Sunday, August 23, 2009

Match Report: East Fife v Arbroath (Scottish Second Division)

East Fife continued their unbeaten start to their Scottish Second Division campaign yesterday, but their second consecutive draw and the nature of their performance did little to inspire the fans.

The share of the points with table toppers Arbroath was a fair reflection of the game.

The first half saw little of any real note, with East Fife's best chance coming from a blocked Bobby Linn effort just 4 minutes in. The Smokies had chances through Hislop and Gibson but they were of little real danger to the Fife goal.

The second half gave the game what it needed with both teams getting on the scoresheet early on.

Arbroath opened the scoring through Robbie Ross on 51 minutes, when the big sub easily outjumped the Fife defence to head home a corner.

East Fife fought back immediately and squared things up three minutes later when player manager Stevie Crawford buried a bouncing long throw from six yards out.

Although this action seemed to spark both teams into life, and both sides had chances, neither goal was seriously under any danger for the remainder of the game, with the main talking point being created with Ross' sending off for violent conduct with two minutes left, when he appeared to stamp on Mark Staunton after a tussle on the ground.

With main striker Paul McManus still being out injured, his absence just shows up the lack of firepower that the Fife have this season and it would be good to try and add a big hitman to the squad before the transfer window closes.

There are also questions being asked around the goalkeeping situation with some fans, and seemingly some players, appearing to have a lack of confidence in current number one Michael Brown.

After all the low expectations following our pre-season form, I'm sure many of us would have taken an unbeaten first three games of the campaign. It's where we go from here that is raising all the questions at the moment.

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