Saturday, May 1, 2010

With the squad we have, it should have never been left to this stage, but thankfully East Fife managed to dig deep and earn themselves a fighting 2-2 draw against Arbroath at Gayfield this afternoon.

The point secured the Fife's Second Division status for another season and sent the Smokies into a relegation playoff battle which they will have a tough job winning. Rather them than us, but it was a close run thing.

The first half was nervy, with no real clear cut chances but the large fancy dress bedecked Fife support outnumbered the home fans around two to one in the disappointing 512 crowd and were in fine voice.

They were rewarded seven minutes into the second half when Bobby Linn hit a 30 yard screamer free kick into the net, sending the travelling support into raptures. Tom Aitken caught the moment and we bring it to you below:



The Fife were 1-0 up, as were the other team in the playoff mix, Stenhousemuir. It was looking good but after a season like this one, it would have been amazing it things played out smoothly and so it proved to be the case.

Arbroath equalised on the hour mark through Steven Doris and that brought the Arbroath fans back into the game again, only for them to be immediately silenced a minute later when the impressive Div Muir headed the Fife back into the lead.

And thanks to Kenny, here's that goal!:



James Redman looped home a second Arbroath equaliser with 19 minutes remaining, but with Peterhead restoring parity in their game with Stenny at around the same time, the pressure wasn't as intense for the closing minutes as it could have been on paper. In person it was very! At this stage a defeat would even see the Fife avoid the playoffs on goal difference but you can't take any chances in a league this tight.

It was nervy though. A brief second of glory in both matches could have made all the difference, but neither came, despite the ref's best attempt with over 5 minutes of stoppage time at Gayfield. We expect nothing less when we have Winter as ref.

The Smokies had a great chance to win the match in the closing minutes but it was to be our day of celebration and the party atmosphere kicked in once the final whistle went. May be a few underwear changes required when they travelling support got home though! Well done lads.

It was performance today that was full of the fight and spirit that has been lacking at time this season from the black and gold. Let's hope they bottle it and bring it out again in full force next season.

Stevie Crawford has had a difficult first term as Fife boss. He's made mistakes. He's admitted that. His honesty has gone down well and he has received the backing of pretty much all of the support. We need to see the team move forward next season now though. A similar tale next term won't see this backing hanging around for long. The close season and the inevitable comings and goings will be interesting to watch.

In just over two months time it will all be back on again. Can't wait! C'mon the Fife.

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