit the top of the crossbar.

Callum Smith was next to go close but he failed to beat Jude Smith from a couple of yards out.

An opening goal looked on the cards and it duly arrived when Smith turned creator for Callum Gallagher.

It was a suckerpunch for the home side and gave Airdrie a lift.

They took that lift into the second-half and went close through Scott McGill and Adam Frizzell to making it 2-0.

Bayview midfielder Ryan Blair looks to create another East Fife attack

East Fife managed to stand firm and went on to enjoy their best spell of the game.

Kyle Connell and Finlay Pollock both had sights on goal during an impressive period.

Against the run of play at that point, Airdrie went two goals up.

Gallagher, so often on the scoresheet against East Fife, lashed home after the home side were unable to clear their lines.

Liam Newton had a late chance to reduce the deficit but was unable to get his header on target.

Liam Newton injected some new life into the Fifers after coming off the bench