East Fife 2-2 Partick Thistle

Football can be cruel at times, something East Fife have now had to come to terms with for the second game in a row.

Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 11:09 pm
East Fife were held by Partick Thistle thanks to the visitors' late equaliser

Just like at Bayview on Saturday against Greenock Morton, East Fife found themselves suckerpunched by an injury time equaliser.

One contributed to them being knocked out of the Scottish Cup, while the other deprived the club of three league points.

The difference between the two, though, is you'd be hard pressed to argue a case that Partick didn't deserve their draw.

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Despite being a shambles in a first half which saw East Fife race into a two goal lead, they improved dramatically after the break and, once they hauled one goal back, camped out inside the home side's half.

It was the stereotypical game of two halves, East Fife much better in the first and Thistle the second.

And what an opening 45 it was for East Fife, arguably their best of the season so far.

Kevin Smith spearheaded the attack and ragdolled the Thistle central defensive partnership of Darren Brownlie and Mouhamed Niang.

Poor Niang was made to suffer and it was little surprise to see him hooked at half time.

He was at fault for East Fife's opening goal.

Ryan Wallace picked up a Fife free-kick but, as he looked to knock the ball beyond Niang, the stopper blocked it with his hand.

It was a blatant penalty and one which Wallace had no trouble dispatching.

East Fife had their tails up and could sense their visitors were a disorganised rabble.

They went for the throat and were two goals up just a few moments later.

Darren Young's side cleared their lines well and the ball sailed beyond a Partick backline you could fit a warship through.

It was collected by Smith who took one touch before rifling an unstoppable drive beyond Jamie Sneddon.

There was no letting up and Wallace almost made it 3-0 with a low drive Sneddon did well to turn around the post.

Danny Denholm was next to almost add number three when he hooked a Wallace cutback over the bar.

Thistle managed to make it to half time just two goals behind but had been taught a lesson.

Ian McCall had seen plenty and made three changes at the interval.

On came Ciaran McKenna, Steven Bell and Zak Rudden and they gave the visitors a much needed lift.

It was the introduction of Joe Cardle on 70 minutes which really changed the course of the game, though.

The former Dunfermline winger was clearly determined to make an impression on his boss after being left on the bench and he went about proving his point in just the right manner.

His delivery for Brian Graham just minutes after coming on set up a grandstand finish to the game.

Anything cleared just came straight back but the overworked East Fife defence looked as if they were going to hold out.

That was until deep into injury time when another terrific Cardle cross was met by Graham again whose touch was turned in by Scott Tiffoney.

It was a sickening end to the game for East Fife but the point still keeps them very much in the play-off mix.

Boss Young said: "We're disappointed we never finished it off.

"We spoke about it because we knew they'd make changes and dealt with that very, very well.

"In the last 10 or 15 minutes they piled on the pressure but we stood firm, even though it was hard to get out and up the park.

"It's something we need to learn from and improve on.

"There's still a great opportunity for us to go to Dumbarton and pick up three points on Thursday.

"The players will lift themselves.

"They can take a lot of heart from that performance because attacking wise there were some great bits of play and some great combinations.

"If we hit the target a few more times we could have had three or four but the second half was a different game."