East Fife 1-1 Alloa Athletic
Stevie Crawford was delighted with the resilience of his East Fife side after they got up from the floor to rescue a point at Bayview.
Time will tell if it’s a point which will prove crucial further down the line but, arguably, some of the characteristics on display on Saturday were more important that the end result.
East Fife went into the game on the back of a shambolic 2-1 Scottish Cup defeat at Banks O’ Dee.
Following that game, captain Kevin Smith highlighted the club’s inability to properly recover from going a goal down, often giving up another soon after.
When Alloa took the lead in the opening stages of the second half at Bayview on Saturday, there were fears of a similar capitulation.
Instead, Crawford’s side showed a terrific attitude, steadied the ship at the back and took the game to their visitors.
Their pressure paid off, the club’s forwards forcing the Alloa defence into mistakes which ultimately saw Craig Howie pick up his second booking.
East Fife would go on to make the Wasps pay further by grabbing a deserved equaliser.
New boss Crawford said: “The boys were terrific in training on Tuesday and were really good again on Thursday night.
“But it’s one thing doing it on the training pitch, they have to replicate that and, at 1-0 down against Alloa, they could have gone under but they didn’t and that’s important.
“I want to get to ninth place as quickly as possible and it was pleasing to see, after we went a goal behind, that we had the character and showed a desire to go on and win the game.
“We were unfortunate not to take all three points in the end.”
East Fife’s best chance of the opening period came shortly before the 20 minute mark when Chris Higgins met a Liam Watt corner which the Alloa defence cleared.
It was a half of few chances but Alloa almost took the lead on the stroke of half-time when a neat move up the park saw them work the ball to Mohamed Niang on the edge of the box.
Niang had time but failed to get his effort on target.
Alloa ended the first half well and started the second brilliantly.
Euan Henderson was denied by an excellent finger tip by Smith just a few minutes after the restart.
But he wouldn’t be denied a second time, racing through the heart of the Fife defence and beating the home goalie just seconds later.
East Fife looked to respond and a Scott Mercer free-kick pulled a comfortable save out of David Hutton.
Stevie Crawford’s side’s hopes were given a boost with just over quarter of an hour left when Howie picked up a second booking.
Alloa were made to pay just minutes later when Jamie Semple, who is enjoying a spell of some excellent form, deservedly pulled the Fifers level.