Sunday, August 9, 2009

I'll admit it, I was surprised. I certainly didn't see it coming after our pre-season and Cup form, but East Fife got their League campaign off to a fantastic start yesterday with a 2-0 home win over Brechin City.

With many tipping Brechin to if not win the League this season then to at least make the playoffs, the win is the confidence booster needed at Bayview and a great shot in the arm for new boss Stevie Crawford.

It was a throughly deserved win for the Fife, who lined up in a new look 3-5-2 formation, and hopefully one that we can now build on and get some early momentum going.

East Fife had come out the strongest, before Brechin settled and had around a fifteen minute spell of controlling the game before the Fife took over.

After hitting the bar through a 35 yard David Muir rocket, East Fife opened the scoring on 30 minutes when Paul McManus fired home Robert Campbell's cross on the second attempt, after City keeper Craig Nelson had saved his first headed effort.

Three minutes later and it was two, with what is already being talked about as a contender for the Fife's 'Goal of the Season' from Captain Scott Thomson. It is hard to think of one which will better it, it has to be said!

The move started when Lloyd Young saw his effort cleared off the line. The ball came out to Shaun Fagan who sent a brilliant 40 yard diagonal ball into the path of Thomson, who volleyed it Van Basten-esque like into the net from around 12 yards out.

Brechin hit the bar in the second half through Kevin Byers on 55 minutes as they pushed to get back into the game, but once again the Fife took control of proceedings.

Muir, Fagan, McManus and Bobby Linn all had a number of chances to kill off the game, but found Nelson on fine form in the Brechin goal, with a string of good saves. They may not have increased their tally but the Fife ended up as comfortable winners in the end.

It was very disappointing to see a crowd of just 605, but hopefully with a string of good results under the belt, the numbers will start to return once again.

It's interesting to see that three of Craw's summer signings (Aaron Conway, Mark Staunton and Darren Baillie) are just benchwarmers at present, which shows how well our younger players that came through at the end of last season have developed.

Robert Campbell had a particularly excellent game but the top plaudits have to go to Shaun Fagan who ran the show in the middle. He was outstanding and showed what we know he is capable of if he can keep his temprement under control. Assuming the vice Captain role could be the best thing that's happened to him in his career of late.

We don't want to get too carried away after just one result. One swallow does not make a summer etc etc. What we will say though is that getting off to a good, strong start in such an even League is going to be vital in deciding those final places come May.

That we have certainly achieved so far. C'mon the Fife.

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