Saturday, October 24, 2009

Match Report: East Fife v Stenhousemuir (Scottish 2nd Div)

There's no doubt about it now. The 2009/10 Scottish Second Division season is going to be a rollercoaster, a nailbiter and all those other things that fans don't really want when it involves their own team.

It's not a great League this season. There's no standout teams and there are no really weak teams either, which has surprised many. Clyde and Cowdenbeath were expected to struggle but both have strung some results together, whereas Arbroath started well and now sit second bottom.

The whole division is going to be tight for a long time to come and every slip will prove costly and every win could prove priceless.

It's only October and already East Fife were faced with a vital six pointer. Sure there's a long way to go till the i's are dotted, but with such a tight league, fall too far behind now or face a crisis of confidence and it's going to be hard to turn it around.

The Fife thankfully battled through this adversity, even turning in a pretty fine display to beat Stenhousemuir 2-1 at Bayview today and confine the Warriors to the bottom of the table.

It was a more assured performance from the Bayview boys than that on display in recent weeks and despite the close scoreline, they did run out comfortable winners.

Aaron Conway opened the scoring on 58 minutes when he fired the ball home under Stenny keeper Chris McLuskey. Paul McManus got on the end of a long Stewart Baillie kick out nine minutes later, to hammer home the second, and a few more chances went a begging before some poor defending saw Craig Molloy net a consolation goal in injury time.

The goal was a cruel blow for Stewart Baillie, who really deserved a clean sheet in the Fife goal after yet another fine performance, which included a world class save in the first half that many at the game consider to be the best save they've ever seen.

Baillie's save was one of the main talking points of the game. Unfortunately the other was created in the dying seconds by the Fife's vice Captain Shaun Fagan, who saw red for a truly horrendous tackle and stamp on Molloy.

We're losing count of how many sending offs and suspensions Fagan's had for us now. He has such talent but lets himself down time and again with his discipline. Today was the final straw for many, who were sickened by the tackle and the fact that he'd only been on the pitch for 10 minutes in the first place.

The sending off could have really cost the team but thankfully there wasn't much time left. He also allegedly received a second red for an incident after the game and many fans are now calling for him to be sacked by the Club. It's certainly not a good example to set for the younger players.

We shouldn't let this incident overshadow a good and vital win for East Fife though. It's just another battle in what is going to be a very long war though and next up is derby day and a trip to the smellies of Cowdenbeath.

Let's just hope for more of the same and not a scary Halloween.

FINAL SCORE: East Fife 2 - 1 Stenhousemuir

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