Livingston 0-1 East Fife

East Fife remain on course for a promotion play-off spot after returning to Bayview with all three points from Livingston.
The Fifers are all smiles after Jason Kerr's winner. Picture by George McLuskie.The Fifers are all smiles after Jason Kerr's winner. Picture by George McLuskie.
The Fifers are all smiles after Jason Kerr's winner. Picture by George McLuskie.

Should this current run of form, which has seen the club win eight of their last 13 league games, not be rewarded with a place in the play-offs then it would be a sin.

In fact, had the early season form matched the current run the side’s on then the Fifers would be bang in the title race.

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As it is their hosts on Saturday are easing closer to the title with each passing week - but again they found out that East Fife have their number.

The Fifers have shown no fear against the league leaders this season, having beaten them in both the league and cup.

They headed to the Tony Macaroni Arena full of confidence and fresh off a 2-0 win over Albion Rovers.

The Lions roared into action, though, and Scott Pittman crashed the ball off the underside of the bar within 30 seconds of the first whistle.

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Barry Smith’s men were bombarded by their hosts and an opening goal only appeared a matter of time.

It almost arrived through Josh Mullin but he twice found Mark Hurst a tough obstacle to pass, the Fife ‘keeper pulling off a terrific double save.

East Fife were rattled by the start Livi made but managed to contain them and gradually grew into the game.

With Scott Robinson again pulling the strings on the edge of the box he created an opening for Kevin Smith but the forward couldn’t get a clean shot away.

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Livi looked dangerous every time they broke forward and the visitors were defending for their lives.

Nikolay Todorov thought he had opened the scoring when he chipped Hurst only for Jason Kerr to scramble back and clear.

The East Fife defence won’t have a busier afternoon all season and continued to be penned back by the league leaders.

But Smith’s men deserve immense credit for the way they threw their bodies at everything with Ross Brown becoming the next to scramble the ball clear.

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They were having to lead a charmed life and Nikki Paterson was in the right place at the right time to clear Gallagher’s strike off the line.

There was to be a total twist in the tale, though, when the under the cosh visitors opened the scoring.

Nikki Paterson’s free-kick wasn’t held by Liam Kelly and first to react was Jason Kerr who bundled home the loose ball.

The Livi fans will have made the short journey home wondering how they took nothing from the match.

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But for East Fife it was a win which showed this is a side capable of absorbing everything that the best in the division can offer and then having the guile to carve them open at the death.

Boss Barry Smith said: “We had to dig in because Livingston are a good team.

“That showed a side to us that we’re capable of doing that.

“We had to handle a lot of the long balls they threw into the box.

“Jason Kerr and Jonathan Page handled the majority of it very well."

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