East Fife 2-1 Peterhead

Kevin Smith battles it out with Peterhead's Jason Brown. Pic by Kenny Mackay.Kevin Smith battles it out with Peterhead's Jason Brown. Pic by Kenny Mackay.
Kevin Smith battles it out with Peterhead's Jason Brown. Pic by Kenny Mackay.
Darren Young's East Fife put a top five place into their own hands and forced themselves back inside the top four with a thrilling win at Bayview.

The game against Peterhead had absolutely everything.

Bayview was drenched in sunshine to witness a 90 minutes which saw three goals, numerous chances, world class saves, two sendings off and countless meaty challenges.

The Fifers had to roll their sleeves up and battle against a Peterhead side you know will give as good as they get.

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That's not to say Jim McInally's side were all about doing the physical stuff in Methil, they showed more than enough to convince those watching that they won't be dragged into a relegation scrap after seeing their own top five hopes vanish with this defeat.

They were a goal up with 20 minutes to go and looked on course to seal the win until a late sending off completely shifted the dynamic of the game in East Fife s favour.

Instead of going into Tuesday night's game at Airdrie involved in a scrap to finish inside the top five before the split, East Fife now know that just a point will be enough.

There's still work to do, of course, and it would be a pity if this battling performance wasn't rewarded.

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It was frantic stuff at times on Saturday afternoon but this wasn't a game short on quality.

Along with some excellent finishes were a collection of absolutely stunning saves from Peterhead keeper Josh Rae.

His first came on the quarter of an hour mark when he clawed away a Danny Denholm header.

The Blue Toon took the lead shortly after when Scott Brown's shot was blocked by the Fife defence but only as far as Hamish Ritchie who had time to compose himself before beating Brett Long.

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Craig Watson had a goal chopped off for a foul before Rae was at it again, up brilliantly at his top corner to keep out a Ryan Wallace free kick.

It appeared to be personal, with Rae rising to his corner once more just a couple of minutes after the restart to deny Scott Agnew.

Peterhead held the lead but certainly weren't sitting back on it, continuing to pose a threat themselves.

Ritchie was denied by Brett Long as the tackles went flying in across the pitch.

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The Fifers continued to press but found Rae in inspired form, Ross Davidson the next to be frustrated.

On 68 minutes came the moment that completely changed the match.

Wallace was scampering clear on goal only to be hacked down outside the box by Andrew McDonald.

McDonald saw red and within minutes East Fife made their advantage count when Wallace's corner was met by the head of the unmarked Denholm and this time Rae was beaten.

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Only one team was winning this game from here and it was little surprise when the Fifers nosed ahead.

Agnew picked up the ball on the right wing and drifted a delightful effort in at the back post.

It was now simply about closing the game out and East Fife did just that, despite Watson picking up a second caution.

Home boss Darren Young said: "Before they scored their goal Ryan Wallace has had a couple of chances, Danny Denholm has a couple of headers as well.

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"There were a couple of free-kicks and their goalie makes a couple of really good saves.

"At half-time we felt if we kept on playing, passing and getting the ball out wide we could get a goal.

"Then when we get it and they have the man sent off.

"Off the back of that we're pushing for the second goal and it's a great strike from Scott Agnew."

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