Saturday, August 29, 2009

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

The season is only four league games old and already East Fife are attracting the tag "draw specialists".

Three in a row now, still unbeaten, down to fifth place and some very uninspiring play. It could be a long season.

The Fife faithful weren't expecting a derby game this season, but the Livingston debacle has thrown up our third rate derby against Cowdenbeath once again. It's not quite the same as the Rovers one. Hell, even a Pars one is better, but it's what we've got.

The fact that Cowden seem to have some sort of hoodoo over us as well doesn't exactly whet the appetite. Not just to me either it seems. Whilst 6,289 fans headed along to East End Park for the Dunfermline-Raith Rovers derby, a paltry 803 made their way into Bayview Stadium for this encounter.

The fare served up on the pitch did little to excite for the three encounters still to come - especially as two of them are now at the shit hole that is Central Park.

With East Fife still not able to include main striker Paul McManus in the starting line up, although he did make the bench today, it's always a question of where the goals will come from.

With Michael Brown taking over the top pelters from many fans for his goalkeeping performances, this was the chance for him to show the Fife faithful what he's got and be a derby hero.

Sadly for Brown, he became the villain of the piece after just 12 minutes when he allowed Jay Stein to score from a corner. It may have been windy conditions but when you're clearly heard to yell out "keeper's ball" and then don't collect it, it's only going to increase the pressure on you and take any remaining confidence that the defence might have in you away.

To make matters worse, East Fife had had most of the running up to this point but the goal signalled a shift in fortunes and the Blue Brazil went into the ascendancy, thankfully without really threatening to increase their lead.

Half time gave East Fife a chance to regroup and they were the better team in the second half, although the constant punt punt punt tactics did little to pose much of a threat to David Hay in the Cowden goal.

David Muir, who has had a fantastic season to date but was having a shocker today, was replaced after 58 minutes by Paul McManus and Shagger soon showed what the Fife are missing when he's missing from the team.

His workrate is second to none and he got his reward on 70 minutes when he rose well to head home a Mark Staunton flick on from a corner.

Both sides had half chances to win the game but once again, a draw was a fair result from proceedings, an all to familiar story so far this season.

From what we've seen so far, it's a pretty weak Second Division as many of us expected. We can quite easily challenge for promotion this season, although we do lack the necessary strength to survive in the First Division with the current squad any way.

The important thing is to start playing some decent passing football again and more importantly, converting some of these draws into victories. Too many points dropped could be very costly come May.

FINAL SCORE: East Fife 1 - 1 Cowdenbeath

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