East Fife 2-3 Elgin City

A Premier Sports Cup campaign to forget mercifully came to an end at Bayview on Saturday.

Saturday, 24th July 2021, 10:04 pm
Michael Cunningham finds his route to goal blocked. Pic by Kenny Mackay

Four games played and four defeats is disappointing enough, but boss Darren Young is now facing selection headaches of the wrong kind in the build up to the new League One season starting on Saturday.

He had to do without the services of Ross Davidson, Danny Swanson, Stewart Murdoch and Ryan Wallace for the final group game against Elgin City.

Things went from bad to worse when the Fifers lost Scott Mercer and Aaron Dunsmore during the game and then learned afterwards that Wallace had decided to step away from football altogether to spend more time with his family.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

It's far from ideal preparation and Fife boss Young will no doubt be leaning on his contacts this week to bring a few fresh faces into the club before Saturday's visit from Queen's Park.

Frustratingly, East Fife put themselves into a decent position to win this game twice but allowed Elgin back in.

Not only did Gavin Price's side twice haul level, but they managed to get their noses in front and closed out the three points.

Fife manager Young said: “It’s been a hard pre-season and a hard league cup.

“We haven’t been able to have a settled team whatsoever.

“Now we’ve picked up another two injuries which isn’t ideal because there are other boys out as well.

“But we need to stick together and need to bring in more bodies this week, that’s for sure."

Things actually got off to the perfect start for East Fife when they took the lead with just a couple of minutes played.

Liam Watt's clever overhead kicked sailed over the Elgin backline and was picked up by Kevin Smith who smashed a magnificent effort beyond Daniel Hoban.

Elgin showed they'll certainly be up challenging in League Two next season and weren't behind for long.

East Fife failed to clear a corner and first to react was Angus Mailer who hooked the ball beyond Scott Gallacher.

It was frustrating for the hosts but they managed to get ahead again when Connor McManus netted from the spot following a handball.

Again, though, East Fife failed to build on the goal and allowed their visitors back in, Kane Hester racing clear and beating Gallacher.

Things went from bad to worse for the home side a couple of minutes after the half time interval and Tony Dingwall's free kick found the top corner.

They defended well for the rest of the half, half chances for Liam Newton and McManus the best East Fife could create.

Visiting boss Price said: “I’m happy with the character of the team, we showed that because we didn’t start the game well at all and lost an early goal.

“But the players worked hard and got the win.

“We know what Kane Hester is all about and then we have a bit of quality from Tony."