East Fife 2-0 Dumbarton

East Fife supporters won’t have to look at the league table in their Sunday papers through the cracks in their fingers this weekend.

By Scott Inglis
Saturday, 12th March 2022, 9:17 pm
Danny Denholm celebrates after putting East Fife two goals up. Pic by Kenny Mackay
Danny Denholm celebrates after putting East Fife two goals up. Pic by Kenny Mackay

One glance at the League 1 standings following Saturday’s 2-0 win will show the Methil men are to within three points, just one win, from reeling back Dumbarton who sit one place above them.

There’s no doubt East Fife have been saving their best for last this season and the end they made to the third quarter, and the start of the fourth, has saw them chip away at the point deficit to those sitting above them.

Of course, they’re still bottom of the league, not where they want to be, but there’s no doubt that momentum is with the club at a crucial point in the campaign.

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On Saturday’s evidence Dumbarton are a side with plenty of troubles of their own, losing their last four games and leaving Bayview to a chorus of boos.

That chorus was music to the ears of the East Fife faithful who, by comparison, raised the roof at full-time as they sensed there was yet another big twist to come in the tale of the 2021/22 season.

Things got off to the best possible start after just a couple of minutes when Leo Watson found Danny Denholm on the edge of the penalty box.

Denholm in turn picked out Kyle Connell who lashed his shot beyond Kieran Wright.

The goal got East Fife on the front foot straight away and there was an clear positive atmosphere around Bayview.

But Dumbarton are in a scrap as well and they asked questions of East Fife, questions the makeshift central defensive pairing of Pat Slattery and Stewart Murdoch answered.

Slattery in particular, so often East Fife’s unsung hero, was outstanding at centre half as he again worked outside his comfort zone in a different position and gave his very best for the club.

Dumbarton saw plenty of the ball in the first-half but didn’t trouble Jude Smith.

East Fife had got their first goal at an excellent time with their second arriving just when they needed it as well.

Sons were starting to press forward but were stung by another slick East Fife move.

Denholm took hold of possession deep inside the Dumbarton half and glided beyond his markers.

That took him to the edge of the box where he sent his finish past Wright.

Dumbarton threw everything they had at East Fife in the final stages of the match but they couldn’t breach the Fife defence.

Their frustrations spilled over in injury time when Stuart Carswell saw a straight red.

Fife boss Stevie Crawford said: “Psychologically this was a massive win for us but it doesn’t guarantee anything.

“It gives us some momentum.

“I don’t want to crack down on the players because I don’t smell in the dressing room that they’re getting carried away.

“There’s a ruthlessness about us now but we have to keep our feet on the ground.

“On Tuesday it’ll start again and if we work hard we’ll get our reward come the weekend.

“I’ll be asking for more of the same next week.”