East Fife 1-0 St Johnstone B
It was job done for East Fife at Bayview as they eased past St Johnstone’s B side.
Darren Young’s Fifers were rarely troubled by their young visitors but will know they should have put the game to bed an avoided closing minute nerves.
They created enough chances to ensure a comfortable evening’s work but had just the one goal to show for their efforts.
It came during a dominant first half where the home side were unlucky not to take an early lead when Jamie Semple lashed a drive into the side netting with just under 10 monutes gone.
It was one way traffic but the young Saints backline were soaking up everything East Fife created.
Liam Newton had a sniff of goal but found himself crowded out by the visiting defence who did enough to put him off and send his shot wide.
East Fife were being forced to grind but remained patient and eventually took the lead shortly after the half hour mark.
Connor McManus whipped a dangerous cross into the six yard box which the Saints couldn’t clear and first to react to it was Scott Mercer who nodded home from close range.
Cammy Dow was handed a start from boss Young and the winger was full of energy and creativity.
He almost added a second just a couple of minutes later but his effort cleared the crossbar.
The visitors hadn’t really asked many questions of the Fifers – it was at the back they impressed most, defensive pairing Cameron Falconer and Samuel Denholm looking as if they’ll both have good futures in the game.
As the clock ticked down the Fifers had chances to wrap up the win but were unable to add goal number two.
Smith’s header, which came back off the base of the post, was the best they created.
In the end Mercer’s header was enough to set up a tie in the next round against the winners of the Dundee B v Peterhead tie tomorrow.
Fife boss Darren Young, who expects to add a couple of new faces to his squad ahead of Saturday’s trip to Cove, was content with his side’s win.
He said: “I’m disappointed we never managed to score another few goals.
"We knocked the ball around well but just lacked that wee cutting edge.
"But overall it was a good exercise.”