Take care of our business

League One is going down to the wire with issues at both ends of the table set to be settled on the final day of the campaign.

Thursday, 4th May 2017, 12:38 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:35 pm
The East Fife players are furious after Chris Kane's sending off. It's a decision the club is appealing. Picture by George McLuskie.
The East Fife players are furious after Chris Kane's sending off. It's a decision the club is appealing. Picture by George McLuskie.

After East Fife’s 4-0 defeat at home to Airdrieonians on Saturday, the Fifers know they must beat Stranraer at the weekend to make up the three points they sit behind the Diamonds and Brechin.

However, the Blues will be equally as keen for the full points to avoid the slim chance they may drop into the relegation play-off zone.

If East Fife do their job then they’ll make the play-offs if either Airdrie or Brechin lose to Queen’s Park or Stenhousmuir.

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Again, both Queen’s and Stenny have something to play for, with the Spiders still having a chance of getting into the top four and the Warriors needing a win to make sure they don’t finish bottom.

It’s going to be a nervy 90 minutes for fans of all clubs, with eyes and ears keeping tabs on what’s happening elsewhere as much as on the park in front of them.

Bayview boss Barry Smith knows his side is still in with a shout, but is equally as aware that they must get the three points from Stranraer before worrying about anything else.

He said: “We can all look at the table and work out the permutations for ourselves but what’s certain is that if we don’t win none of it matters.

“Stranraer still have something to fight for themselves and will be looking for the point they need.

“It shows just how tight this league has been this season that it’s coming down to the last game.

“It also shows how good a season it’s been for this club back up in League One to be competing for the play-offs.

“If we can get there it’ll be great.”

East Fife’s task was made that bit more difficult by Saturday’s loss to Airdrieonians.

The scoreline may look heavy, but the turning point was no doubt a second half penalty decision given against the side for handball against Chris Kane.

The Fife defender was also sent off for the offence.

Video evidence shows the ref’s call was certainly harsh on the Fifers and it’s one the club is prepared to appeal.

“There wasn’t much between the teams in the match until the penalty,” said the boss.

“After they scored that and went 2-0 up we lost our competitive edge being down to 10 men.

“We’re trying to appeal the decision because we don’t feel it’s a sending off.

“Chris Kane has been a outstanding since I’ve come in to the club and we could certainly do with him on Saturday.”

Regardless if it’s in League One or the Championship next term, three current Fife players will be part of that squad.

Kane, club captain Kevin Smith and Pat Slattery have all signed new deals at Bayview.

Boss Smith said he was keen, and happy, to get the trio tied down.

He added: “I’m pleased the three of them have signed again early.

“We’re looking at getting a few others signed now.”

Ahead of Saturday’s game the manager expects Jonathan Page to return to training.

However given his absence for the past few weeks, the game at Stranraer may come too soon.