Saturday, January 29, 2011

Livingston are one of those teams we hate.

They killed Meadowbank, play in a plastic stadium to plastic fans and we haven't managed to beat the fuckers since 1998.

You can now add to this that we've played them twice this month and we've lost to them twice thanks to horrific last ten minute collapses.

What it boils down to is what we've known from pre-season. Our defence is shit.

Top scorers in the division with 39 goals, second worse defensive record with 36. Add in the two Cup maulings from Aberdeen and Queen of the South and it's dire stuff.

John Robertson has two days left of the transfer window to try and get something sorted out as this could take us down come May.

Today's game started where the last encounter left off, with Livingston scoring. It only took Keaghan Jacobs 35 seconds to get the League leaders off the mark before a 25 yard cracker from Liam Fox doubled their lead on 12 minutes. The build up to second goal aided by poor Fife defending and it was starting to look like another awayday for the calculators could be in store.

Full credit to East Fife though. A number of Fife teams of the past would have put their heads down and just given in there and then. We've all seen it over the years.

Livingston ended up dominating the first quarter of an hour and the last ten of the game, but East Fife were in the ascendancy for the rest of the match. As has been the case so often this season, it was Bobby Linn who raised Fife hopes when he cracked home a 30 yard free kick on 28 minutes, which went through Livi keeper Tony Bullock's hands, to send the leaders in with a 2-1 lead at the break.

And this lead was to hold for most of the second half before the Fife pressure got results.

Former gaffer Stevie Crawford tied things up when he drilled home from the edge of the box on 72 minutes after a quick Fife break and some neat interplay with Jim Hamilton.

The Fife nearly took the lead minutes later but a deflected effort crashed off the bar for a corner. From the resultant corner, the ball eventually fell to Div Muir and he volleyed home from 16 yards out to send the players and the travelling Fife support into raptures and a much deserved win looked to be on the cards.

Eleven days ago, ten man Livi broke Fife hearts with goals in the 82nd and 87th minutes. Today it was 82 and 89, but at least they had their full complement this time and Fife legend Kenny Deuchar wasn't the one doing the damage. Scant consolation but I'll take any I can.

Bobby Barr tied things up with a nice solo goal and his trickery left the Fife defence standing. Jacobs then got the last minute winner to go with his first minute opener and it was more terrible defending that led to it.

A through ball split the Fife back four wide open before John Ovenstone dived in way too early in an attempt to tackle Jacobs, allowing him to skip past and fire home from a very tight angle. You also have to question Michael Brown for allowing the ball to squeeze in.

The result leaves East Fife in the relegation playoff spot, but with games in hand and the only team in the bottom five with a plus goal difference.

The two games against Livingston have shown the Fife support what the team can do at the right end of the park. Keep that going and we should be safe, even with a defence that leaks more than a sieve at times.

It's going to be tight though. I think we can forget any thoughts of making the promotion playoffs and that's a good thing as this defence could ship double figures in the First and I can't see much money being available to strengthen.

John Robertson has us playing some nice football but we need to get the wheels back on our bus pretty soon and starting Tuesday night at Forfar would be perfect.

Mon the Fife.

EAST FIFE: Brown, Durie, Ovenstone, McGowan, Smart (Fagan 83), Muir, Linn, Hamilton, Hislop (Crawford 70), Sloan, Johnstone (Young 65) [Subs Not Used: Lyness, Weir]

ATT: 1,340

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