Stenhousemuir 1-1 East Fife

Aaron Dunsmore opened the scoring for East Fife. (Stock image by Kenny Mackay)
Aaron Dunsmore opened the scoring for East Fife. (Stock image by Kenny Mackay)

East Fife's play-off hopes ended at Ochilview, but the hosts gave their survival ambitions a massive boost.

In the grand scheme of things this point meant little to East Fife but the world to Stenny.

With Montrose losing to Forfar, the door was opened for the visitors to take the play-off race down to the final game of the season.

But by taking just one point, their season was ended in the central belt.

For Stenny, though, the draw put them in the driving seat ahead of their winner takes all meeting with Brechin City next weekend.

A point at Glebe Park next week will relegate City and give Stenny the chance to secure their safety through the play-offs.

They fully deserve the chance to do that after impressing against the Fifers.

This was a game which had everything.

From Mark McGuigan's effort in the first few seconds which cracked the East Fife bar, there was no let up in the relentless drama.

Greg Hurst also tried his luck for the hosts, but it was East Fife who grabbed the game's first goal.

Stenny only had themselves to blame for the goal, Morgyn Neill's pass back woefully short and picked up by Aaron Dunsmore who raced in on the Stenny goal and beat Graeme Smith.

But the Warriors battled back bravely and were behind for barely a couple of minutes.

Ruaridh Donaldson picked up the ball 30 yards for goal and, with the Fife defence shaping itself to defend a cross, the defender decided to try his luck and cracked a stunning effort beyond Brett Long and into the top corner.

The home side were worthy of their equaliser after impressing during the first half.

East Fife improved after the break, though, and had several chances to get their noses in front.

The fact they didn't wasn't all down to poor finishing, with the home keeper Graeme Smith in quite brilliant form.

He denied Dunsmore just a couple of minutes after the break before then going on to save from Scott Agnew and Liam Watt.

East Fife were presented a perfect opportunity to go ahead when Agnew was brought down inside the box by Conor McBrearty.

The midfielder stepped up himself to take the penalty but Smith was equal to it, saving low down to his left.

There was still time for a bit more controversy, though.

Jonny Court was shown a straight red card by ref John McKendrick after barging David Marsh into the advertising boards while he was ushering the ball out of play.

The decision was harsh to say the least and heaped salt on East Fife's wounds as their players left the field dejected.

For the Warriors, the battle goes on and they'll head into next week's game with a spring in their step.