East Fife 1-0 Clyde

Making nine changes from the side defeated 3-0 by Montrose on Tuesday was both justified and a bit of a gamble for boss Darren Young.

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 11:16 pm
Danny Denholm scored the only goal of the game for East Fife

Nobody in the side found second best to Mo could have any complaints at being left out of the team for the visit of Clyde.

But the reality is that, given the unprecedented run of games East Fife are currently on, those changes probably would have been made anyway.

Those coming into the starting XI on Thursday evening have given Young a selection headache ahead of Saturday's third round Scottish Cup tie against Greenock Morton.

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Young left back Miller Fenton barely put a foot wrong all night as he both defended stoutly and was keen to support further up the park.

Danny Swanson showed some terrific touches and looked a class apart at times.

Liam Newton is a young midfielder growing in stature and had arguably his best and most influential game for the club.

Cole McKinnon quietly went about his business, breaking up attacks and never wasting a pass.

Danny Denholm and Liam Watt were creative and full of energy as they tracked back and asked plenty of questions in attack.

The list goes on, Ross Dunlop, Aaron Dunsmore, Chris Higgins, Jordan Hart...all excellent.

Regardless of whether or not they played against Montrose, those who started against Clyde needed to help the club respond in the right manner.

They certainly did that.

Barely a couple of minutes had passed before the home side took the lead.

An East Fife corner couldn't be cleared with the ball worked to Higgins deep inside the box.

The centre half clipped a delightful, lofted delivery across the face of goal and first to it was Denholm who powered his header home from close range.

It was just the start to the game East Fife wanted, but the floodgates failed to open.

Clyde gradually worked their way back into the game but, without David Goodwillie to spearhead the attack, looked completely blunt in the final third.

East Fife themselves didn't really do much in the Clyde box either, despite the efforts of Sean Brown who was willing to work the channels and try to get in behind the Clyde defence.

He managed that once, only to see his shot tipped past the post by David Mitchell.

Ryan Wallace appeared from the bench along with Greig Spence, making his debut.

The two have a wealth of experience between them and used it wisely to hold the ball up inside the Clyde half, easing the pressure on the defence and ensuring the Bully Wee couldn't get a sniff of an equaliser.

Home boss Darren Young was content with his side's work.

He said: "I'm delighted with three points and a clean sheet, that's exactly what we would have been looking for at the start.

"We made nine changes which we felt we had to do because we need to protect boys and took Danny Swanson and Chris Higgins off in the second half just to make sure they're ok.

"It was great for the young boys with Liam Newton getting another start, Cole from Rangers making his debut at 18 and Miller at left back coming in and doing very, very well.

"We were brilliant from the first whistle and had enough corners to maybe score a few more."